As WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) and E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), two big events in their own rights draw closer, speculation is running rampant throughout the industry. A rather interesting bit of news has just come to light with regards to Microsoft and Apple. It seems that Microsoft has their E3 conference scheduled on  June 06 at around the same as WWDC would be running. Tech enthusiasts are sure to be in a quandary about which event to attend. Talk about Sophie’s choice.

With the likes of Sony hinting at a PS4 and NGP that will most assuredly be very visible at E3 and the Nintendo Wii 2, one tends to wonder just what Microsoft will have up its sleeve. It’s highly unlikely that they would simply be sitting on some firmware update to their good old Xbox 360. The rumor doing the rounds is that Microsoft could be gearing up to announce a next-gen console that’s been dubbed the Xbox 720. Frank X. Shaw, corporate VP of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, who, although remaining quite ambiguous, posted on the offcial Microsoft Blog a statement that could have been hinting at a possible new Xbox console. Let’s not forget it was at this time last year that the Xbox Slim and Kinect made it out.

It's on now Steve!

The company has been mum about it on an official level but I have to admit Shaw’s quote i.e. – ‘For the last 10 years at Microsoft, we’ve been turning up the heat on how we think about Xbox, and next week at E3 you will get a chance to see how far we’ve come’ – does have that slight undertone that would lead one to believe that something is definitely up their sleeve.

Here’s my own little ‘conspiracy theory’ – let’s hypothesize that Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer does announce a next-gen console on the same day and at the same time as Apple’s Steve Jobs is announcing their (ho-hum) software, and let’s also presume that the two hosting their individual conferences at the same time, within driving distance from each other is no coincidence. It’ll be Steve versus Steve! But a hardware launch does somehow seem a little more ‘limelight’ worthy than mere software, as great as they could be. If the timings are also no coincidence then it’s quite likely Apple would in no way want to share the limelight with anyone, least of all arch rival Microsoft.  This could mean a hardware launch of their own, say… I don’t know… an all new iPhone perhaps. Now that would most certainly steal the show.

This is, like I said, highly speculative and neither company has made any kind of direct remarks regarding a possible hardware launch on June 6. Seeing as it’s just around the corner though, it’s not going to be a long wait, but it is certainly going to be an anxious one.

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