Frank O'Connor, Halo series director at developer 343 Industries has quashed speculation that Microsoft's rumoured next Xbox will be released in 2012, confirming Halo 4 will be released on the Microsoft's current Xbox 360.

Responding to a comment on an online forum devoted to speculation regarding Microsoft's next Xbox Frank O'Connor clarified Halo 4 will be on the Xbox 360. "Halo 4 will be on Xbox 360 and use a modified core of the Halo engine(s). Not really a singular engine since it goes through fairly radical evolutions all the time," said O'Connor.

O'Connor's comment follows a recent slew of rumours suggesting Microsoft planned to unveil and potentially release a new Xbox in 2012. Most recently a rumour emerged Tuesday suggesting Microsoft will announce the new Xbox at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, 2012.

Prior to the rumour, industry site Develop had issued its own report suggesting the device would be unveiled at the 2012 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."

Develop went on to suggest that its unnamed sources had also confirmed to it a list of the studios currently working on products or software for the future console.

Still -- not letting a small thing like Microsoft's official "Microsoft does not comment on rumours" stance regarding the Xbox 720 -- speculation regarding the next Xbox has continued. Following O'Conner's comments, numerous blogs around the globe quickly pitch in adding, "just because it'll be on the 360 doesn't mean it won't be on the 720" -- Kudos for the optimism.

At the time this article was written Microsoft had not responded to requests for comment on O'Conner's post.