Sony sets stage for E3 nightmare

Microsoft has its Xbox press conference Monday evening, Sony and Nintendo spew to the media Tuesday morning, and 60,000 fanboys go spastic over booth babe cleavage on Wednesday.

That's the way the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game trade show in Los Angeles has worked the last couple of years, and we unimaginative journalists can be excused for assuming that's the way it would work this year.

Sony threw a spanner in the works this week, however, when it announced its E3 press conference will happen at 3 p.m. local time on Monday, May 16. That turns out to be a mere three hours before Microsoft, sticking to its traditional time slot, holds its press conference.

Both events are expected to include major announcements on next-generation game consoles. Which means we ink- and pixel-stained wretches will have about 60 minutes to write a suitably epochal account of the Sony event, find a way to transmit it, fight rush hour traffic and practice acting excited about a new Blinx the Cat game.

Suspicious types see the scheduling as a deliberate attempt by Sony to steal thunder form Microsoft. But we invite you to consider the possibility of an evil cabal of taxi drivers, WiFi hotspot operators and Mountain Dew peddlers, all looking to cash in on the ensuing panic.

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