PlayStation 4 out before Christmas?
Sony Corp. is planning to unveil its next-generation home videogame console during a February event, showing off a successor to its current PlayStation 3 system.
The Japanese electronics giant unveiled plans for a special PlayStation-themed event set for Feb. 20, teasing fans to “see the future” at the event. People familiar with the matter have said the new device will make its debut there, beating Microsoft Corp. to the punch in announcing its own next-generation game machine.
Sony’s device will be released later this year, these people said, and will spar against Microsoft’s own machine, which is also expected to be released by the holidays.
Sony’s updated console’s arrival comes as the console videogame industry has entered a tailspin. Sales of new videogames, consoles and accessories at U.S. retail shops fell 22% in December when compared with the same time a year prior, according to surveys by industry watcher NPD Group.
Sony is planning to incorporate more social gaming aspects into the new machine, people familiar with the matter said. 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, these people said.
When developing the PlayStation, Sony had considered removing its optical disk drive, opting instead to require gamers to download titles over the Internet, people familiar with the matter said. But concerns over the size of videogame files, and slow Web connections in some countries led Sony to scrap the plan, they added. Microsoft made a similar decision for its console as well.
Source: Wall Street Journal