E3 2012 was too soon for the new Xbox's grand unveiling. Photo: AFP/Robyn Beck
A perfectly normal discussion about the merits of Hotmail's relaunched service contained the first public confirmation that a new Xbox is on the way.
Speaking on the The Verge's August 3 podcast, General Manager Brian Hall said that Hotmail's transition into Outlook.com came "right in time for the new wave of products that we have coming out, with Windows 8, with the new version of Office, with the new Windows Phone and the new Xbox."
Though it's not the grand unveiling that Microsoft is undoubtedly working towards, the accidental confirmation - picked up on by game and tech blog WeGotLife -- shows that the next Xbox is an everyday reality for the Redmond, Washington, company.
The console's codename had previously been outed as Durango, with Microsoft priming third-party developers early in 2012, and it's expected to launch late 2013.
Of the other products mentioned by Hall, Windows 8 has its official release on October 26, 2012, Windows Phone 8 has been rumored for launch on selected devices as early as October or November 2012, and Microsoft's Office 2013 suite of applications should arrive in the first half of 2013.
The PlayStation 4 console, also currently known by the name Orbis, is thought to be on track for announcement the same year; Nintendo's Wii U is due late 2012, PC-powered virtual reality headset Oculus Rift has December 2012 targeted, and the Android-powered cube Ouya is scheduled for March 2013.