TimeSplitters 4, Xbox 360 successor unveil due by E3 2012?

Crytek development source reportedly indicates studio prepping FPS series for Microsoft's DirectX 11-enabled next-gen console.

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Source: UK gaming news site VideoGamer.com.

What we heard: Nintendo discharged the opening salvo in the next-generation console wars last week, taking the lid off of the Wii U and its tablet controller. As eyes now turn to see how Microsoft and Sony will respond, recent rumors suggest a reveal for the next Xbox will come within the next year.

VideoGamer.com is reporting today that Microsoft will "likely" announce the Xbox 360's successor at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, which is scheduled to return to LA from June 5-7. The information reportedly comes by way of a high-ranking industry source at Crytek, who also said that the new Xbox will feature DirectX 11 integration. Core components of this technology include tessellation, multithreaded rendering, and compute shaders.

The TimeSplitters franchise has a thing for monkeys.
The TimeSplitters franchise has a thing for monkeys.

The development source is reportedly well abreast of Microsoft's development plans due to Crytek's intention to ship TimeSplitters 4 for the new console. The Crytek developer said that the game will have a heavy emphasis on "the series' branching paths and exploratory nature," and it will also feature sandbox-style gameplay. TimeSplitters 4 is already up and running using the studio's proprietary CryEngine 3, the source noted.

The TimeSplitters IP has been at Crytek since 2009, when the German developer purchased franchise creator Free Radical and all its assets after that studio folded. Free Radical--now known as Crytek UK--had been at work on TimeSplitters 4 since 2007, when it announced the game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii.

The official story: Microsoft had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment as of press time. Crytek declined to comment on the matter.

Bogus or not bogus: Not enough to say. The days of the five-year console cycle are clearly over, and Microsoft has momentum with the Xbox 360 into its sixth year of availability. As such, the publisher probably isn't keen on instigating a new generation of hardware.

It's also worth noting that these types of rumors are anything but reliable. After all, just last month, Develop's "senior, trusted, well-placed source" said that the Xbox 360 successor would "likely" be on hand at E3 2011.

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