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Report: Next Xbox coming by 2013 holiday season

Xbox 360 and Kinect (Credit: Microsoft)Enjoy that time as the only next-generation console on the market, Wii U. The competition is coming sooner than you might think.

Bloomberg reports Microsoft will release its next generation Xbox in time for the 2013 holidays. While the date has been widely expected, the news service says unnamed company insiders have now confirmed the time period.

There are still plenty of questions about the reveal, though. One of the biggest is whether Microsoft will wait until the E3 trade show in June to debut the Xbox 720 (or Xbox 8, or Durango, or whatever they decide to call it), though the company is said to be considering a separate event dedicated solely to the system's reveal.

Rumors about the tech specs of the next system are everywhere. Most recently, Xbox World reported that it will boast an improved version of Kinect, a Blu-ray drive, and a new controller with an embedded HD touchscreen.

Microsoft, not surprisingly, declined to comment on the story.

Part of the reason for that 'no comment' is the company's long-standing refusal to discuss rumor and speculation. The other is that it doesn't want to distract anyone from the Xbox 360 this year.

It's a strategy that's working so far. During Black Friday week, Microsoft beat out the competition by selling 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles. Halo 4, which many speculate is the swan song for the Xbox 360 as far as original AAA titles go, is also selling well.

Bloomberg's story did not, however, make mention of the streamlined "Xbox TV" device that has been making the rumor rounds lately. The Verge reported late last week that Microsoft was planning a set-top box device that would provide access to core entertainment services as well as casual gaming options at a lower price than its next gen console. That device, reportedly, is meant to compete with Apple TV.

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