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PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One showdown set for E3 after Microsoft linked with April launch

All eyes are on Microsoft's next move after rival console manufacturer Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 earlier this week.

The latest reports have the Xbox producer breaking cover with its next-generation system at the beginning of the second quarter, according to gaming specialist CVG.

Apparently, a "senior Sony official" is backing Microsoft to officially announce the Xbox One in early-April at a special media event, as opposed to debuting the new platform at GDC in March, or waiting until E3 in June to launch.

CVG added that anonymous "publishing and development" sources were also saying the next Xbox would be revealed at an independent event in April.

It's a move that makes sense from the perspective of the Redmond-based firm, as it allows Microsoft to share the E3 stage with Sony, rather than gifting its biggest rival lone occupation of the spotlight at the gaming industry's most important event.

However, like the PlayStation 4 launch, the XboxOne announcement could prove anti-climatic and revolve largely around "future tech" as opposed to showcasing actual hardware, CVG posited.

In addition to an April launch, the latest rumours are tipping the Xbox 720 to feature 8GB of RAM and come with a reinvented Kinect 2 motion sensor add-on.

Has the unveiling of the PS4 whet your appetite with regards to next-generation gaming? For more, be sure to visit our Sony PlayStation 4 news and rumour hub, which features the complete back-story as well as all our definitive post-launch analysis and features.