One of the biggest game publishers in the world—Electronic Arts—was absent when Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, and according to CVG, this may be because the company is waiting for Microsoft to unveil the next Xbox. This strongly hints at a partnership between EA and Microsoft, and the two possibly even signing exclusivity rights.

While this may mean EA would produce content exclusively for Microsoft’s console, the company simply can’t afford to lock out another platform, especially one as big as the PlayStation. The most likely scenario would be EA producing some DLCs exclusively for Microsoft’s console, and game releases will probably be delayed by a month or so.

However, if Microsoft has indeed secured EA as an exclusive publisher, it would be a big blow against Sony and the PlayStation 4, and may mean that the next console generation will be dominated by the Xbox.

EA may have signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft for the next-gen consoles (Next-gen Xbox concept)

EA may have signed an exclusivity deal with Microsoft (Next-gen Xbox concept controller)

The most likely announcement by EA for the Xbox is Battlefield 4. It is rumoured that the game will ship between April 2013 and March 2014, which means there is a high possibility that the game will be on next-gen consoles. The release window was projected by EA back in August 2012. EA’s Frank Gibeau made the projections during the company's earnings call. EA didn’t say much about Battlefield 4, besides projecting the release date.  

Microsoft is rumoured to be preparing for an event regarding its next-gen console in April. The rumour is further corroborated by Microsoft’s partner Eventcore registering the URL Eventcore has previously aided the company in events like E3 2012. So far, Microsoft has remained quiet about its next-gen console.

We can’t be very far from an announcement by Microsoft, especially since it rushed out the Xbox 360 before the PlayStation 3’s release to get an early head start. Microsoft of all companies would know the importance of such a head start, as that would let it dominate the next-gen console market early.

It was recently revealed that the next Xbox would have Siri-esque voice recognition capabilities. The technology is very similar to the Siri experience on iOS products. Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox project told The Verge that the next-gen console, codenamed Durango, would support wake on voice, natural language controls and speech-to-text.

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