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The release of ‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’ may hint at the PS4’s release date

Sony PS4 PRess ConferenceThe PlayStation 4 is building impressive momentum for a video game console that no one has actually seen in the flesh just yet. Sony’s advertisement video for the PS4 was the most watched video on YouTube for the month of February, racking up a whopping 26.3 million views. GameStop isn’t even taking pre-orders for the machine just yet, but it has started up one of its “First To Know” sign up campaigns to let people pre-order their pre-order for a PS4, and 600,000 people signed up over the course of three weeks. Sony has yet to hint at a price (or prices assuming there are bundles), but it did give a rough release window of Holiday 2013. That covers a fairly wide range of dates, but most assumed it meant sometime in November before the sales frenzy of Black Friday. But according to a new third-party publisher, the PS4 might be around before that, and could be out as early as October. 

Speaking with Outside Xbox, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s director Jean Guesdon emphasized that his new game of pirates and hoods will ship for all systems on Oct. 29 – that’s not just the Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 version of the game either, but all versions of the game including the PS4. The indication is that the PS4 will also be available to play the game on in October 2013.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard the PlayStation 4 may be due out before the typical holiday shopping mania. A source familiar with Sony’s plans said all the way back in April 2012 that Sony planned to get to market ahead of Microsoft. “Sony are completely in the belief that they have the jump on Microsoft this time,” said the source, going on to say that it will not just announce its machine first, but beat Microsoft to market ahead of Christmas 2013.

Realistically Guesdon’s comments aren’t the strongest evidence of an October release for PlayStation 4. Games for new consoles are sometimes, though not often, available before the machine as was the case with Sony’s very own Uncharted: Golden Abyss. That and other Vita games were available a week before the Vita actually released in February 2012.

The other factor to consider is that there has not been a game console released in the past twelve years that didn’t come out in November. The Nintendo Gamecube and Xbox released within days of each other in November 2001, the Xbox 360 followed quickly in November 2005, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 duked it out on the very same day in November 2006, and the Nintendo Wii U hit the world with a wet thud in November 2012.

The last home console to not release in November was actually Sony’s PlayStation 2, which landed in October 2000. Perhaps the company is planning to release PlayStation 4 in October 2013 for luck more than anything else.