As previously reported, Sony plans to make a huge PlayStation announcement on February 20, 2013 at 6pm EST. The last PlayStation press event outside the E3 Expo loop took place just over two years ago in Tokyo and revealed the PlayStation Vita handheld console. Naturally it's easy to speculate that Sony plans to "wow" gamers again with the official reveal of the PlayStation 4 later this month.
Over the last year, rumors and hardware specs have heated up the rumor mill, obviously pointing to an upcoming console whether Sony admits it or not. The latest rumor claims that Sony's new unannounced "Orbis" console will cost more than ¥40,000, or $427 USD. It's also noted that the PlayStation 3 was priced just under ¥50,000, or $534 USD, and retailed at $500 here in the States.
The rumor goes on to add that Sony is "scurrying" to meet expected demand in Japan and the United States. There was no mention of Europe in the report, as the PlayStation 3's PAL release was reportedly delayed for several months thanks to hardware shortages. Still, there's a good chance Sony learned its lesson and is trying to prevent similar delays with the next-generation.
In addition to the PlayStation 4 announcement, there's a good chance the company will also reveal a price reduction of the PlayStation Vita on a global scale. Nintendo was forced to drop the price of its 3DS handheld just months after its initial release due to poor sales, and Sony, facing similar mediocre sales, may finally be succumbing to pressure and consumer reluctance in purchasing the more expensive $249.99 USD handheld console.
Sony may be revealing its PlayStation 4 console later this month in order to beat Microsoft to the 2013 punch. The rival Redmond company will reportedly showcase its Windows 8-powered Xbox Infinity during E3 2013 which is slated to launch in time for the holiday shopping season. That said, the rumored price of Sony's PlayStation 4 actually seems a little steep in a lackluster economy addicted to mobile gaming. But perhaps that will be Sony's biggest surprise yet: a high-powered next-gen console with a Nintendo's Wii U price point.
Just weeks ago, a spec list emerged based on January's Development Kit for the new console. The kit had 8 GB of RAM and 2.2 GB of video memory. The CPU was listed as 4x dual-core AMD64 "Bulldozer" – indicating that there will be eight cores total – and the GPU was listed as an AMD R10xx. Also included was a 160 GB HDD, a Blu-ray drive, four USB 3.0 ports, two Ethernet ports, HDMI and optical output, and 2.0, 5.1 and 7.1 audio channels.
As always, take everything with a grain of salt until Sony (supposedly) makes the big reveal in a few weeks. Cross your fingers that Sony doesn't jump on the anti-used-games bandwagon with Microsoft, and will let you play those cheaper "gently used" titles.