Microsoft's next generation Xbox console will be released ahead of the 2013 Christmas holidays, according to people familiar with the product's production.
Citing sources "who declined to be identified because the product road map is confidential," the Sydney Morning Herald claims the new Xbox console will go on sale by November 2013 in the US, six and a half years after the Xbox 360 made its global debut.
Microsoft has not yet decided if the console will be launched at the E3 game show or if the Company will hold a dedicated event for the launch.
A new Xbox console will compete directly with Nintendo's Wii U. Locally launched last week, Nintendo's Wii U is distinguished by a tablet-styled controller known as the GamePad, and portals dedicated to VOD services and social networking.
Sony is also expected to launch its fourth-generation console in the near future.
750,000 Xbox 360s were sold during Thanksgiving week
As the Xbox 360 approaches its 7th birthday, Microsoft has equipped it with a strong content portfolio by teaming up with 40 entertainment partners. In the US, more Xbox Live subscribers use the Xbox 360 for its VOD repertoire than playing multiplayer games.
The strategy has worked with twice as many Xbox 360s being sold during thanksgiving week than Nintendo's brand new Wii U console.
Read Microsoft Transforms Xbox Into TV Central
Despite its recent performance, the gaming industry is in need of new, differentiating technologies as its audience is usurped by smartphones and tablets.