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(Pocket-lint) - A week from today Microsoft will unveil the next Xbox console - the machine we've been affectionately calling the Xbox 720 for months if not years, knowing deep down that it was never likely to be called that really. And in preparation, the company is building a massive wedding-style marquee on its front lawn at Redmond in Washington state.

Both Aaron Greenberg, chief of staff for interactive entertainment, and Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) have tweeted pictures of the construction of the big tent, using the hashtag #XboxReveal.

xbox 720 unveiling to take place in a big tent pictures confirm hardware to be at event  image 2

Hryb's image in particular shows some of the interior of the venue, with what looks like a bank of stations ready to house the new console after its unveiling. This seems to confirm previous rumours that, unlike Sony, it will use its first press event to show the next-generation hardware itself, not just to feature a conga of software developers touting their wares.

Of course, we may just be mistaking the air conditioning system for console bays, but doubt Microsoft will stay its hand so close to E3 in June. It is likely that the company will save the gaming trade show for exciting software announcements.

The next Xbox will be launched on 21 May at 6pm BST, 10am local time. Join Pocket-lint as we bring you all the latest as it happens.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 14 May 2013.