The battle to outdo one another begins in earnest as Microsoft and Sony announce when they will be unveiling their next generation consoles.
After, quite literally, years of speculation about the Xbox 2 and PS3, it seems we won’t have long to wait before all is finally revealed. 12 May is the date you Xbox fans have been waiting for, 16 May for the sweaty palmed PlayStation aficionados.
Dealing with them in chronological order, we look at the details of the next gen Xbox’s launch first which will shun this year’s E3 in favour of a half hour long special to be aired on MTV. The unprecedented move should garner the console lots of attention, though by dodging a major industry tradeshow Microsoft isn’t really playing by the Queensbury Rules, so to speak.
Adding further glitz to the event will be host Frodo Baggins, or Elijah Wood as he probably prefers to be known. There will be a blitz of sports, movie and music celebs also in attendance with The Killers playing live. We UK residents will have to wait a day to see the show which will go out here on the 13th.
The PlayStation 3 will step up four days later on 16 May. Again, this is just before the beginning of E3 (which starts on 17th) and is sure to ruffle a few feathers. The do itself will take place at its Culver City, LA Sony Pictures facility. No word on any celebs at the minute, but I have an awful feeling Paris Hilton will be there after she was snapped holding a PSP – with optional dog cover? – on the day of the portable’s US launch (we all know the dozy hotel heiress doesn’t pay for anything… even though she can).
Next battle ahead will be launch dates. Early reports suggest the Xbox 2 has a slight lead, aiming to hit stores in time for Chrimbo. The PS3, and the much forgotten Nintendo Revolution console, look more likely to debut between Q1 and Q2 2006. Will this prove decisive? Probably not once the Sony marketing machine whirs into action.
Note, there have been a number of Xbox 2 and PS3 fake shots going around the web recently (see above), but bear in mind no one yet knows what either console really looks like. It was probably a little evil of me to leave that piece of information until the end, eh?