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Analyst expects March reveal for PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720

by Mark Tyson on 15 January 2013, 12:45

Tags: Sony Computers Entertainment Europe (NYSE:SNE), Xbox 360, PlayStation3

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Both Sony and Microsoft are preparing their next generation consoles to be revealed at “Apple-style press conferences” in late March according to an analyst at financial advice and service company Baird. Senior Research Analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in an investor email yesterday that “E3 2013 will be the most important game conference since Y2K, we continue to expect both Sony and Microsoft to host dedicated events before E3 to announce their new platforms.”

Mr Sebastian attended the recent CES and had meetings with key players giving him insight into the next console generation according to VG247. Discussing the hardware to be found in the future Sony and Microsoft console generation he said “New console hardware will borrow from high-end PC components, providing hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing, broad multi-media capabilities and lower launch price points.” However he has also heard that there are a few production issues with the Sony PS4 which may throw a spanner in the works and “could limit unit shipments or regions at launch”.

With the new consoles revealed at their own press events they wouldn’t have to share the limelight with other announcements. It is then expected that the console hardware would be further shown off at the Game Developers Conference, San Francisco 25-29th March 2013. E3 would then be used as a platform for new game and accessory showcases.

While Baird analysts may be right about Microsoft’s plans there was a little bit of news yesterday, from Sony’s side of things, which suggests the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant is looking at May for its PlayStation 4 reveal. VideoGamer.com reports that Sony Home Entertainment's vice-president Hiroshi Sakatomi offered up the following quote with regard to timescales; “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.”

Sony and Microsoft aiming at $400

Baird also named a figure for the expected prices of Sony’s and Microsoft’s next generation consoles. Being “largely built from ‘off the shelf’ high-end PC components” plus scale of manufacture, should help the consoles hit a pricing point around about $400. This isn’t so bad compared with the Xbox 360 and PS3 launch prices of around $399 and $499 respectively. (Also remember inflation)

Nintendo to be sidelined

The recent launch of the Nintendo Wii U was “lacklustre” according to Baird’s Sebastian. It has failed to create enough impact and Nintendo will become “niche” in the next generation console race, according to the senior analyst. He offered a remedy for this “Nintendo must bring to market major first-party releases and retain third-party support to limit market share losses.”

HEXUS Forums :: 30 Comments

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I like consoles, but am turning more to the power of PC. I do prefer gamepad over keyboard, but then again, mouse is better than right analogue stick.
I think there's space in the market for both. Or there will be once people realise that trying to play FPS games on a console controller is like trying to do brain surgery with an oven mitt on.

Consoles have always been about simple arcade games for me. FPS, RTS, Sims, Strategy, Adventure games are just unplayable on a console once you've used a PC for any length of time.
Ill be surprised if that $400 translates over here in UK. More like £450. I'm not holding my breath though for that announcement.
Personally I prefer a little something in the middle, I use a Logitech G13 and mouse combo.
The G13 has a little thumbstick for movement which allows all 4 fingers of the left hand (sorry for southpaws it's designed for use with left hand only) to access the 24 Macro Programmable buttons (button 25 is accessed by pressing the thumbstick). This allows for faster responses in all virtually game types (doesn't get much use in racing or space/flight-sims)

But back on topic, it's nice to see the consoles using hardware that allows for a unified codebase and common development systems. Makes porting the games between PC,PS(4?),Xbox(720?Next?) almost instant.
This also allows for greater optomisation of the code as they will all run an X86-64 based operating systems (NT 6.2 based for Xbox and likely a custom Linux core for Playstation).
It also looks like both will be running on AMD cpu's & gpu's so there's so much common hardware in there dev costs will drop considerably in the coding and hardware side, resulting in quality of graphics increases not only on the console lines but the PC as well (at long bloomin' last).
If they make good media hubs it'll be a price worth paying as you know how much future proofing will be engineered in to these things, unlike some fancy smart blu-ray player or tv who's software will seem dated fairly quickly. I suspect a couple years down the road the ps4 can be THE device to push 4k content thus being strategically important, in the same way the ps3 pretty much won them the blu-ray battle.
I'd be surprised if these will run games at 4k though, seeing as that's barely possible on high end pcs.

As for PC vs console, I think in theory some sort of gaming capable htpc has the potential to replace a console and the big screen steam stuff might move things in that direction. A console even at launch price can work out pretty decent value when you consider it's lifespan.