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E3 Predictions: MS And Sony Talk Next-Gen Consoles

Both Microsoft and Sony have stated they won't debut new consoles at this year's E3, but we still expect to hear some next-gen talk during the show.

The Internet kicked off 2012 with rumors that both Microsoft and Sony would be outlining their next-gen plans at this year's E3. A few days later, Sony's Kaz Hirai denied the rumor, stating the company is "not making any [next-gen console] announcements at E3" and that it will be sticking to its planned 10-year cycle for the PS3. In mid-March, Microsoft Studios' Group PR Manager Ryan James told us there will be "no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon."

Given how definitive these statements are, we would be surprised to see any kind of next-gen hardware from Sony or MS at E3. But that doesn't mean both companies won't start laying the groundwork for a new generation of consoles, in the vaguest and most boastful ways possible. Sony's press conference invitation promises "the future of gameplay and innovation," stating the company will share more about "the new PlayStation lineup, products, and services that will drive the upcoming year in entertainment." We expect some of that talk to bleed into next-gen talk, even if it's not explicitly labeled as such.

Epic Games has also recently started talking up Unreal Engine 4, which will play a major role in the development of next-gen titles, and there's no better place to show it off to the public than the industry's largest show. We're guessing Microsoft and Sony will be vying to include Epic in their respective press conferences, as a way to bolster their position in the mindshare of the gaming public.

Epic isn't the only developer working on next-gen software. EA, Square-Enix, Dice, and countless other studios have announced they're working on next-gen software and games. The recent leak out of Bungie reveals that the first title in the company's new "Destiny" series may be released on both Xbox 360 and its successor. With so many studios working on next-gen projects, we expect to see or hear about at least some games that are being developed for "unspecified future consoles," which may give us our first glimpse of  next-gen gaming whether Microsoft and Sony are ready to discuss it or not.

That, or Microsoft and Sony could leave all talk of the next generation of consoles to Nintendo again, which will undoubtedly have more Wii U games to show off. Not exactly the business plan we would opt for, but what do we know...

Do you think we'll hear more about Microsoft and Sony's new consoles at E3? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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