E3 2012 was too soon for the new Xbox's grand unveiling. Photo: AFP/Robyn Beck
The Consumer Electronics Show is just around the corner but Microsoft, having stepped down from delivering the show's keynote presentations, has instead posted a live countdown to June 11, the opening day of the Electronics Entertainment Expo.
The countdown appeared on the public-facing blog of Larry Hryb, Director of Programming for the Xbox Live network, and this year's E3 is thought likely to see the unveiling of a successor to the Xbox 360, commonly referred to as the Xbox 720 or by a code name, Durango.
Sony is expected to follow suit, at least in part, with information on a new PlayStation (again, dubbed the PlayStation 4 or Orbis).
Over the last seven years, both Microsoft and Sony have expanded the reach of their current games machines beyond the traditional remit, adding popular TV, film and music streaming apps, as well as motion-based control schemes.
Nintendo used E3 2012 to parade its new console, Wii U, along with a range of games and multimedia apps; the console then launched worldwide in November and December.