Xbox 720 Release Date: Game Developer Epic May Have Influenced Development

Video game developer Epic Games may have influenced the ongoing development of Microsoft's next gaming console, the Xbox 720.

Develop spoke to Epic Games company president Mike Capps about Microsoft's next console.

Developer asked Capps if his company wanted to "engage with the console manufacturers before their new systems come out."

Capps went on to say, "That's absolutely our plan."

Capps also said, "I can't say much more than that. Okay, let's say, a year ago that was our plan, and I can't tell you whether we've done it or not yet."

Capps wants Epic Games' video game design engine, the Unreal Engine, to be fully compatible with the Xbox 720 from day one.

"I want Unreal Engine 4 to be ready far earlier than UE3 was; not a year after the consoles are released. I think a year from a console's launch is perfectly fine for releasing a game, but not for releasing new tech," said Capps. "We need to be there day one or very early. That's my primary focus."

"For us as a game-maker, we aren't keen on shipping games day one because there's not much of an install-base, or at least not one as big as it's going to be. But with engines, that's a different story. We want to deliver our tech as early as possible even though our first big marquee game might not be on there for twelve or even twenty-four months from a console's launch."

Several insiders and analysts within the video game industry say that Microsoft is working towards a 2013 launch of the next generation Xbox.

Several sources have noted that they expect the console to make its grand debut at E3 2013, months before its official release. These rumors point to a 2013 launch for the system across all main regions, though early 2014 remains a possibility.

A few circulating reports even point to game developer Electronic Arts and one its studios already having rudimentary Xbox console technology on desks.

Microsoft hasn't offered any news on its rumored Xbox 720 console so far.