"Over the next eighteen months Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox,” the job listing said, before it was deleted from the Microsoft Careers website.

While there have been no end of rumors surrounding Microsoft’s next - generation console, there has been little in the way of hard evidence.

Over the past few months I’ve come across dozens of Xbox ۷۲۰ - related rumors. One rumor states that it will be at least ‘six times more powerful that the current Xbox’ and feature either a modified AMD Radeon HD ۷۰۰۰ or Radeon HD ۶۶۷۰ series GPU mated to a PowerPC CPU.

Another rumor states that the console will not feature an optical drive, and will instead rely on games cartridges and downloads. This would reduce the size, power consumption and cost of the device, help combat piracy and quell the second - hand games market. However, given that it would also mean the end of backward - compatibility with current Xbox titles, I find it unlikely that Microsoft will drop the optical drive.

I’ve also heard several rumors from reliable sources that games for the new Xbox console are already in development.

There’s no doubt that the Xbox ۳۶۰ is in dire need of an update. The console was released back in November of ۲۰۰۵, and while it has seen some updates, they’ve been related to lowering the costs and improving the reliability of the console — such as the infamous Read Ring of Death failures, which were traced back to the wrong kind of solder being used in its manufacturer.

Back in July Microsoft signaled that the current Xbox was getting near the end of its life by unveiled a deal that would allow people to buy an Xbox ۳۶۰ console and Kinect sensor for $۹۹ as long as they took out a two - year Xbox LIVE Gold contract.

Owners taking Microsoft up on this offer pay a premium, albeit a small one. Buying the console and Xbox Live Gold subscription outright would cost $۴۲۰, compared to $۴۵۹ for the subscription bundle.

Microsoft has also outlined the terms of the early termination fee for those who do not continue with the Xbox Live subscription for the full two years.

Nintendo will release the Wii U later this year, and Sony is also rumored to be working on its next-generation PlayStation console.