It seems we barely have a chance to get to know our current consoles before a new one is released, so much potential as yet untapped, so many games that would be created, ah.....se la ve.

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French site xboxgazette.com have posted a rather odd looking fake-concept design of the new console

The grapevine is buzzing ( if a grapevine can buzz ), with a rumour perpetuated by the notorious Spong after they recieved an as yet un-published announcement of EA's next Need for Speed game, NFS: Most Wanted. Crucially though, the announcement spoke of the game's release as that of late 2005, and that the launch would be simultaneous with the shipping of the XBox2 platform.

While it is tempting to scoff, the news is perhaps not so far-fetched. Microsoft want to gain much needed ground on Sony in the console wars, and a sure way of doing this would be to secure the next Christmas period with a new and enticing system before PS3 is even out of the starting gate with its estimated 2006 launch.

Then again, smug industry observers have pointed out that if a late 2005 release was intended surely Bill Gates would have announced it in his otherwise lamentable key-note address at the recent CES conference? That aside, we are only likely to know for sure when the mighty E3 show comes around again this May, which will inform us not only of Microsoft's plans but how Sony plans to match them with the PS3.

Carry on the conversation on the VideoGamer forums!