Xbox and PS4: Dates and details

Xbox invitationIt’s one of the most hotly anticipated gizmos in the gaming world and now we finally know when we’ll get our first glimpse of the new Xbox.

Microsoft has announced it be officially unveiling the new console at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, on May 21.

The US technology giant sent out invites to the event, emblazoned with the slogan: “A New Generation Revealed.”

Rumours have been rife for months now about the new Xbox, with forums and discussion boards full of talk about possible names, styling and specifications.

Larry Hryb, who blogs for Xbox Live under the pseudonym Major Nelson, described the launch event as marking “the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment.”

He revealed there would be a special press event along with a live stream to keep potential consumers up to date.

The launch event is designed to give a “real taste of the future” with Microsoft promising to “share our vision” before full details are revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, in Los Angeles, the following month. There Microsoft is also expected to unveil the games which will be available for the new console.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone by Microsoft’s announcement, Sony made sure it got its own publicity shot, even though it has already revealed its new console, by rolling out a new clip on YouTube showing the features of its PlayStation 4 controller.

PS4 controllerThe Japanese multinational demonstrated some of the specifications that might have been missed by critics and customers during the initial reveal its PlayStation Meeting 2013 event last month.

One of the features is a clever light bar which detects where players are in the room, useful if you’re competing against friends as the order of your split screens will automatically change according to where people are sitting. So, even if you change position, you won’t need to swap controllers around.

The integrated speaker is also impressive, allowing players to better feel part of the action and the Share button is also showcased,  making it easy to share gameplay video and screenshots with your friends.

Microsoft, however, is widely expected to have a similar video and clip sharing experience as part of its new console so competition between the two companies is certainly expected to hot up following E3.

Nintendo, however, won’t be joining gaming wars at E3, having taken the decision to forgo its usual E3 press conference to hold smaller, invite-only events focusing on its software.

Despite Nintendo’s decision, experts are still predicting this year’s E3 will be one of the most exciting to date. “This E3 2013 promises to be the most revelatory in years,” says Techradar, “because of the coming console war. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is about to square off against the Xbox 720, or whatever Microsoft names it, for living room supremacy.”

Those in the market for a new console will certainly be keeping a close eye on what both Sony and Microsoft have to say at E3 in the middle of June.

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