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Next Xbox event on May 21, Microsoft confirms

Next gen system to be revealed for the first time at Microsoft's Xbox campus

Microsoft has brought an end to months of speculation by announcing that it will unveil its Next Xbox plans at a special one-off press conference on May 21.

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The event, held three weeks before E3, will take place at Microsoft's Redmond campus and will be hosted by Don Mattrick, the president of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft.

Invites have been sent to specialist and national press as, behind the scenes, Microsoft prepares for a string of announcements in an attempt to steal Sony and Nintendo's thunder in the build up to E3.

Below is an image of the flyers, which have been emailed to select press outlets, publishers, developers and analysts.

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Proceedings will begin at 10am local time, which translates to 6pm in the UK. A live stream will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox Live and - exclusively for North America - broadcast on Spike TV.

In a message published by Xbox Live executive Larry Hryb, Microsoft will use the May 21 event to "share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future".

"Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we'll continue the conversation and showcase our full line-up of blockbuster games.

"We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we've been working on."

CVG understands that Microsoft's initial intention was to reveal its Next Xbox towards the end of April. Plans were halted, however, and CVG was told by people connected to the matter that the show was delayed.

Among a string of triple-A game announcements, Microsoft is expected to disclose a key partnership with at least one major publisher. CVG has been told that EA will be revealed as one Xbox partner and will support the platform with exclusive content - though whether this is full games or DLC is unclear (the latter would be unlikely).

The event follows Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal, which took place on February 20 in New York and - despite a positive review from CVG - was met with equal praise and criticism.

Microsoft has, by contrast, faced more significant challenges in the build up to its own press conference.

The unpopular rumour that the next Xbox will prohibit pre-owned content has not yet been addressed by the company.

Meanwhile, another damaging rumour that remains unaddressed is that the next Xbox will require an always online internet connection.

Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth publicly defended such a policy - implying, but not confirming, that the rumours were genuine - but departed from Microsoft days later following a vitriolic reaction from the community.

It is not known whether Microsoft will address these issues before its press conference.

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