Sources close to Ubisoft Montreal have informed Edge magazine that the Canada-based development team is currently developing games on “target boxes” for the Xbox 360 successor. Edge’s source says that the “target boxes” have been supplied by Microsoft and that these will be replaced with actual devkits before Christmas this year. At present the target boxes are standard PCs with specs equal to what the next Xbox 360 will feature.
It’s also rumoured that certain Electronic Arts studios have these target boxes and have already begun development for the next Xbox 360. According to rumours from a few weeks ago, the next Microsoft console is codenamed “Xbox Loop”.
According to the same Edge article, a major first-party Sony developer has ceased PlayStation 3 development and is now fully committed to the Japanese manufacturer’s next gen console.
Edge suggests that Sony will be looking at releasing the PlayStation 4 (if it’s called that) as close to Microsoft’s next Xbox console as possible so as not to give their competition a full year of market dominance. That happened with this current generation of consoles and is the go-to reason for why the PS3 is only catching up to Xbox 360 sales figures now.
Industry analysts believe that Microsoft will be announcing their new Xbox console at next year’s CES in Las Vegas, which takes place on 10-13 January. The final console will be in stores by the holiday season 2012, if Edge’s sources are to be believed.