Xbox 720 Set for 2012 Release, Evidence Suggests
Take the Xbox 720 rumours with a pinch of salt, optimism can only take you so far.

Industry sources have reportedly confirmed that Microsoft's next Xbox will be released in 2012, not 2013.

Citing an unnamed industry source, Edge magazine not only reported that the new Xbox, commonly referred to as the Xbox 720, would be released in 2012, but also that the company was on the cusp of sending development kits to developers.

Edge reported that an "inside source" had confirmed the next-generation console's dev kits would be issued to studios before this Christmas. The source went on to name "certain EA studios" and Ubisoft Montreal as already working on projects for the, unconfirmed, new console.

"Ubisoft Montreal is already hard at work on 'target boxes' based on the intended specifications of Microsoft's Xbox 360 successor," wrote Edge.

"Ubisoft's teams are said to be working on PCs containing off-the-shelf components provided by Microsoft," it added.

The new "leak" adds to a series of previous rumours regarding Microsoft's next Xbox. Prior to Edge's report a rumour emerged Tuesday suggesting Microsoft will announce the new Xbox at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Earlier still, industry site Develop issued its own conflicting report suggesting the device would be unveiled at the 2013 E3.

Develop claimed that "[m]ultiple sources across the industry, from processor chip manufacturers to middleware firms, have told Develop they expect the console [Xbox 720] to be fully unveiled at E3 2013, months before its release."

Despite the hopeful overtures of Edge magazine's report, most industry figures when asked have all moved to quash speculation regarding the next Xbox's release date. Earlier in November Halo series director at developer 343 Industries, Frank O'Connor, issued his own statement confirming Halo 4 would be an Xbox 360 not 720 title -- indicating the new console would not be out in 2012.

When asked about the authenticity of Edge magazine's report Microsoft once again reiterated its previous policy that "Microsoft does not comment on rumour and speculation."