With Microsoft having announced this year's Consumer Electronics Show will be its last as an exhibitor, speculation mounts regarding the Xbox successor's supposed tablet-based capabilities and media recording functions.
GameSpot, citing the current Xbox 360's latest software update that mirrors the Windows Phone and PC operating system style, suggests that "a tablet component figures heavily" in the next Xbox home console.
That follows a similar move from Nintendo, whose Wii U is to use a tablet-style controller -- the difference being that Microsoft could allow a variety of Windows Phones and tablets to work with the "Xbox 720," whereas Nintendo's Wii U would come with a proprietory controller and potential support for the 3DS.
Another widely circulated rumor indicates that the next Xbox may incorporate a digital video recorder, thanks to a 2007 patent filing that was granted at the turn of the year.
Sony's PlayStation 3 has a DVR add-on, PlayTV (known as Torne in Japan), but a new Xbox at CES would put pressure on Sony to acknowledge plans for a PlayStation 4, even as it builds buzz for the handheld Vita's February release in North America and Europe.
Both companies introduced optional gesture controls in 2010 following the mainstream success of the Nintendo Wii.