Microsoft is set to make an announcement regarding the next Xbox hardware at trade show CES in January, French website Xboxygen is reporting.

Citing a source "very close" to the company (translation by VG247), the machine, which is alleged to have been in production since 2005, features a hexa-core CPU with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a GPU developed by AMD.

Hexa-core processors are already commercially available, such as the AMD Phenom II X6. The Xbox 360's IBM-developed Xenon processor uses three cores.

Apparently there will not be a "huge announcement" complete with software announcements, but instead the Las Vegas trade show will see "some information on the new console, and some of its capabilities".

A Microsoft division called Loop is handling software development, whereas a team titled Infinity is working on the hardware.

The original Xbox was unveiled by Bill Gates himself at the 2000 Games Developers Conference. Its successor, the Xbox 360, made its debut on MTV in May 2005.

While we have seen plenty of rumours for the next Xbox over the last year - including one from - I find the idea of Microsoft unveiling their next machine without a "huge announcement" pretty unlikely. The Xbox PR team is much too slick to allow anything less than something gigantic, and a muted discussion about hardware capabilities at CES doesn't seem like the kind of announcement Microsoft is aiming for.

Carry on the conversation on the VideoGamer forums!