With Nintendo being first to market with their next gen Wii U console and Sony gearing up for their fall 2013 launch of the PlayStation 4, all eyes are now on Microsoft to see what they have in store for the next generation of the Xbox console.

Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, it’s long been accepted as fact that the “Xbox 720” is on the way and it’s now a question of “when” rather than “if.” While the prospect of a new gaming console is always exciting, the rumors circulating have led to widespread debate and some fan derision. Chief among these concerns is the possibility of the next Xbox requiring a constant internet connection to play games, a rumor that was exacerbated by PR nightmare created by Adam Orth’s comments on Twitter that lent it some credibility. Regardless, nothing will be known for sure until the system is officially announced. If the gaming media at large is to be believed, we may not be waiting for much longer.

According to several media outlets (What the Tech, The Verge, and CVG) May 21, 2013 is when the world is likely to get their fist look at the new Xbox console. Dubbed simply an “Xbox event” that Microsoft had originally planned for late April, it has been pushed back until May and analysts believe this to be the point where the Xbox 720 (codenamed “Durango”) will be announced. What the announcement could entail is anyone’s guess, however some speculate this event will be a “teaser” of sorts and that a bigger unveiling is being saved for E3 2013. This information has been provided to media outlets by unnamed sources who are reportedly in the know about Microsoft’s plans, though nothing has been officially confirmed and these rumors should be regarded as just that – rumors. Sometimes they turn out to be dead-on accurate, while just as many turn out to be duds.

While it’s difficult to take speculative information too seriously, the timing seems right for Microsoft to throw their hat into the “next gen” arena. Sony and Nintendo have already made their moves, which leaves Microsoft as the last one out of the gate. Given the recent controversy and rabid fan backlash over the “Always Online” requirement, the timing would also be perfect to assuage those concerns. The well-publicized difficulties with Diablo III and SimCity point to such a requirement being a bad move, so hopefully Microsoft has taken consumer feedback to heart and learned from the mistakes of others. Either way, we’ll know once May 21 rolls around if these rumors are correct.

We have reached out to Microsoft PR for comment and we will update this story as further details become available.

Update: In response to our inquiry, a Microsoft Spokesperson has told us this:

“We do not comment on rumors or speculation. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don’t have anything further to share at this time.”