Multiple rumors and speculation have circulated this morning, all of which point towards an official reveal for Sony’s next generation PlayStation and Microsoft’s next Xbox before E3 this coming June.
The first bit of speculation comes from the vice president of Sony’s Home Entertainment division, Hiroshi Sakamoto during a CES interview with Emol. In response to a question about the rumored PlayStation 4 Sakamoto stated, “That’s still a big secret, but our friends are preparing Sony PlayStation… I can only say that we are focused on the E3 gaming event, scheduled for June. [The] announcement may be in that minute or even earlier in May.” He then added, “In that time we expect to deliver great news, but we must wait until May at least.”
Contradicting Sakamoto’s timetable is a new rumor from the February 2013 issue of Game Informer, as reported by Videogamer. The magazine is claiming that both Sony and Microsoft are planning to announce their next generation consoles in a “special Apple-style press conference” around the Games Developers Conference in late March. According to that report, both companies “want to give their systems their own limelight” before E3 but are saving several next-gen game announcements for the convention in June.
Finally, GamesIndustry is reporting that Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian is predicting — based on conversations with “a number of companies involved in video game development” at CES — an October launch for Sony’s next generation PlayStation and a November launch for Microsoft’s next Xbox. According to Sebastian both of the next-gen consoles will be built using “off the shelf” high-end PC components, use a “hybrid physical/digital distribution model”, and (in the case of Microsoft) include Kinect integration as standard. As for price, Sebastian suggests that they will launch in the $350 to $400 range.
Despite the contradiction surrounding the announcement timeline, these rumors dovetail nicely with everything we heard last year about the next Xbox and PlayStation. While some of the details may not turn out to be accurate, it seems pretty clear that we will get official next generation console announcements well before E3 kicks off this June.