The Xbox 360 is six years old and has surpassed its initial expected lifecycle. Online capabilities with frequent operation system updates, newer hardware models and the advent of Kinect motion controls all combined with an insane amount of growth in major video game releases have helped extend Microsoft’s current-gen home console’s life.

Because of this, for a good two years now, rumors and speculation continue to surface about the Xbox 360 successor. We’ve heard about Microsoft hiring for next-gen developmentdev kits being in the hand of major publishers to allow them to being development on next-gen titles, we expect that the console will be unveiled at next year’s E3 and we heard the Xbox 720 may launch toward the end of 2013. The latest rumor points to an even earlier reveal.

Xboxygen is claiming that they have an inside source who is clarifying some of the latest Xbox 720 rumors while also adding a few new ones to the mix. We previously heard a pair of codenames for the next console, “Xbox Next” and “Xbox Loop” but as it turns out, Loop may be the name for one of the development teams/projects.

Xboxygen explains that the Xbox 720 has been in development since 2005 – when the Xbox 360 debuted – and that Loop is handling the software side while “Infinity” is handling the hardware side. They continue, stating that the source also reveals that the unit will make use of a hex-core CPU with 2GB of DDR3 RAM.

The biggest and most interesting information drop is that Microsoft may unveil the hardware capabilities of the Xbox 360 successor at CES 2012, which happens in just two months. CES begins January 12 in Vegas so if that turns out to be true, our theory of Microsoft bringing the new console to E3 2012 is a sure thing, instead of the later 2013 reveal which some recent rumors have indicated.

Is this too soon though? With talk of the Xbox 360 lifecycle being much longer and confirmation of Halo 4 coming to the Xbox 360 (and not it’s successor), does Microsoft need to reveal it as soon as January? Perhaps those rumors of Sony working to bring the PlayStation 4 before Microsoft comes out with the Xbox 720 have changed their strategy.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Xboxygen (via VG247)

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