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Microsoft takes over Xbox 8, XboxPhone & XboxTablet URLs from Chinese Cybersquatter

Microsoft has said that 2012 is "all about" the Xbox 360, but that hasn't stopped the rampant speculation about the company's next-gen gaming console.

The latest Xbox-related mystery is Microsoft's effort to gain ownership of domain names for Xbox 8. As noted by, the National Arbitration Forum gave Redmond control over and, which were being held hostage by a Chinese cybersquatter.

Before your conspiracy theories run amok, the deal also involved the transfer of,,, and

Still, what does it all mean? pointed to the fact that turning an eight on its side produces the infinity symbol. Is an Xbox Infinity in the works? MSNBC also said next year is the Xbox's eighth birthday.

A more likely scenario is some sort of tie-in with the upcoming release of Microsoft's Windows 8. In September, Microsoft confirmed that Xbox Live will be coming to its revamped Windows 8 operating system.

Of course, Microsoft could just be protecting its trademarks and has no actual plans for a product known as Xbox 8. Companies often buy up URLs that are related to (and sometimes critical of) its products in order to ensure that they have control rather than a rival or money-hungry cybersquatter. Apple, for example, recently secured the rights to

According to documents leaked online last month, Microsoft has named its next-generation game console the Xbox 720, and is stuffing it with major hardware and software upgrades ahead of a 2013 holiday release.