Trending: Microsoft opens mysterious office in small town a ferry ride away from Seattle

It’s a no-brainer that Microsoft’s next Xbox console, whenever it’s released and whatever it’s called, will offer some form of Skype functionality for making video calls in the living room. It’s a killer combo, especially when combined with the Kinect sensor, as we’ve been pointing out since the rumors first surfaced about Microsoft’s $8.5 billion Skype acquisition.

But a newly surfaced job posting signals that the Skype integration will go significantly further than that.

It reads, in part, “Skype is working on powering real-time voice and video communications on the Xbox. Xbox is a fundamental lynchpin of Skype’s living-room strategy, and we are focused on enabling amazing new in-game and in-console voice and video experiences for the next generation of Xbox. This is a crucial initiative for Xbox, and it is time-critical given the hardware lead times involved.”

Microsoft hasn’t given an official release date for the next-generation Xbox, but documents uncovered this past week by the L.A. Times in an unrelated lawsuit over Activision’s Call of Duty franchise suggest that it could be as early as the fall of 2013, based on the timing of a new (non-Halo) game from Bungie.

Skype offers a video-calling app for Sony’s PlayStation Vita but not for Sony’s PlayStation 3 console or Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

Job posting via This is Xbox and Slashgear.

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