Microsoft EMEA veep Chris Lewis says the company is already working on its next next-generation console because "we have to".
Preliminary work is already under way, he told UK games site Kikizo.
"You can't sit back on your laurels in this business - the consumer won't let you, the developers certainly won't let us. So that's happening right now," he said.
The research and development practices of the console division are "no different than any other part of Microsoft" though, he insisted.
The news that Microsoft is already working on an Xbox 360 successor won't come as much surprise, mind - having been last to market with its first Xbox, the company was first to market in the next generation.
"You'll see more over time - certainly we're not talking about the next version yet," Lewis added, continuing to not talk about it, "so give us a chance to catch a breath, will you?"
Coming soon, presumably: "Nintendo going for another Wii. 'You can only hold it for so long,' a spokesperson commented as he dashed past."