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No Xbox 2 launch at GDC - MS

All eyes on E3

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Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox 2 will not be unveiled at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) next month, leaving all eyes looking to the E3 show in May for the next-generation console's debut.

It's going to be a crowded event: Sony is expected to have playable PlayStation 3 consoles up and running at E3, and Nintendo is likely to discuss its GameCube successor, the 'Revolution' console.

It had been thought Microsoft would avoid the competition and launch Xbox 2 at GDC, as it did in 2000 with the original Xbox. But back then the company was entering the console market for the first time, and undoubtedly felt that, as the underdog, it needed game developer support more than it needed the plaudits of the wider games industry and public.

Not so now - MS has become a major player, so E3 it must be. If there's any truth in the suggestions that Xbox 2 will ship later this year - given credence by a leaked Electronic Arts document that point to such a timeframe - presumably in time for Christmas, then E3 2005 become the key launch candidate. ®

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