At the moment we know very little concrete information about Sony’s next console. It will likely be called “PlayStation” and include a numeral indicating that it’s the successor to the PlayStation 3. Further, based on Sony’s past history, we expect the would-be PlayStation 4 to be a very impressive piece of technology. This is de rigueur for the company – PlayStation 2 marketing efforts focused heavily on that console’s “Emotion Engine,” while PlayStation 3 ads touted the system’s Cell processor – but instead of relying entirely on impressive graphics and stratospheric framerates, Sony’s imminent PlayStation 4 public relations blitz will paint the new system as the home of the best, most novel functionality concepts of the upcoming console generation.
At least, that’s the claim made by in report published by Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index and translated by Engadget. According to an unnamed source within Sony, PlayStation 4 marketing efforts will heavily focus on the console’s media center functionality, and its ability to interact with mobile phones, tablets, and computers.
This is all in line with Kaz Hirai’s “One Sony” initiative, that will seek to find a homogeneity with all its devices, whether that device be a smartphone or a camera, a TV or a gaming console. Expect the push to feature more and more integration amongst Sony’s various devices to include the PS4. It also makes sense for Sony to rebrand the PS4 has a home media device rather than just a gaming console (and blu-ray player), much as Microsoft has been doing with the Xbox 360. The 360 has been seeing a huge amount of success through its move to bring in new apps that have little or nothing to do with gaming. Apps like ESPN, Last.fm, and Epix have helped make the 360 the top selling console in America for 24 consecutive months. The global sales are a different story though, and Microsoft’s push for exclusive media content hasn’t been nearly as strong as in the States.
In closing, the Nikkei report claims that the PlayStation 4 will make its official retail debut before the end of the year. Only time will tell if this is accurate or not, but we’ll bring you word on its validity just as soon as we hear something. Sony has a big, mysterious event scheduled for February 20, so hopefully the company clears things up at that time.