By Keerthi Chandrashekar / ( | First Posted: Dec 30, 2012 09:19 AM EST

(Photo : Xbox World)

Microsoft is widely expected to release the next generation Xbox console by the end of 2013, but reports are indicating that won't be the only gaming device the Windows maker could be launching next year. From the looks of it, Microsoft is looking to create its own self-contained gaming ecosystem, complete with a tablet and a phone that would coexist with the Xbox 720.

In a recent interview with Hip Hop Gamer at Spike TV's Video Game Awards, legendary game creator Hideo Kojima stressed that a next-gen console has to promote connectivity in order to be successful. 

"Well I really feel that there needs to be a lot of interconnectivity,just with other devices and anything out there. So then whether it's media, music, all that, it's all connected with that console so we could do it over cell phones and tablets. All that interconnected in one place, as one media," Kojima said. 

He just might get his wish, as a report from TheVerge surfaced in early November confirming that Microsoft is making a 7-inch tablet dubbed the Xbox Surface. The tablet will utilize "custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM," according to TheVerge, and run on a custom Windows kernel.

Another report from DigiTimes revealed that Foxconn has received orders from Microsoft to produce a Windows 8 Microsoft-branded smartphone to ship by mid-2013. Some rumors are flying that Microsoft is also interested in creating a smartphone geared towards gamers. 

If all goes well for Microsoft, gamers will have a tablet, smartphone, and a dedicated home console to immerse themselves in as early as the 2013 holiday season. Don't expect the graphics capability of the console to translate to the tablet or smartphone, but the connectivity among them should allow gamers to utilize different screens for different tasks, and also take their sessions on the go. 

Would you buy into an Xbox ecosystem, complete with a tablet and phone?

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