We've been hearing bits and pieces about Microsoft's alleged Xbox successor, codenamed Durango, since March of last year. Now we have another scrap to add — it's been reported that a company working for Microsoft has already started assembling the hardware for its next-generation console.
According to IGN, a source has informed it that a company called Flextronics, based in Texas in the US, has "started building the hardware" after conducting "comprehensive marketing, software and hardware tests". It notes that Flextronics is also responsible for constructing the first and current Xbox.
IGN speculates the units might just be development kits, rather than retail units, though the point is not clarified.
When IGN queried MS about the rumour, the company's PR took the opportunity to fluff on about Kinect, but otherwise provided that standard no comment, while Flextronics simply ignored the outlet. Microsoft's made it clear that it will not debut a new console at E3, so a guess that they're dev units could be accurate.
As always, rumour, grain, salt. Truth or not, we won't have definite news on Durango until MS is ready to start its marketing push.