Microsoft has posted a number of job listings on LinkedIn, sparking speculation that the company is already well under way with the development of the successor to the Xbox 360.

The next-gen Xbox job listingson Linkedin include a 'hardware verification engineer', a 'VLSI graphics architect' and a 'VLSI performance architect' for work on what could well turn out to be the next Xbox console, whatever that machine ends up being called.

Dynamic Xbox engineering

"Come join a dynamic engineering team and play a key role in the development and verification of the Xbox and future platforms," reads the engineer listing.

The Microsoft Xbox job listing continues: "We are looking for an experienced Senior Hardware Design/Verification Engineer. You will be responsible for the design verification and qualification of the Xbox console at the component, motherboard, and system levels. You will lead test strategy discussions, develop test methodologies & plans and project-manage qualification cycles."

Elsewhere, if you fancy yourself as a graphics architect, Microsoft notes: "The Xbox Console Architecture team is hiring for a Graphics hardware architect position. The team is responsible for defining and delivering next generation console architectures from conception through implementation."

The original Xbox 360 launched back at the tail-end of 2005, with many industry analyst suggesting that a new Xbox console is sure to be announced by Microsoft at some point soon.

However, these job listings suggest that it is early days. So don't hold your breath for an Xbox 720 announcement at E3 2011 this coming June!

Via Beyond 3D Forum and LinkedIn