Next Xbox and PlayStation for 2012 release

Microsoft and Sony could bring out new consoles next year, according to a report.

The Edge story cites anonymous sources at Ubisoft and Electronic Arts which claim that the studios have already received “target boxes” – custom PCs to indicate the rough specifications of the new system – from Microsoft for development.

According to the source, the first iteration of genuine development kits is expected to ship to studios before Christmas this year.

A separate anonymous source claims that an unnamed Sony-owned studio has stopped all PlayStation 3 game development, shifting focus to Sony’s next system. 

The Edge report claims these developments, along with the imminent launch of Wii U next year, indicate that both Microsoft and Sony will release new hardware in 2012. However, that may be a rushed timeline. 

A 2012 launch would mean studios only have one year to learn and develop games for the new systems, less than the average development time for games on current hardware.

A recent report indicated that Microsoft’s next system is codenamed Loop.

Last month, rumours surfaced that suggested a 2013 launch for Microsoft’s next system, while another analyst predicted that neither company would have a new system before 2014.