If you are a fan of console gaming and happen to prefer to stay on the Xbox side of the spectrum rather than Sony’s PlayStation, then be prepared to benefit from a little bit of excitement. According to IGN, Microsoft’s next-generation gaming console is currently being assembled behind closed doors in a United States-based factory.

It is currently unknown whether or not the device being manufactured is an actual finished product or if it is just a development prototype gig, but if it is true, then it should definitely bring some excitement to hardcore gamers who have been waiting patiently for something a bit more powerful to come to market. As is usually the case with this kind of thing, the internet has been awash with speculation about the Xbox 720, but if the manufacturing rumors are true, then it’s possible the E3 conference could see some kind of announcement or unveiling.

The IGN article is reporting that a Flextronics plant in Texas just had a new testing group created that is segregated from the rest of the factory, with the sole purpose of marketing and testing the new hardware and software of the new Xbox 720 console. With that phase of the process coming to a natural end, the company have then put into production what is believed to be a development kit for game and hardware producers to see what they are dealing with:

The most likely case here is that new manufactured hardware would be development kits, consoles created specifically so game designers know what they’re working with.

As you might imagine, Microsoft haven’t exactly been keen to come out and confirm or deny the current production rumors, but have gone on record saying that they will definitely not be unveiling any new console at the E3 conference in June.

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After being contacted by IGN, the company did provide the following, which is a rather generic company statement:

Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation.

So there you have it, Microsoft doesn’t comment on rumors or speculations, but that, in no way indicates that in this instance the speculation isn’t accurate.

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