Xbox 720 Release Date Nears? April Or June Launch Dates Projected As Possible Logo Is Leaked [PHOTO]

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Gaming enthusiasts are itching to get a first look at the upcoming Xbox console from Microsoft, and we may have received the tiniest of sneak peeks from an anonymous source that recently tweeted an image of what could be the next logo for the next-generation console.

The image, posted to @BobExOX on March 16, reads -- “Xbox. Introducing a new way to play” -- against a green background with white lettering. Most enthusiasts have already dismissed the logo as a fake, noting that it is poorly made and deviates wildly from Xbox’s usual theme of a green X ripping through a white space for its maiden console the Xbox, or a grey sphere for the Xbox 360, though it keeps in step with Microsoft’s overall green theme.

GameChup notes that the green theme is similar to the leaked schedule for the Start FY14 internal Microsoft event for Xbox that took place March 4-7 at the Sheraton Seattle, and the cropped text reads, “What’s next from Xbox.”

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There’s always a chance that the image is from the event and was made plain to keep any identifying information about the next console a secret. The image notably only reads “Xbox,” and gives no indication to which Xbox is being referenced. At this point, we remain in the dark about exactly what the console will be called. Xbox 720 has been largely accepted as the name of the upcoming gaming system, following trend with the previous Xbox 360. Many followers have also adopted the codename “Durango,” however, nothing will be official until the device is unveiled.

As we scavenge for information on the device, one thing is certain: The Xbox won't be presented at the Game Developers Conference that is taking place in San Francisco from now until March 29. Microsoft told TechRadar on Monday that it “has no plans to show anything at all at GDC this week, despite many rumors suggesting there might at least be a technology demo or some other kind of preannouncement.”

Many were hoping to at least get a demo of Microsoft’s latest projects after Sony unveiled its PlayStation 4 in February, without actually unveiling a console, which reportedly “at first caught Microsoft off-guard,” according to a Sony senior official. But now fans are looking toward April, May or perhaps even June, as possible launch dates for the next Xbox system.

News that Microsoft registered the domain name XboxtEvent.com on Feb. 21, the day after Sony’s PlayStation 4 unveiling event has gone hand-in-hand with rumors of a “one-off media event” in April, where the next Xbox could be unveiled. GameChup notes that the domain name was registered by EventCore, the same company behind Microsoft’s E3 2013 event.

Many gaming enthusiasts also suggest that Microsoft may launch its next device at its E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo that will be held June 11-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

TechRadar proposes that we may get a sneak peak or device-less unveiling in April or May, with a console launch at E3.

In the meanwhile, there are a host of rumors that surround the Xbox 720, including suggestions that the device will play install-only games, effectively doing away with disks and cartridges and ushering a new age of game play. This could also mean older games may not be compatible with the device. The Xbox 720 is also expected to feature “always-on” capabilities, meaning the console will have to be constantly connected to the Internet, a capability that has already been criticized in other games and platforms.

Among the specs expected include 8 CPU cores at 1.6GHz, with a custom 800MHz graphics processor; 8GB of RAM; 32MB of fast embedded SRAM; a 50GB-capable 6x Blu-ray drive; Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity; and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The console is also said to include USB 3.0 and HDMI 1.4a, supporting 3D over HDMI, Ethernet, audio return channels and 4K resolution.

With April right around the corner, we may not have to wait much longer to see the elusive Xbox 720. Let’s hope that Microsoft doesn't take the Sony route.

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