Microsoft is designing an 'Xbox 720' gaming console to succeed its Xbox 360. Surprised?

Sometimes it's what a company say it's not doing that grabs your head and twists it around.

Case in point, Blizzard veep of game design Rob Pardo is flatly denying rumours the company's been rapping with Microsoft about a hypothetical Xbox 360 successor (unimaginatively dubbed 'Xbox 720' by the mathematically literalist media).

Pardo reportedly told folks at GDC that Blizzard was talking with Microsoft about its next-gen games console. And then he told GameSpot he wasn't.

It's no secret high level execs yak about this stuff behind hermetically sealed walls and chambers, probably carrying around microscopic explosives that could blow open their carotid arteries if they squeal. Occasionally something leaks anyway (or appears to) then bangs around the blogosphere with exaggerated gravitas.

With the Xbox 360 over three years old, it's as likely as not that Microsoft's already broached the subject of its Xbox 360 follow-up act (in one form or another) with whoever it's dubbed worthy. But that's about as prescient on my part as suggesting Toyota is currently rendering concept sketches of its 2012-2013 midsize lineup.

And besides...

Who cares?

Matt Peckham writes for PC World, and you can follow him at