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.