PS4 Release date


While the PlayStation 3 is just now hitting its stride, and has its best days still ahead of it, Sony is not one to rest on its laurels, and with the intense competition in the video game world at present, plans for the PlayStation 4's future release are already being put into motion. In fact not only is the PlayStation 4 getting this treatment, but even the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 6 are in the early stages of planning and conceptualization at Sony's R&D labs.
Although we've yet to see what the PS3 can fully do when really put through its paces (in fact Sony states that games currently on the market are not even close to pushing the system to its full potential), the thought of an even more powerful console looming on the horizon has gamers worried about the holes it will leave burning in their pockets, but giddy at the possibilities of what this new behemoth of a console will be able to pull off. Just imagine the advanced hardware on this thing, it will be insane!
The Question Everyone Wants the Answer To...
As a result, the question on everyone's mind is, when will the PlayStation 4 see the light of day?!?!? While Sony has not released any official information concerning the system's future launch, the generally accepted release date is pegged as late 2012, which would follow the trend of Sony's previous console generations. The PlayStation 1 was first released in late 1994 in Japan and 1995 throughout the rest of the world. The PlayStation 2 hit stores in 2000, giving the PS1 a retail shelf life of 6 years from its Japanese launch. Likewise, the PlayStation 3 came out in 2006, 6 years after the release of the PS2. Following this trend that Sony has established would give us a late 2012 release for the PS4.
Other rumors have also circulated of late which backs up these claims. At a Game Developer's Conference in Germany, the CEO of Crytek announced that his company's development of their next-generation graphics engine, the CryEngine3, will release in 2012, around the same time a PlayStation 4 could launch. Although he stated he had no concrete information that the PS4 would be released around this time, and that even if he did, he would not be at liberty to share that information, he expected this to be the release window of the new system.

The Business of Sales (Or How to Get a PS4 Sooner by Not Buying a PS3)
It's possible that how the PlayStation 3 fares in the current console war may also determine the release date of the PS4, for a couple of reasons. If the system continues to flounder in 3rd place in the console wars, failing to generate the revenue which was initially expected of it, Sony may be far more eager to cut their losses and rush the PS4 to market sooner rather than later, possibly as early as 2012.
If the PS3 does indeed fail to make ground on the Wii and Xbox 360, it may also convince Sony to try and jump the gun on the next generation console wars and get their system out the door first. Both the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2, which dominated their generations of the console wars, came to market at the same time or earlier than their competition. The PlayStation 1 was launched just after the Sega Saturn, and well before the Nintendo 64, while the PlayStation 2 was released before both the Xbox and Nintendo Gamecube.
This enabled Sony to get a head start on the competition and gave developers time to build their skills at developing games for the console, to the point that even as more powerful consoles came after, games released on the older system were just as good technically, providing no real incentive for players to move to the new consoles.
This same effect has worked against the PlayStation 3 to some extent, as though considered to be far more powerful than the Xbox 360, the one year head start the 360 received has allowed developers to more quickly maximize the system's potential, resulting in games that rivaled games on the PS3 when it released. Only as the system's life spans come to an end will we likely see the PlayStation 3 come out with games that clearly trump what the 360 can do graphically.
How Sony plans to play their hand is cause for much speculation. What we do know is that the PlayStation 4 is coming sooner than we may think, and it will take gaming to a whole new level.
Let us know what you think. Will we see the PlayStation 4 within the next year, or is the release further off? Feel free to comment below. You can also join our forums to voice your opinion on everything PlayStation 4.

Update - March 30th 2012
A recent article on Kotaku has confirmed that the Playstation 4 is in development and is currently going under the code name of Orbis. Kotaku stated that an inside source leaked the information and has also said that the resolution will be bumped up to a massive 4096x2160 thanks to AMDs Southern Islands GPU and x64 CPU. It is also rumored that 3D games will support 1080p.
Other information in the article hinted at a possible anti-used game system where players that purchase second hand games will have to go online with their new console and purchase the right to play the game. With the popular GAME store already threatened by administration, and those companies making it clear their biggest profits come from second hand titles, this is an industry changing move from Sony.
Several high profile gaming studios have also confirmed that they have received the developers kit for the Playstation 4, leading us to believe we're going to see the next generation console in time for the 2013 holiday period. 
During a recent private viewing at the San Francisco’s Game Developer’s Conference, members of the gaming press were lucky enough to get a preview of the next generation of the Unreal Engine. Sadly, everyone involved was asked to sign a NDA, meaning we can't get any real concrete footage of the new engine but Epic’s VP Mark Rein said that the next generation of consoles would need to be 10x stronger than the PS3 in order to utilize the new engine. Everyone expects something special with the next-gen consoles but can you imagine what today's games would be like looking 10x better?

Sony President Shuhei YoshidaSony President Shuhei Yoshida recently laughed off comments when asked about the possibility of a Playstation 4 launch this year. During a Playstation Vita interview, CVG threw a number of questions at the big man but he shrugged them all off saying "We have no immediate plans for another home console announcement". This could of course just be a way to create more hype and anticipation for Sony's E3 announcements or, they may truly have no intention of releasing the Playstation 4 over the next year or two. Only time will tell, we'll let you know what happens at E3.


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