Halo 4 Special Edition Xbox 360 Could Mean 2013-14 Release for Xbox 720
If the crystal ball is correct, the Xbox 720, or whatever the next-gen console will be called, might not be coming for quite a while - despite the many rumors we've heard.
According to the most recent issue of Official Xbox Magazine, the next special edition Xbox 360 will be for upcoming game Halo 4.
The Cyrstal ball reads, "The next special-edition Xbox 360? That's easy, according to The Ball: Halo 4."
Halo 4 was announced at E3 2011, but has a tentative release date in Q4 2012, most likely around the holiday season. I'd expect a similar launch date to Halo: Combat Evolved which released November 15th this year.
If the crystal ball is correct, this could debunk any rumors we've previously heard about the Xbox 720 - as far as release date is concerned. This doesn't exactly mean Microsoft still won't make some form of announcement at CES 2012 or E3 2012, but as far as an actual release date for a new console, it doesn't look like we'll see a new one any time soon - or at least in 2012. My guess is maybe the 2013 holiday season at the earliest, possibly pushing into 2014.
Given the popularity of the Halo franchise on Xbox, it's easy to see why they would release a custom-themed limited edition Xbox 360 around the game. Unfortunately, this also means they won't release a competing next-gen Xbox around that time. It would make no sense for Microsoft to release a special edition 360 anytime near the launch of the next Xbox.
With a Holiday 2012 release date for Halo 4, this could technically give Microsoft adequate time to hype the new console. Some rumors did hint that Microsoft could unveil the Xbox 720 at E3 2013, which would give them adequate time to prepare for a new console launch by the holidays 2013.
As of right now though, it's all speculation.