Microsoft is neck-deep in the development of its next Xbox console and a updated Xbox Live service to boot. The beans were well and truly spilled when a job advert popped up on job seeker website Games on Deck.

“Want to be involved in the next release of Xbox? Join the server-backed games team, part of the Xbox Live team that's responsible for creating a completely new way for mainstream audiences to enjoy the Xbox and Live,” says the ad.

“We're building the games, the console interface and logic, and the server support for a totally new Live experience. Both the games and the dashboard experience will be deeply paired with dynamic server support to create a compelling, fresh scenario each time. We're a small, entrepreneurial team working together to get things done very quickly in an agile environment. If you want to work in a space where you'll get all the responsibility you can swallow, and run as fast as you can, this team is for you,” it says.

Xbox Live evolution

While the news will no-doubt excite Xbox gamers looking for something more, it’s not really much of a surprise to hear of Microsoft’s development plans. Of course it’s working on the next Xbox console. And of course it’s going to further improve its Xbox Live network – to not do so would be to let Sony back into the fight.

So what kind of specification will the new Xbox have? Speculation is that it’ll have a minimum of eight processing cores, maybe even as many as sixteen or even thirty-two. That’s a lot of processing power.

As for the evolution of Xbox Live – who knows what the future will bring. It’s certainly a key selling point for the 360 over the PS3 so a strong offering for future consoles will be seen as an absolute must.

We spoke to Microsoft about this story this morning and extracted a fairly predictable, “no comment.” It did, however, confirm that there will be no announcements regarding this at GDC.