Although Microsoft has made no official (or even unofficial) announcement regarding when the successor to the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for five year, will be revealed to the public. Nonetheless rumors are flying regarding how the new system will look, what new features it will have and whether it will have a 2012 release date in order to compete with Nintendo's upcoming Wii U. is claiming that the next generation Xbox console will come in 2012. According to an anonymous insider source, the new console will hit stores in time for Christmas shopping. The website also revealed that one unidentified Sony-owned studio has ceased PlayStation 3 development, its entire focus having shifted to the console's successor.

An unnamed source has also told MVC they know for a fact that Microsoft will offer fans a taste of their next console at E3 this June

However, these anonymous rumors fly in the face of Microsoft's official line, which is that they will the Xbox 360 a full 10 years on the market before replacing it with a new system. Microsoft has often said that the console will have a decade-long life-cycle, putting the debut of a new console three years away.

In 2010, Microsoft's European boss Chris Lewis said What you've seen is with this new sleek design and Kinect for Xbox 360 we've got at least another five years of this generation where we continue to offer great experiences for people.

That statement was confirmed by Microsoft's David Hufford, senior director of Xbox product management, who said there is no need to launch a new console, because we're able to give this console new life either with software upgrades or hardware upgrades.

Until more information becomes available, enjoy these photos of Xbox 720 concept designs.