It's been one of the longest waits between ever experienced between the launches of new gaming hardware generations, but a new report suggests that the Xbox 720 and PS4 consoles could be given grand unveilings far sooner than expected.
Sony and Microsoft have been rumoured to be preparing their new consoles for summer launch events at the E3 annual gaming conference, but Game Informer is now reporting that earlier around this coming March may be the likely time for the events to take place.
And though March also holds the Game Developers Conference, it is thought that both companies will opt to hold their own independent events to reveal their coming wares, rather than be seen as a cog in a larger show.
"Both companies want to give their systems their own limelight," reads the report, adding:
"That doesn't mean E3 won't be without its surprises. Next-gen games will be announced at the convention in preparation for the systems' release at the end of the year."
However, Microsoft have posted a countdown online in order to build hype around their E3 offering, suggesting that the big reveal will come around that time instead.
Personally, I'd be happy to see the consoles break cover earlier than E3: it'd give gamers a good chance to weigh up the pros and cons of each before committing cash at a likely Christmas 2013 launch, while giving games developers the chance for valuable feedback from critics and consumers alike.