Sony's PlayStation 3 might be turning five this November, but that's not stopping the rumor mill from declaring the PlayStation 4 will be arriving soon. DigiTimes reports a PS4 with Kinect-style motion tracking sensors will begin production by the end of this year, with a release in 2012. Here's why that report is total BS.
Nintendo's Wii U will be arriving after April 2012, a new Xbox 360 successor is rumored to be making its grand debut at next year's E3, so where does that leave Sony?
The 10-year Plan
Sony's repeatedly stated that the PlayStation 3 is a system that will grow with the times. Like the PS2, Sony plans to support the PS3 for at least 10 years. At almost five years, the PS3 isn't even half-way done yet.
The PS3 might have got off to a rough start back in the early days with a high price tag, lack of exclusive games and a sub-par online gaming experience when compared to the Xbox 360, but that's all in the past now. With firmware update after firmware update, the PS3's set of features have grown throughout the years. With the addition of features such as 3D, Netflix and the PlayStation Store, Sony has continued to keep the black box relevant in these digital times.
And with the release of the PS Vita around the corner, the PS3 will only become more integral to the current PS experience. PS Vita has the ability to connect to a PS3 to enable cross-platform multiplayer gaming.
51 Million Strong
Sony bet hard on Blu-ray and it won. HD-DVD died a quick death. Sony bet hard on shrinking its PS3 from being the fat George Forman Grill to being a thinner, lighter and less fingerprint-y console and gamers responded with their wallets. According VGChartz, the PS3 stands at 51.2 million units sold worldwide versus the 54.5 million that the Xbox 360 holds. Microsoft might be seeing record sales for the Xbox 360, bolstered by demand for Kinect, but it's hard not to see that the PS3 is closing in on the one-year head start that its rival had.
Small setbacks like the snafu with hacker George Hotz and battles with Anonymous and LulzSec might have tarnished Sony's brand for a month or so, but customers are returning to its PSN services by the droves — upwards of 90 percent.
With exclusive games such as inFAMOUS 2, Uncharted 3, Sly Cooper 4 and Resistance 3, the PS3 looks to be in the better position to whet the appetite of its fans this year than ever. Why move suddenly bombard developers and gamers with a new console and new games when the PS3 is just hitting its stride?
The PlayStation Move Factor
It's hard to imagine that Sony will ditch its PlayStation Move peripheral so quickly, after all, the company is banking on it with integration in games such as SOCOM 4 and Resistance 3 (both support the Sharp Shooter rifle attachment) and NBA On the Move.
Call Move what you want, a Wii Remote + Nunchaku copycat, ripoff, or whatever, but it's still a device Sony supports. Is voice control, head tracking and full-body tracking cool with Kinect? Absolutely. Will Sony borrow Kinect's innovative technology for its PS4? It's quite possible, but why would Sony throw all of its weight behind the Move motion controllers only to ditch it for Kinect tracking?
Kinect's greatest flaw is its lack of depth for hardcore games. For casual games and basic commands and features such as voice control in an MMORPG and head tracking in a racing game, that's fine, but if you're looking for a serious round of fragging with motion controls, Move is still lightyears ahead.
Don't Sell That PS3 Just Yet
With no PS4 announcement at this year's E3 and no plans for one for some time, that rumor of a PS4 arriving by next year is highly suspect. Sony could still shock the world with a PS4 announcement at this year's Tokyo Game Show, but given the amount of time it takes to hype, market, develop games and ship a console, a 2012 release seems too early.
If the 10-year plan is to be believed, a PlayStation 4 shouldn't arrive until at least 2016. At the very least, a PS4 prototype unveil could happen, mainly to rain on Microsoft's rumored Xbox 360 successor parade, but a one ready to rock and roll by next year? Don't count on it.