With reports proliferating that Microsoft and Toshiba have teamed up to develop an "Entertainment Xbox" with an internal HD DVD hard drive, Microsoft isn't commenting.
Although the PC giant has squashed similar rumors in the past, they've resurfaced several times over the last year and a half.
The latest round stems from remarks attributed to an unnamed senior Toshiba executive in Australia, who told Aussie tech site Smarthouse that "An Xbox with a built in HD DVD drive is critical. (Microsoft) and we are working on it. It also has to be more than a gaming machine. Microsoft recognise(s) this. A version of the device may also be sold under the Toshiba brand name."
Smarthouse goes on to state that the new device is planned for release in 2008 or at the 2009 CES show in Las Vegas.
Given the reported timing and the vagaries of the high-def format war, it's no surprise Microsoft isn't commenting. But the prospect of an HD DVD-enabled game console that would go head-to-head with Sony's PS3 certainly has early adopters talking.