The target date for firing up production of its next-generation Xbox chipset came and went on 31 December, SemiAccurate has reported. The chips have allegedly passed the testing phase and are currently being manufactured.
Previous reports had tipped Advanced Micro Devices as the designer of the CPU and a graphics package codenamed Oban to power the next Xbox. IBM is actually rumoured to be providing a Power-based multi-core processor for central processing but AMD is supposed to be supplying custom-built Radeon graphics for the all-important visuals, plus tying the whole package together.
If the speculation proves false yet or if there are delays of "more than a few weeks," SemiAccurate estimates that "will mean no new console in 2013, there just won't be enough time to make them."
Content developers will likely need time to deliver a decent amount of content for the new platform at launch. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy, said as much but also suggested that Microsoft may plan to release the new console sooner than it's purported November time frame.
"The dates depend on exactly when Microsoft would want to launch in volume. If they want to launch in volume for back-to-school, they would need to have new units available in May for a full channel fill and launch by August," explained Moorhead.
"To hit May, they would need to have silicon ready by January. If the new units need to be available by Thanksgiving to hit the holiday cycle, you can push everything out three months and silicon needs to be ready by April," he continued.
"Developers optimally would need units with early silicon now, though, or they would have a very hard time writing a compelling, optimised game for the new platform."
The news comes after Microsoft posted a countdown to this year's E3 which is believed to refer to the expected official unveiling of the Xbox 720. For more on the hotly anticipated console checkout our rumour roundup.