Next-Gen Consoles Due for 2013-2014 Release Window?

The Los Angeles Times has came up with a juicy rumor on the possible timetable for the release of the successors to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, suggesting that the next generation of consoles is due to hit the market in 2013 and 2014.

The rumor stems from a recent lawsuit involving Activision that revealed details of its publishing agreement with game developer Bungie. According to the 10-year contract, Activision is due to launch a sci-fantasy action shooter dubbed “Destiny” in November 2013 for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox 720. The agreement also claimed that Destiny would be due for release on the next-generation PlayStation in 2014.

Considering that both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are getting long in the tooth – at 7 and 6 years of existence, respectively – the revealed dates could prove to be massively significant. In contrast, previous console generations lasted about 6 years: the Xbox 360 was released when its predecessor was a scant 4 years old, while the PlayStation 3 hit the market 6 years after the PlayStation 2 was released.

Microsoft representatives have denied rumors of any new hardware announcements at this year’s E3 – the usual debut of game consoles. However, the Xbox 360 wasn’t announced at E3, but at a special announcement show on MTV weeks before the gaming expo’s 2005 outing.

Earlier rumors suggest that the next-generation Xbox will be powered by a 16-core PowerPC CPU and a graphics processor in the same class as AMD’s Radeon HD 7000-series graphics cards. A 2013 release date is the most-often cited forecast.

Hopefully, all will be cleared up at next month’s E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles.