The entire internet is abuzz with speculation, rumour-mongering and old fashioned hype that Sony will unveil the mythical PlayStation 4 this week.
But what if they don’t?
The first spark to all the hype was Sony announcing the “PlayStation Meeting 2013” would take place on February 20. Many magically jumped to the conclusion that PlayStation 4 was on its way.
What many are glossing over that February 20 marks a milestone for PlayStation Vita; the console hit Western shores one year prior on February 15, 2012. Sony are just as likely to deliver a PlayStation Vita announcement such as a 4G version, or a cartridge-free version.
Vita is also in need of some attractive, big budget game releases this year. In recent months, Sony have been driving home the message that PlayStation 3 games can more or less be played on Vita in some fashion, so it wouldn’t be too far a stretch to imagine a raft of PlayStation 3 ports for the console.
Then you have Sony’s other SKU’s that could benefit with PlayStation integration, such as the recently announced Xperia Z mobile phone. There’s no reason why that device couldn’t be engineered to connect to our PlayStations in some way.
Moreover, Sony were hellbent on owning the UHD (or 4K for us dinosaurs) format at CES this year. We already know PlayStation 3 is technically capable of outputting images in 4K already thanks to the PlayMemories Studio application. A firmware update might make good on Sony’s old promise that “PlayStation 3 is future proof” by adding 4K support to future games, or at least to movies.
Sony announced that a 4K streaming service is in the works for their upcoming range of UHD TV’s, but also for “selected 4K media players”. A dongle or update to PlayStation 3 could become one of those media players.
So, if PlayStation 4 isn’t announced come Thursday, what will it mean for the industry?
Developers should be happy that they can continue developing for a console they’ve been working with for years without any major learning curve or bump in development costs.
Likewise, consumers might be happy without having to buy a new console right now. PlayStation 3 has never been more popular than it is today. Sony themselves might be happier to wait on PlayStation 4, since falling profits are less of a worry when you can get behind existing popular hardware and sell at higher margins than a brand new device. Launching a new console is really expensive, after all.
Of course, the possibility of new hardware being announced on Thursday (Playstation 4K, maybe?) is still high, but Sony have enough great stuff under their belt at the moment without having to launch a major new product line just yet.
Are you tired of existing consoles? Do you need a PlayStation 4? Will you be disappointed if Sony doesn’t announce a new console this week?
Let us know below!