February 1, 2013
Sony Invites Spark Rumors Of PlayStation 4 Announcement
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Sony sent invites for an event in New York later this month. The host of conversation for the event is not clear, which leads many to speculate the consumer electronics manufacturer will announce details about its PlayStation 4 video game console.
Details on new console systems and other hardware are generally held for E3, the video game trade show that takes place in June. However, there is precedent for Sony announcing gaming hardware earlier in the year. In January 2011 Sony held a PlayStation event where it showed off a prototype for the Vita console, a handheld system that follows the PlayStation Portable line.
It is known that there will be a PlayStation 4, and details are imminent. However it has not been discussed by Sony in any detail.
Sony's current platform, the PlayStation 3, was released in November 2006. The console recently passed six years old, one of the longer lifespans for a video game console. As Nintendo released its Wii U this past fall, just in time for the holiday season, it left Sony and Microsoft with a decision on when they should update their legacy consoles.
While Sony is being cagy about its announcement, analysts are confident that the PlayStation 4 will be the big news of the day.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Patcher (@michaelpatcher) tweeted: "Sony is inviting investors and media to the Feb 20 event; that means console announcement. I'm genuinely excited."
Even if Sony is being indirect about the topic of the event, it is teasing media and analysts, as well as followers of the PlayStation gaming platform. Sony posted a video on its blog with the tagline "see the future." The video is also available on YouTube.
Questions about the upcoming PlayStation 4 console will hopefully be answered at the event. The current PlayStation 3 uses a Blu-ray-based media, which makes it possible to use the console as a Blu-ray player. The Wall Street Journal reported that Sony initially considered, then rejected a download-only plan for its upcoming console; the download-only model is in use in Sony's PlayStation Vita.
The download model has also become popular in PC gaming as well as console gaming. Gamers can download games instead of purchasing software. The download format is met with mixed levels of adoption, with many who would rather hold the actual game in their hands.
The launch of a new console system will mean starting the year of building a business for Sony. The consumer electronics company said that the PlayStation 3 is now a profitable business after some years in the red, according to The Guardian.
However, losses are typically expected for the launch of a new console. Manufacturers often sell the console for less than the cost of production. But they expect money to be made through licensing games for the system. When the PlayStation 4 launches, a new cycle will begin where Sony will lose money in the short term, in hopes that sales will remain strong and profits will build in the long term.