Xbox 720 set for E3 2012
According to a Crytek insider Microsoft was showing off the new machine in video form at the recently concluded E3 2011, with Microsoft again planning to release their new console before Sony.
Speaking to VideoGamer.com, the Crytek mole revealed that development on TimeSplitters 4 is based on Microsoft's existing DirectX 11 technology for the PC and uses a version of CryEngine 3 - which was last used for Crysis 2.
Apparently tessellation, multithreaded rendering, and compute shaders are all planned for the console, which would probably be very exciting if we knew what any of that meant.
A new TimeSplitters has been rumoured a number of times before, ever since Crytek bought creators Free Radical Design and renamed them Crtyek UK. According to these new rumours the new game will feature, 'branching paths and exploratory nature, with sandbox-style gameplay elements a big priority.'
Which doesn't sound much like the TimeSplitters we know and love, but as long as it's more like its inspiration GoldenEye 007 and less like Free Radical's awful Haze we're just happy to have more.
We would advise some caution here though, as it's not the first time Crytek has predicted an imminent reveal of next generation consoles, and it's not clear how much of the prediction is based on wishful thinking and how much on insider knowledge.
That said there seems little question that Microsoft (and Sony) are working on new consoles, with rumours prior to E3 suggesting that some developers already had development kits for the Xbox 720 - or whatever it ends up being called.
A reveal of the new system at E3 2012, or at least a hint as to its existence, has been widely predicted for some time. You might even hear something about it first at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in early March.
As for Crtyek they're already trying to expand their business onto smartphones, tablets and other formats, including the Wii U. Their ultimate goal seems to be to make CryEngine 3 as ubiquitous as the rival Unreal Engine 3 from Epic Games.
Read more: Metro