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By 15 June 2011 | Categories: news

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While it's obvious that the folks over at Microsoft's (and Sony's) console development departments must be hard at work on the next generation of consoles, not much has been heard from the fabled Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 of late.

Now however, VideoGamer.com is claiming that the next Xbox console is likely to be present at next year's E3, and that Crytek is already developing the title TimeSplitters 4 for the future device. Citing a “high-ranking industry source at Crytek”, developers of games such as Crysis and Far Cry, the site claims that Microsoft will announce the Xbox 360's successor within the next 12 months.

While specifications have not yet been finalised, Microsoft's DirectX 11 is being used as the basis for next-generation development according to the report. DirectX 11 includes advanced tessellation, multithreaded rendering and compute shaders to achieve remarkable graphical imagery.

Crytek's TimeSplitters 4 is currently being built with CryEngine 3, and has already been demonstrated internally as well as privately at E3 2011. According to the source the game shows a remarkable graphical improvement over current generation technology, and Crytek believes that the title as well as CryEngine 3 technology will form a cornerstone of next-generation development.

The first person shooter TimeSplitters 4 was announced back in 2007, but after development issues the project was put on hiatus until Crytek purchased developers Free Radical in 2009.

The source also believes that Microsoft will launch its next console before Sony, as was the case with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (launching in 2005 and 2006 respectively).

If the news is correct it raises a lot of questions, especially since Microsoft revealed Halo 4 at E3 2011 and slated it as an Xbox 360 title. The news hasn't officially been confirmed by Microsoft, although it's a safe bet to say that the next console generation should be with us in a year or two.

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