2006 will see the release of Xbox 2, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed yesterday in an interview with Japanese journalists.
According to a report on Nikkei Net, Ballmer acknowledged that sales in Japan have been sluggish, but that Microsoft would stick to its long term goal in the region. Strangely, the Nikkei report only bothers to mention in the third paragraph that a next generation model of the Xbox will be introduced at some stage in 2006 to try and turn the situation around. It's not like it's news or anything.
The report fails to clarify whether 2006 is specific to Japan, or whether the machine would be release elsewhere beforehand, but did mention that Ballmer denied the ongoing rumour regarding investment in Sega Corp, adding that "he did not believe such an investment would take place".