Sony have said they will hold their pre-e3 event on a sound stage in Sony Pictures' complex in Culver City, just outside Los Angeles, at 15.00 PST on Monday, May 16th, which is where it is expected that they will show off the next-generation PlayStation for the first time.
Three hours later at 18.00 PST, Microsoft will be starting their own event in downtown Los Angeles, where they are expected to finally take the wraps off the next-generation Xbox, currently known only by its development codename Xenon.
The scheduling is likely to be a problem for media and industry types, who need to attend both events, since the Sony event may well run over time which would make it quite difficult for media types to commute from Culver City back to downtown LA in time for the 6pm Microsoft event.
Many main hardware specifications for both systems are fairly well known. For example, the Sony system will feature a processor dubbed â€˜Cellâ€™, created in partnership with IBM, and a next-gen NVIDIA graphics chipset, while Microsoft has opted for standard IBM Power-series processors and an ATI graphics solution.
However, a number of key elements remain to be confirmed, such as the amount of RAM in the systems, the type of media they will use - PS3 will be utilizing high capacity Blu-Ray discs, while Xbox may well stick with the current DVD technology - and whether either will feature a hard drive.
Of course, what most consumers will probably want to know is simply what the devices look like, with the external appearance of both systems being kept a closely guarded secret so far.