Sony PS4 rumours sparked by event invites
Sony has announced an event later this month to discuss "the future of PlayStation", reigniting rumours that the company is set to unveil the PlayStation 4.
Sony has not said whether the event, which is being held in New York on February 20, will see the launch of a new PlayStation console. A spokesman told Reuters: "We will be talking about the Playstation business."
That has not stopped speculation that the PS4 is about to be announced. The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to unnamed sources, the new console will be announced this month and released before Christmas.
Sony's last PlayStation event, in January 2011, was used to reveal the PlayStation Vita handheld console. A similar meeting, in 2005, was held to demonstrate the prototype PS3 and another, in 1999, saw the unveiling of the PS2.
Launched in Ireland in 2007, more than 70 million PlayStation 3 units have been sold but the console is now considered to be reaching the end of its life. Speculation as to what Sony would do has varied, with some reports suggesting that a PS4 will not be shown off until 2014, while others have said it will be demonstrated at video game trade show E3 in June.
Since the PS3 launched, the rise of smartphone gaming has changed the face of the market considerably. There are more people playing games but they are gravitating towards cheap titles, such as Angry Birds, and playing on their phones.
Nintendo launched its Wii U console in November last year and though the company cut its sales forecast for the new console earlier this week, Sony will be reluctant to allow its rival to have the newest console on the market for another Christmas.
Microsoft, Sony's other big rival in the console market, is also expected to unveil its next generation games machine this year. The successor to the Xbox 360, dubbed the Xbox 720, could be revealed at E3 this year.
By Shane Richmond, Telegraph.co.uk