Sony and Microsoft are preparing "special Apple-style press conferences" to reveal their next-generation consoles "near the Game Developers Conference in late March", a new Game Informer report has alleged.

The magazine suggests that both platform holders will reveal the hardware around GDC, which takes place in San Francisco between March 25-29, before showing off next-gen titles at E3.

"We hear that both Sony and Microsoft are targeting special Apple-style press conferences to unveil their platforms near the Game Developers Conference in late March," reads the report in the magazine's February 2013 issue.

"E3 in June may be the industry's biggest event, but both companies want to give their systems their own limelight.

"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."

The magazine also suggests that PlayStation 4, rumoured to be codenamed Orbis, may be targeting a release ahead of Microsoft's next-generation Xbox.

"We hear that Sony in particular is determined not to come out last this time like the PlayStation 3 did this generation, so we'll have to see how soon it can get the PlayStation 4 out the door, and whether Microsoft is motivated to prevent this from happening."

The report appears to contradict comments allegedly made by Sony Home Entertainment VP Hiroshi Sakatomi during last week's CES.

The exec suggested that the imminent reveal of a next-generation PlayStation was indeed on the cards, but that the firm would be waiting until "May at least" for its announcement.

Certain developers are expected to have received devkits for Sony and Microsoft's next-generation systems already.

Back in November, the founder of Just Cause 2 developer Avalanche Studios tweeted that the studio was shipping back Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 devkits to make room for next-generation consoles.

Source: Game Informer | February 2013