New Xboxes and PlayStations are definitely coming. The big question is, which one will arrive first? The PlayStation 4 (code-named "Orbis"), or Xbox 720 (code-named "Durango")? If Sony CEO Kaz Hirai's recent comment to The Times is accurate, the PlayStation 4 won't be leading the way.
With the exception of the original PlayStation, Sony's always taken the "sit and wait" approach to console launches. For example, the PlayStation 2 launched two years after the Sega Dreamcast, and the PlayStation 3 launched a year after the Xbox 360. Looking back, Sony's never launched a console first, and it looks like things won't change with the PlayStation 4.
When The Times asked when Sony's new gaming hardware would be coming, Hirai said:
"Why go first when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better."
Hirai's tone suggests Sony is afraid Microsoft might counter its PS4 with a more powerful console if it launched first. Hirai's concern also reveals the company was perhaps overly arrogant when it announced the PS3 "supercomputer" would be the undisputed winner of the current generation back in 2005.
The news that Sony will likely let Microsoft launch its next console first isn't shocking, depending on who you believe. Back in December, Kotaku published a story stating that there is less confidence in Sony, and developers are happily in bed with Microsoft's "Durango." The report also claims the PS4 could slip to 2014.
Sony is also rumored to be ditching the DualShock controller design for a gamepad with either a touchscreen or a biometric sensor, or both.
For what it's worth, we hope Sony's PS4 has specs comparable to the Durango leak that VGLeaks is reporting on: x64 architecture, eight processors (each running at 1.6GHz), custom 800MHz graphics processor with 12 shader cores capable of pumping out 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 32MB of embedded SRAM, a 50GB hard drive, and a 6x Blu-ray optical drive.