The next Xbox will launch late in 2012, that's according to an Edge report. The publication has heard from a source that Ubisoft Montreal is working on "target boxes" built to represent the specifications of the next Xbox.

Ubisoft's teams are working to specifications provided by Microsoft, and Edge understands that other major developers such as EA are also in possession of the so called "target boxes". It's believed that AMD is providing a bespoke GPU for the new console.

The first genuine devkits, housing custom hardware, are expected to reach Ubisoft Montreal before Christmas, with signs pointing to a platform launch late in 2012.

Ubisoft has refused to comment.

It's not only Microsoft which is transitioning to new hardware, with Sony too believed to be on the cusp of new technology. Edge adds that a major Sony-owned studio has stopped PlayStation 3 development and shifted all its focus to its successor. The studio is also believed to have been heavily involved in the development of graphics tech for the console.

There's lots of next-gen rumours flying around at the moment, but we'd love this one to be true. With PS Vita, Wii U and the next Xbox launching in 2012, we'd have a lot of exciting new toys to play with.

Furthermore, a 2012 launch for the next Xbox would surely be a major blow for Nintendo which could have anticipated the Wii U to enjoy a longer period on the market without being challenged.