Rumors are swirling at Digitimes that a new Sony PlayStation 4 could be in production by the end of this year for a release in 2012. In addition, the report also states that the new Sony PS4 will have Kinect like body movement controls. The sensational report goes against everything Sony has told us about having ten year development cycles, not to mention the fact that, if true, Sony would be abandoning the PS Move type motion controls in favor of trying to replicate the Kinect.
If these rumors do come to fruition, things could get very interesting next year. There have already been rumors that the next Microsoft console could be headed to E3 next year with a late 2012 or early 2013 release date. In addition, we already know the Wii U will be released in 2012. As tends to happen with new generation consoles, we could have the big three – Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft release new systems within a six month time period, creating the next wave of console wars.
This feels like an arms race at this point. First Nintendo announces a new console at E3 due out next year, then all of a sudden rumors of the next Xbox showing up next year begin circulating, and now we are hearing rumors of a new Sony console due out by next year. This all goes back to great success Microsoft had when it launched the Xbox 360 early. Now we are in a race to get to the next generation of consoles out faster than they should, because everybody wants to be first out the door so they can try and duplicate the success Microsoft had and secure the cash of curious gamers.
However, personally I do not believe these PS4 rumors to be true because of what Sony has repeatedly told us about a ten year life cycle of consoles. In addition, out of all the current gen consoles, the PS3 is the last one that needs to be replaced. Nintendo needs a new console because they are not selling anymore Wiis. Microsoft could use a new console by the end of 2012/early 2013 because the hardware inside the Xbox 360 is starting to show its age (more and more games needing to be on multiple discs). However, of all the consoles the PS3 is the one with the most life left in it (hardware wise) and still selling very well.
There is also a segment of the gaming population that does not want to buy a new console at this point. There are people who just bought a PS3 last year when the price went down and are now being asked to consider another console. To release all three new consoles within a six month period could be very dangerous to the video game industry. There may not be enough money to go around, and one console manufacturer could get burned badly. We will just have to wait and see how this all plays out but a question for our readers… would you buy a PS3 for £250+ next year?