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Xbox 720 to debut by 2013 holiday season, report says

The next-generation Xbox could see the light of day by this time next year, sources told Bloomberg.

The Xbox 360 with Kinect.
The Xbox 360 with Kinect.

The next edition of Microsoft's Xbox could be ready for the holidays -- the 2013 holidays, that is.

Microsoft is aiming to launch the Xbox 720 in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas of next year, "people familiar with the company's plans" told Bloomberg yesterday.

The software giant could unveil the next Xbox at the E3 show in June or at a separate event specifically geared toward the console, one of the sources said. The people providing this tidbit to Bloomberg didn't want to identify themselves since the information is reportedly based on a confidential Microsoft road map.

Microsoft Xbox spokesman David Dennis declined to comment to Bloomberg.

A Microsoft spokeswoman didn't offer any direct comment to CNET about the Bloomberg story, instead sending us the following statement:

Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend the console lifecycle by introducing 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.

Microsoft has yet to spill any details about a next-generation Xbox. But reports from such sources as Xbox World say the 720 will come with a host of new features, including Kinect 2.0, a Blu-ray drive, an enhanced controller, and an A/V port for watching and recording broadcast TV shows.

The Xbox 360 has been a dominant player in the U.S. video game market.

Among all consoles, the Xbox was the top seller in October for the 15th month in a row, according to recent data from NPD. Microsoft sold 270,000 Xbox 360 units last month, winning the company a 56 percent share of all U.S. console sales.

During Black Friday week, Xbox 360 sales reached 750,000 units, outpacing Microsoft's own forecast.

But the company hasn't been immune to the dour video game market.

Monthly Xbox 360 sales have been on the decline, both in the U.S. and globally. For 2012 thus far, Microsoft sold only a bit more than 4 million consoles worldwide.

And the company faces growing competition from another major industry player.

Sony recently announced that as of November 4 it had sold 70 million PlayStation 3 consoles worldwide since the console launched in 2006. Earlier, Microsoft revealed that as of September 30 it had sold 70 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world. The Xbox 360 debuted in 2005, a year before the birth of the PS3.

Updated 12/1 8:10 a.m. PT with response from Microsoft.