Microsoft have announced May 21st as the date that they will unveil the next generation of its Xbox videogame console series.
This puts the announcement several weeks ahead of E3 in mid-June where both Microsoft and rival Sony are expected to make big announcements regarding games on their respective new systems.
Microsoft will host the press conference from its home base in Redmond, Washington. Spike TV will stream the event live in North America on Xbox.com, Xbox Live and on the cable channel.
This follows on from February’s event held by Sony to announce the Playstation 4. It’s expected that the two big lingering questions left from Sony’s presentation – the price and the look of the box – will be revealed at E3.
According to early leaks, both the PS4 and the next Xbox aren’t that different under the hood though the processing and RAM advantages seem to be on Sony’s side if reports are accurate.
That said, Sony is targeting the PS4 console specifically at gamers, whereas Microsoft is said to be positioning the next Xbox as more of an all-in-one media device.
In the current generation, Xbox 360 and PS3 sales are close with around 75-77 million each as of this past January. The regional breakdown tells a interesting story though with the 360 easily dominating the United States, whereas the PS3 is the clear ruler in Europe, Japan and (to a lesser extent) Australia.