Sony has released a teasing video and summoned world media to an elusive event on February 20 in New York City, leading to rumours that the company may unveil its next-generation gaming console, the PlayStation 4, sooner than expected.
The eluding video features the accustomed and iconic PlayStation ‘shapes’, reveals that the event is known simply as ‘Meeting 2013’, and states its time and place (although unspecific).
It had been rumoured that Sony would unveil the PS4 at this year’s E3 gaming expo in June and possibly set a release date before Christmas 2013 or early in 2014. If Sony does officially announce the PS4 next month, we’ll almost certainly see the much anticipated console released before year’s end.
Alternatively, it’s also possible that Sony has something to announce about its mobile gaming device, the PS Vita, which celebrates its one-year anniversary around the time of the event.
Sony’s current console, the PlayStation 3, has been receiving some good press of late. A report last month from International Data Corporation (IDC) stated that Sony had shipped 77 million PS3 gaming consoles to date, and for the first time, had actually outsold its biggest rival, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (which has sold 76 million units to date).
If Sony wants to continue this encouraging trend it will need to release its forthcoming console before Microsoft. Microsoft’s full-year head start over Sony back in 2005 when it first released the Xbox 360 was a huge contributing factor to its early and persistent success.
Rumours of Sony announcing the PS4 in February actually surfaced as early as last month when sony announced it had ended production of the PS2, although these rumours were largely discounted at the time.
A report in the Wall Street Journal, however, cites sources “familiar with the matter” as stating that Sony will indeed announce the PS4, and that the console will go on sale “later this year”. The WSJ also reports that the PS4 will not focus primarily on hardware but on adding social gaming features and new methods of interaction with the device.
The new console will likely retain its optical disk drive (download-only game purchase has been an option for some time, although broadband infrastructure varies greatly around the world) and it will “likely” feature AMD chips, causing compatibility concerns with current PS3 games.