Mystery Sony event sparks PS4 console rumours

04/02/2013

Sony is to host its first PlayStation event in 2 years, sparking rumours that the Japanese consumer electronics giant is preparing to unveil the successor to its PS3 games console.

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Sony has not said whether the event, which is being held in New York on February 20, will see the launch of a new PlayStation console.

Speaking to Reuters, a spokesman simply said: "We will be talking about the Playstation business."

However, the Wall Street Journal reports that, according to unnamed sources, the new console will be announced this month and released before Christmas.

Sony's last PlayStation event, in January 2011, was used to reveal the PlayStation Vita handheld console. A similar meeting, in 2005, was held to demonstrate the prototype PS3 and another, in 1999, saw the unveiling of the PS2.

Launched in Britain in 2007, more than 70 million PlayStation 3 units have been sold but the console is now considered to be reaching the end of its life. Speculation as to what Sony would do has varied, with some reports suggesting that a PS4 will not be shown off until 2014, while others have said it will be demonstrated at video game trade show E3 in June.

Last year, Sony said it considered making ithe next version of its console online only, with now optical drives- requiring users to download all games via the web or on hard drives.

Sony confirmed that they scrapped this plan, but many analysts believe online only consoles are likely in the future, with services such as OnLive already emulating next generation console games via the web.

Analysts also expect that tablets and other mobile devices will match the power and graphics of today’s games consoles within a few years.

Since the PS3 launched, the rise of smartphone gaming has changed the face of the market considerably. There are more people playing games but they are gravitating towards cheap titles, such as Angry Birds, and playing on their phones.

Nintendo launched its Wii U console in November last year and though the company cut its sales forecast for the new console earlier this week, Sony will be reluctant to allow its rival to have the newest console on the market for another Christmas.

Microsoft, Sony's other big rival in the console market, is also expected to unveil its next generation games machine this year. The successor to the Xbox 360, dubbed the Xbox 720, could be revealed at E3 this year.

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