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Report: Xbox 720 and PS4 to be Revealed Early as Sony Exec Drops Hints

According to the latest Game Informer, as reported by VideoGamer, Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles are set to be revealed around the Games Developer Conference in March with both companies hosting Apple-like media events.

“We hear that both Sony and Microsoft are targeting special Apple-style press conferences to unveil their platforms near the Game Developers Conference in late March,” reads the article in the Game Informer’s February issue.

“E3 in June may be the industry’s biggest event, but both companies want to give their systems their own limelight.

“That doesn’t mean E3 won’t be without its surprises. Next-gen games will be announced at the convention in preparation for the systems’ release at the end of the year.”

The report goes on to speculate that the PlayStation 4 may launch before the Xbox 720.

“We hear that Sony in particular is determined not to come out last this time like the PlayStation 3 did this generation, so we’ll have to see how soon it can get the PlayStation 4 out the door, and whether Microsoft is motivated to prevent this from happening,” it reads.

Sony’s vice president of Home Entertainment Hiroshi Sakamoto recently said in a Spanish interview that:

“I can only say that we are focused on the E3 gaming event, scheduled for June. [The] announcement may be in that minute or even earlier in May. In that time we expect to deliver great news, but we must wait until May at least.”

Baird Equity Research meanwhile has stated that having spent CES “with a number of companies involved in video game development and distribution”, they believe the next generation of consoles will launch for $400, cheaper than the PlayStation 3’s $499 and $599 start point but in line with the Xbox 360’s initial price.

“Given the fragile state of the console game market, we expect the E3 trade show in June will take on added significance, most likely providing the industry with the first public opportunity to examine next-generation hardware,” the firm’s Colin Sebastian wrote.

“Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from ‘off the shelf’ high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing (Kinect integration with every Xbox), and broad multi-media capabilities,” he detailed.

“Moreover, a PC-based architecture (Intel chips in the case of Xbox) should have a number of advantages over custom-developed silicon: for one, the learning curve for software developers will be shorter than completely new technology. Second, the cost of production and retail price points should be lower than prior console launches.

“Third, it will be easier to build online services around PC chip architecture, including flexible business models (free-to-play, subscriptions) and multi-media (over the top) content offerings. For Microsoft, this design will also allow for more integration with Windows 8 and Windows Mobile devices,” he added.

Sebastian expects an October launch for the new Sony console and a November launch for the next Xbox which would seem to concur with Game Informer’s article. There has been recent speculation that the PlayStation 4 might be revealed at the Destination PlayStation event next month.