Nintendo has already said that it'll be announcing its next console this summer, but both Microsoft and Sony claim to be far off from making any such announcement. But at least in Microsoft's case, they may be closer to unveiling a new console than they're letting on. (Updated with new information from Electronic Arts.)
Apparently, developers at EA have received very early developer debug consoles for the next-gen Xbox from Microsoft. Now these are far from complete — apparently, the guts are in PC cases rather than a plastic console — but it means that Microsoft is pretty much done deciding what the inside of the console will contain. While they work out the rest of the details, giving this early version to devs will allow them to get started on launch titles for the console.
Rumor has it that we'll see this new Microsoft console by the end of next year. Could it be? It makes a good amount of sense, timeline-wise, but we'll see if and when Microsoft announces it.
Update: Well, that didn't take long — EA is calling this 100% bogus. It's pretty safe to bet Microsoft has something in the works, but we're most likely not going to get a peek at it anytime soon.