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Xbox 720: Microsoft to launch "new version of Xbox" within 18 months

A new console, or a new Xbox service?

As Microsoft attempts to smooth over talk of a "new Xbox" from one of its own executives, a job posting has seemingly revealed that the firm's next console will launch no later than early 2014.

"Over the next eighteen 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," reads the blurb.

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"This wave of product launches will define the course of the company for years to come and thus provides an unprecedented opportunity for us to refresh and evolve our strategic brands," it adds.

Earlier this week, Xbox Live general manager Brian Hall dropped the "new Xbox" bomb in an interview with The Verge (via CVG). "We've operated Hotmail for about 16 years," he said. "We obviously have Exchange and Outlook that people use at work, and we just decided it was time to do something new and bring the best from each of those and put them together and release it right in time for the new wave of products that we have coming out with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the New Windows Phone and the new Xbox."

Microsoft later insisted that the remarks were "not understood in their intended context", and that Hall was actually referring to new Xbox services like Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Music. This seems plausible. But then again, so does a winter 2013 Xbox 720 release date.

On Tuesday, Eurogamer.cz added weight to the idea by rumouring that 2K's unannounced Mafia 3 is a next gen game, scheduled for very early 2014 at the latest. What's your take?

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