With all the rumors going around, it’s hard to differentiate the fact from the fiction. However, a new rumor suggests that after Microsoft forked out a staggering $8.5 billion to acquire Skype, they're now looking for a healthy return, by tasking Skype with taking over the voice chat for the next gen console.

Being only a few months away from any official announcement, it comes to no surprise that rumors of the next-gen console (Xbox 720, or whatever you wish to call it...) are flying around at an alarming pace.

Anonymous sources at Microsoft claim that in the near future the company will be “consolidating all [its] communications technology” around Skype. “You might jump to the conclusion that we’ll see asynchronous voice and video messages in next-gen Xbox Live,” the source said. In August of 2012, Microsoft started searching for a designer to work on the user interface of its next console. The location of this position: Microsoft’s Skype offices. Here's what the ad said: “The team you’ll join is responsible for Skype in the living room (broadly the home), across various devices but with a focus on the large screen and the next generation of Xbox”.

Skype has generally been a pretty flawless program on PC. However, concerns are rising that with this Xbox integration, Microsoft may not give Skype the freedom it needs to be a truly unique voice chat system. Having Skype on the Xbox may just not be enough. Perhaps Microsoft will introduce the ability to ring normal landline and cellular phones from the comfort of your headset and controller. Only time will tell.

Do you think Voice Chat will be replaced by Skype?