A couple of job postings on LinkedIn, appears, revealed that Microsoft is gearing up for the next generation Xbox console. The Xbox Console Architecture team appears to be early on in their process:
One position is for a Graphics Architect and the listing states that the job entails, "architecture analysis, key technology selection, architecture specification," implying that the graphics hardware selection process has not yet begun. Since the GPU is one of the main driving forces in a new console, it's probably safe to say that we're in the early conceptual stages of the device.
The job description goes on to say that, "The ideal candidate will have been the lead architect and/or implementation lead of a 3D graphics core. The candidate must have taken designs from investigation to end-customer shipment during their career." One would have to think that this statement severely decreases the qualified applicant pool.
Second position is for a Senior Architect and Performance Engineer and continues to point to the fact that Microsoft is in the early stages of the project with the statement, "involved in product definition from early evaluation all the way through high volume manufacturing."
The job requires pre and post silicon performance and functional validation, as well as the development of performance tools and test suites.