While gamers are already starting to look to the 'next gen' of gaming – and proper virtual 3D gaming and TV being one of THE hot topics at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas – Microsoft has taken the opportunity to say it is NOT working on the next Xbox right now, but is concentrating on improving the Xbox 360 experience.

Microsoft boss Robbie Bach, the company's President of Entertainment and Devices, told the San Jose Mercury News: "Just coming up with something that's faster and prettier isn't going to be sufficient."

"The life cycle for this generation of consoles - and I'm not just talking about Xbox, I'd include Wii and PS3 as well - is probably going to be a little longer than previous generations," Bach added.

Credit crunch stifling

The Microsoft man also made the connection with the credit crunch, noting that consumers are going to be reticent to make large investments in new hardware for the foreseeable future.

"When you look at consumers, they are going to be more value-conscious," he said Bach.

Sony is sticking to its guns, re-iterating at every given PR opportunity the 'ten year life-cycle' line when promoting its PlayStation 3 console.