It looks like Microsoft will have a head start on the console war again, but maybe not by much.
It's been quite a while since a new console launch was actually considered to be imminent but it looks like the new Xbox will be coming right around the corner.
According to Edge magazine, Ubisoft Montreal and certain EA studios are currently working on games for the next Xbox and are expecting a release date of late 2012. The companies are using computer parts that meet the specs of the hardware and dev kits are expected to be available by the end of this year.
It seems likely that the system will launch in the winter of 2012, which means we can expect an E3 unveiling next year. It's a quick distance between announcement and launch, which is almost certainly a relief for fans who will be eager to get a hold of the new console.
If rumors are to be believed, Sony is planning on bringing out the next PlayStation system at the beginning of 2013. That provides a small window for Microsoft to get ahead in sales, but not a full year like with the PS3 launch.
It's been a while since we've had a really big E3 but it seems we can expect a lot this year.