So much for letting Microsoft make the first move. Sony will reportedly announce the successor to the PlayStation 3 at an event in New York City on February 20. From out of nowhere, Sony surprised everyone yesterday with a teaser hinting at the future of the PlayStation console. The last time Sony held one of its "PlayStation Meeting" events was in 2011 to announce the PS Vita (then called the "NGP").
Speculation from various gaming publications suggest Sony will reveal the next-gen PlayStation (code-named Orbis) with a launch expected in the U.S. and Japan by the end of the year. Europe will reportedly get the console in early 2014.
The Wall Street Journal also chimed in with "confirmation" from "people familiar with the matter" that a PS3 successor will be announced with more social features:
"Sony is planning to incorporate more social gaming aspects into the new machine. Also, while hardware improvements were a key focus of past console upgrades, Sony is more focused this time on the changes in how users interact with the machine."
While nobody is sure what kind of power the Orbis will have, EDGE reports that the console will have "PC-like" hardware including an eight-core 1.6GHz processor made by AMD and 4GB of GDDR5 RAM (might change to 8GB by launch). An updated PlayStation Eye is also apparently in the works.
As for the controller, it's said to be very similar to the PlayStation 3's DualShock 3, but with a small touchpad in center and a "Share" button that sounds very handy:
"A new Share button on the controller will, when pressed, launch a new feature that will allow screenshots and video to be distributed online. The PS4 hardware will continually record the most recent 15 minutes of onscreen action (with no processing penalty, claims our source), which users will then be able to edit and broadcast via the Internet."
If all of that is true, we'll finally have a proper next-gen console since the Xbox 360 launched seven years ago.