Stories are hitting the web today commenting on the possibility of the Xbox 720 coming out by next year's E3. John Carmack of iD fame, talks about next-gen consoles having 10x the compute power of current generation Xbox 360s and PS3s http://bit.ly/lAJJvb. The original news was broken by Website Videogamers.com when Crytek revealed that the CryEngine 3 was being used on TimeSplitters 4 and that the engine would also debut on the Xbox 720 during E3 2012. Crytek knows a thing or two about this new console as they are already working with a Microsoft development platform http://bit.ly/katn50.
If Microsoft really follows through, this could just be the single worst thing that could happen to both Sony and Nintendo. Sony's next console, the PS4, is nowhere to be seen as they continue to talk about their 10 year PS3 life-cycle. Nintendo looks to be ready to launch their Wii U during the next E3 show, but with Microsoft eclipsing them in the hardcore gamer segment, it's already old news before it comes out.
If what Carmack says about the processing power of next-gen consoles holds true, the Wii U is already looking like dated technology before it's even released. Given the vastly different requirements to develop for the next generation of consoles, both Sony and Nintendo could be in trouble as Microsoft takes an early lead with the hearts and minds of gamers and developers alike.