We'd be careful about putting too much stock into an admittedly far off rumor, but the gang at 1UP
claim they've heard from those in the know
that Microsoft's set to release a new Xbox console in Fall 2010, and that current media darling Project Natal
is "the cornerstone" of that evolution. Specs-wise, it's suggested we're looking at only a marginal boost analogous to Nintendo's GameCube-to-Wii transition -- place your bets on how long it'll take to "max out"
this time -- as well as a rebranding (Xbox Natal, anyone?) aimed at attracting the highly coveted, more mainstream / casual audience, before Mario and the crew catch a second wind with the oft-rumored Wii HD
. There's nothing unbelievable about these whispers, but again, Fall 2010 is quite a ways off and anything can happen in the meantime. First unveiling will allegedly be the 2010 Game Developers Conference in early March, so your best bet for now is to hold tight and keep a close eye on who gets a primetime slot among that event's keynote speeches.