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Microsoft may launch Xbox 720 in April, report says

Microsoft has been kicked into action by Sony's PS4 unveiling, sources say, and will announce the next Xbox two months sooner than planned.

We may still be digesting PS4 news, but it won't be long before we see Microsoft's next-gen console, one report says. Industry sources are telling CVG the Redmond-based company will bring the launch of the Xbox 720 forward to April, instead of its planned unveiling at E3 in June.

The reason? Microsoft is shaken by Sony's PS4 event, according to the report.

Users at NeoGAF have also discovered that Microsoft's partner -- named Ustechs, which helped organise its previous press conferences -- has registered the domain xboxevent.com. Which hints an announcement is on the horizon.

Sony is reportedly chuffed to bits that it's managed to rankle Microsoft. One unnamed senior Sony exec told CVG that the PS4 event had "at first caught Microsoft off guard" and that "we definitely ruffled some feathers." Microsoft is keen to make an impression, and fast, according to the sources.

Of course, Microsoft hasn't revealed anything Xbox 720-related yet. The games were certainly impressive at the PS4 event, but I would've thought the lack of an actual physical console would have Microsoft cackling with glee. Though the timing of the event did take us all by surprise. Usually console makers keep their cards close to their chests until industry shindigs like E3 in the summer. It looks like Sony and Microsoft are taking a leaf out of HTC's book and getting the jump on the big trade shows by staging their own separate events beforehand. Cunning.

Microsoft's next-gen console could require an always-on Internet connection, according to rumours. This would mean you couldn't play second-hand games, or lend titles to a friend. The console could also have Siri-style voice controls, letting you power it up by just saying, "Xbox on", according to rumours.

Are you excited about the next Xbox? Or has Sony's PS4 already earned its place in your lounge? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.