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"Me First!" "No, Me!"

CheckeredflagThere's been a lot of talk in the gaming industry about how for the next-generation console race both Microsoft and Sony (and Nintendo, but they haven't said so in a while) intend to launch "first", i.e. ahead of their competition.  This drive to be first makes me want to sigh and shake my head; we're seeing captains of industry becoming the metaphorical equivalent of people who stuff online message boards full of "First Post!" messages.  Now the desire to be ahead of the game has transcended to the actual console unveilings themselves.

Joystiq reports that Microsoft has a sudden press conference scheduled for a mere three days before the big E3 show next month, presumably to reveal the Xbox 360 and therefore be "first" to do so.  Now Sony has countered with a press conference scheduled to begin only a few hours before the instant Microsoft conference, supposedly to show off the PlayStation 3 for the first time.  However (and here's the kicker) neither company has actually officially announced that next-gen hardware will be on display at these times.  So essentially we have a case of two companies striving to have press conferences only days from more press conferences that may or may not reveal new hardware, but at least one of them will be the first to do so.  Anyone else remember when gaming companies wanted to be "the best" and not "the first"?