Did Microsoft Just Announce the Next Xbox with a Countdown? Probably.

Did Microsoft just announce the next Xbox for E3 2013 with a countdown? Place your bets.

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Larry Hryb

Go countdowns, saving marketing departments untold piles of cash! Microsoft’s Larry Hryb, colloquially known by his Xbox LIVE handle “Major Nelson,” just threw one up on his blog, and it’s causing precisely the sort of speculative stir the company doubtless intended.

“And it’s on…” reads the ultra-austere post, followed by a simple Flash-based timer titled “Counting down to E3 2013″ (cribbed from a generic countdown-building site).

“O rly?” as a certain memetic predator might say.

I won’t speculate past the probability of the new console itself — everything I’ve noticed about specs and pricing amounts to echo chamber gossip. If you’d rather just goof around, hop on over to NeoGAF, where gamers go mostly to make fun of each other (and everything between), and you’ll find a rollicking thread full of cracks, quips, the usual goofy/creepy animated GIFs and occasional chants of “Let’s go, Durango” (“Durango” is supposedly what the next Xbox’s development kits are codenamed).

Could the countdown be to anything but the next Xbox? At this point, much as I’d like to see Microsoft wait another year or two before introducing new hardware to give developers more time to do amazing things with the Xbox 360’s more than competent internals, and as gimmicky as countdowns are, this one’s punchline feels inexorable.

Besides, imagine the disappointment in five months if it turned out to be simply a new franchise, the next Halo or heaven forbid, a standalone “Kinect 2.”