Microsoft might be launching the next Xbox within the next year and a half.
The software giant last night posted a job listing on its Web site seeking a marketing professional. In that posting -- which now appears to be taken down -- the company said that "over the next 18 months, Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox, along with completely new offerings like Microsoft Surface."
Rumors have been swirling for years that Microsoft would launch its next Xbox -- sometimes called the Xbox 720 by the rumor mill -- in 2013 or 2014. Microsoft's posting doesn't indicate which year it'll launch the device -- within 18 months from now can extend into the beginning of 2014, after all -- but it does seem to acknowledge that the wait will soon be over.
That said, it's entirely possible that consumers won't need to wait until 2014 for the next Xbox. If Microsoft releases the next Xbox at the end of its given timespan, it would mean the device would launch in January or February -- not exactly the best shopping season. Prior to next year's holiday shopping season, however, might work a bit better.
Back in June, a leaked 56-page confidential Microsoft Powerpoint file surfaced on the Web purporting to show the software giant's plans for the future of its console business. In that document, which was swiftly wiped from the Web by Microsoft's lawyers, the company indicated that the next Xbox would launch around the 2013 holiday season for $299.
That leak followed a host of reports that have surfaced over the last several months indicating that Microsoft would launch the Xbox 720 next year.
Microsoft isn't the only company thinking seriously about launching a new console. Nintendo is currently planning to launch its next console, the Wii U, later this year. Sony is reportedly considering launching a new PlayStation later next year or in 2014.
So far, both Microsoft and Sony have stayed tight-lipped on their future console plans, and even with the job posting indicating a launch timeframe, all information surrounding those plans should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.
"Microsoft is always looking for talented people to innovate now and in the future," a company spokesperson said today in a statement. "We don't have any further comment on this or any other job posting."
Update 10:12 a.m. PT to include Microsoft's statement.