PlayStation CEO Andrew House came out and actually talked candidly about why there was no PS4 at E3 this year. The main reason Sony didn't show off a new console at this years E3 was apparently because there was not enough of a graphical leap to demonstrate the power of the PS4. Here is House's official statement on the matter:
"The right time to talk about new advances in hardware is when you can demonstrate a significant leap on the current experience, and something that is going to be attractive." "Beyond that we have nothing to say at this point,"Currently there are a lot of people talking about the fact that the next generation of consoles will not make the huge graphical leap that previous generations have made. Even Nintendo president Satoru Iwata doesn't think there will be much of a graphical leap:
"If they decide to increase the spec numbers, will the consumers be able to realise the difference enough so that they can understand it's much superior to today's machine,"This is all kind of strange considering the two best looking games at E3 this year (Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313) were both running on high end PCs because current generation consoles couldn't handle the graphics. There are still rumors that while Watch Dogs will still be released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 they will be slimmed down ports of the PC version because of the limits of current gen hardware. Not to mention these two games were basically the talk of E3 because of how great they both looked.In other words, people did notice higher graphics and I think people are ready for them. If you read between the lines though I don't thing House is actually talking about Sony not being able to demonstrate better looking games, because the two games listed above prove people can be wowed by next gen graphics. I think House might be referring to the fact Sony may not have had enough next generation titles to show off right now; developers are not far enough along in the development of enough games to show off the PS4. That is probably why both Sony and Microsoft waited until next year to show off their new consoles, developers just don't have enough gameplay finished to demonstrate the true power of next gen consoles.