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Microsoft prepping an EA partnership announcement for its next Xbox event - report

Has MS bought timed exclusivity for Battlefield 4 DLC?

EA was conspicuously absent from Sony's PlayStation 4 unveiling. Now there's speculation that it's because Microsoft has signed a new partnership deal with EA.

Before you go bananas, this is unlikely to mean games will appear on the next Xbox and not PS4. It's more likely to concern timed-exclusive DLC.

CVG got wind of the partnership from a couple of anonymous sources, but neither had any more information on what it will be.

"It's me, John Riccitiello! Here, have a micro-transaction!"

Given the timing, it could be something to do with Battlefield 4. Will Battlefield 4 DLC arrive on the next Xbox first?

Sony and EA struck a similar deal for Battlefield 3 DLC, which arrived on PS3 a week before everywhere else. If Microsoft has wrestled this deal to Xbox for Battlefield 4 - and the Call of Duty DLC deal continues - then Microsoft may have the big shooter market sewn up.

EA broached the topic of why it wasn't on stage at the PlayStation Meeting during a Morgan Stanley conference this week.

Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said (transcript via Seeking Alpha) that it was to with the "timing of our own slate as well as trying to maintain a good balance of power with all the parties out there".

"I'd say between now and E3, you're going to see a lot of stuff from us," he added, "and we just choose, on our marketing cadence, as to when to start to announce stuff."

The next Xbox event is thought to be happening in late April. E3 is in June. Could EA have more than a partnership to announce at the next Xbox event?

"At the end of the day, we're very excited about Sony's platform," Jorgensen added. "We think there's a huge opportunity.

"It's a great, as Rajat [Taneja - global chief technology officer] said, the technical power on the platform is going to allow us to do a substantial amount of things that we've never done before. I've seen the new Battlefield and it is stunning. I mean, it is just amazing what the imagination of the game developers are allowed to do with that much power."

Remember that first Battlefield 3 footage? Expect Battlefield 4 to debut very handsomely.

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