Xbox 360 will be around for a while yet, according to Microsoft Game Studios frontman Phil Spencer.
"Microsoft entered this space with the original Xbox 11 years ago, and we're committed for the long-term," he told GameSpot at E3 this week. "The nice thing about the Xbox 360 right now is - if you look - we're the number one console globally. We're able to bring in new content and still support the best of the core games."
"It's a platform that has really reached scale; this is the time when you really see the great content showing up. The future in a lot of ways is always tomorrow: [things like] the SmartGlass technology and Windows 8 [show that] things are going to constantly evolve.
"The world where everything gets centered around one console and when that comes out - we kind of have to evolve away from just thinking about that, with the service-based nature of games today."
"Right now the Xbox 360 is really healthy and it's doing incredibly well," he concluded. "I think the 360 has a lot more than two years [left]. It has legs for a long time."
Provocative stuff. Before anybody cries havoc, this doesn't mean Xbox 720 will launch no earlier than 2015. It's entirely possible - indeed, probable - that the manufacturer will support Xbox 360 alongside its inevitable successor, selling the latter to fans of cutting edge gaming, the former to those who just want a cheap, cheerful box to play Kinect and XBLA titles on.
Last year, Digital Foundry put out a report claiming that Microsoft would release two "next gen" consoles - a pared-down "set-top box" for digital content and motion-sensitive gaming, and a "fully-featured" monster. Ruminate as you please.