Microsoft manufacturing process points to Xbox 720

Posted by Mark Raby

A Microsoft work order at Austin, Texas-based Flextronics is making everyone turn their heads.

It's widely believed that the company is working on prototypes for the next version of the Xbox. Flextronics was a manufacturing and design partner for the Xbox and Xbox 360.

This leak comes just one month before E3, the biggest video game show in the world. But Microsoft has said not to expect an Xbox 720 reveal there.

The company said that the Xbox 360 "is coming off its biggest year ever-a year in which Xbox outsold all other consoles worldwide. Xbox 360 didn't just outsell other consoles, it also outsold all other TV-connected devices like DVD players, as well as digital media receivers and home theatre systems. And in our seventh year, we sold more consoles than in any other year-defying convention."

Nevertheless, some analysts believe it is time for a big hardware refresh for Microsoft. The Xbox 360 has been around since 2005, and within its own platform there is fragmentation.

People who bought their console within the first year could very well still be playing on a device that has no HDMI port, no wireless connectivity, and no hard drive. Meanwhile, they're playing alongside people with 250+ GB hard drives, the ability to stream 3D gaming through HDMI, and built-in Wi-Fi.

Microsoft has pushed as far as it can when it comes to updating the hardware without messing with the core internal structure, so the time for a new Xbox should be sooner, not later.

Nevertheless, whatever Flextronics is working on is apparently not ready for the public to see.