Sony Teases PlayStation 4 Announcement

A Sony VP recently teased the PlayStation 4 could launch in May, according to Engadget.

Sony Electronics VP of Home Entertainment Hiroshi Sakamoto recently told Spanish publication Emol that Sony is getting ready for a big announcement related to the next PlayStation. Sakamoto said the PlayStation team is currently focusing on E3 in June, but also admitted the Sony announcement “could take place at that time, or maybe even before, in May.”

Sakamoto said the announcement is a big one, and not complementary to the PlayStation 3, which likely means a new home console.

No matter when Sony announces the PlayStation 4 (currently carrying the codename “Orbis”), the console likely won’t come to market until holiday 2013.SONY_logo

Microsoft is also reportedly hard at work on the Next Xbox, which may carry the code name Durango. The follow-up the Xbox 360 will likely include a new version of the Kinect with higher fidelity as well as Blu-ray support. Rumors also claim the next console could have support for augmented reality glass similar to Google Glasses.

It seems likely that next generation game consoles will include some sort of second screen experience similar to Xbox SmartGlass or the Wii U. Microsoft and Sony both have games on mobile devices, but it seems logical that both would make smartphones interact with home consoles more.

The console manufacturers would make mobile devices like smartphones and tablets optional experiences with some added benefit like SmartGlass. Sony and Microsoft could also make mobile devices more essential to the console experience like the Wii U GamePad.

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With Sony’s new “One Sony” strategy it would make sense if the next PlayStation communicated with at least recent phones like the Xperia Z in some way. Microsoft’s gaming strategy, however, is more platform agnostic because it realizes not everyone wants a WIndows Phone.

All home consoles currently face competition from smartphone and tablet games. Hardcore gamers still want dedicated consoles, but more casual gamers are content with playing games like Angry Birds and Temple Run as well as more immersive games like Final Fantasy IV and The Walking Dead on their smartphones and tablets they already have.

Mobile games also pose a threat with systems like the Ouya and GameStick home consoles which put Android games on HDTVs. Those games may not challenge large console games like Call of Duty, but they’re much less expensive and sometimes just as good.

With devices like the NVIDIA Shield and the upcoming small PCs designed for Steam from companies like Xi3, PC gaming poses a serious threat to console gaming. That’s especially true given that most multiplatform console games also release on PC with better graphics and controller support which makes them easy to play on a TV.

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