The next generation of gaming is approaching fast, and with one major console already announced, Microsoft fans have so far been left in the cold. The past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of interesting rumors pop up about the next Xbox console, and while none of these have been officially confirmed, they come from well-respected sources.

Always Online, So “Deal With It”

The news that Microsoft’s new gaming console would have an always-online architecture caused quite a bit of outrage among gamers. While the rumor was never officially confirmed, several Twitter posts made by an employee of the company suggested that Xbox users can just “deal with it,” and that it’s time to get with the program and get internet. Of course, these statements validated the always-online-DRM rumor, but they also managed to cause thousands of fans to shun Microsoft, ending with the¬†aforementioned¬†employee’s “voluntary” resignation. This will no doubt have an impact on sales of the system, especially when the PlayStation 4 has been confirmed to not require an internet connection to play games.

No Backwards Compatibility

Backwards compatibility seems to be a common topic discussed at the launch of every new generation, and according to some of the latest Microsoft rumors, Xbox 720 will not be able to play Xbox 360 games. Instead, Microsoft is reportedly building a new $99 Xbox 360 unit that will launch sometime around the release of their new console. Unfortunately, this means that those looking to trade their old console for a new one will still have to purchase an additional piece of hardware to play their old games.

Full Reveal in May, Launching in October

As of now, there have been no details about the physical console; no system specs, no potential design mock-ups, no announcements whatsoever. However, it looks like we’ll finally be hearing about Xbox 720 in May, as many tech-blogs have been reporting that Microsoft will be holding an official reveal event sometime during the middle of the month. Again, this rumor has neither been confirmed nor denied, but with E3 only two months away, it is more than likely to happen. Usually, next-generation consoles are revealed shortly before the big E3 event to create some hype before each company’s press conference at the convention, where full details on features and games are uncovered. It is a bit surprising that Microsoft has waited this long to announce their new device.

Microsoft Illumiroom in Every Box

This is a rumor that we haven’t heard much about lately, but when Microsoft’s Illumiroom device was presented at the most recent Consumer Electronics Show, rumors started flooding in that one would be included with each Xbox 720. The device uses similar technology to that of the Kinect, but features a projector that projects game effects on the walls of the player’s room. It was an impressive presentation, and such a device could be exactly what Microsoft needs to create a unique gaming experience. If we don’t see it during the official reveal, then we are sure to get more information at E3.

Almost nothing is known about Microsoft’s next-generation console, but hopefully the official announcement does arrive sometime over the next month. ScienceFiction.com will have more updates as they come, as well as full coverage of the big reveal — whenever it happens.