The Xbox 360 press conference at E3

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is approaching fast, but it’s starting to look like Microsoft may introduce the next Xbox home game console up to two months before that gaming trade show.

Rumors reported by several websites claim that Microsoft will hold an Xbox event in April. CVG and The Verge both have sources who claim the company will introduce the new console that month. GamesBeat spoke with a source in the wake of Sony’s PlayStation 4 event that made a similar claim.

Separately, a poster on the popular gaming message board NeoGAF uncovered a URL registration for Eventcore, an event-management firm that has worked with Microsoft previously, filed for that URL as well as (Xbox E3 2012).

Sony just demonstrated why it is so important to hold a separate event to announce a new console. The PlayStation 4 owned a majority share of the news coverage this week in the gaming media, and it attracted a great deal of attention from mainstream sources as well (including appearing on Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show). If both companies waited until E3, most of the discussion would focus on which had the better presentation. Microsoft wants to avoid that, so don’t let it surprise you if Microsoft announces the event soon.

And unlike the PS4, expect the next Xbox to actually show up to the event based on this Tweet from Microsoft’s Major Nelson: