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Could an early PS4 reveal hurt Sony?

7 January 2013

The latest rumors pertaining to PlayStation 4 – or whatever Sony intends on calling its next-generation telly box – point towards a February 25 reveal. To be more specific, the hardware manufacturer plans on unveiling the console at Destination PlayStation, a popular event that in the past has been a regular stomping ground for new hardware and software reveals. Expert Reviews (the source of the story) also claims that Sony hopes an early announcement will “dampen” hype for Microsoft’s new Xbox, apparently due for an E3 reveal.

However, is an early unveiling really that wise? Sure, in the short run, salivating PlayStation fans and industry watchers alike get a butcher’s at the first true next-generation console (Wii U doesn’t really count, does it?) and it’ll no doubt set tongues wagging, but what about long-term? It’s here that PSU is a little concerned about a potential February PS4 reveal, and we reckon E3 would be far more appropriate.

For one, people saving up for a PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita will very likely stop and take note of the new hardware on the horizon, and may forgo their plans of purchasing Sony’s current-gen offerings. An early PS4 announcement would severely damage PS3’s sales in what is likely to be the console’s last major year on the market; as for PS Vita, it needs all the sales it can muster right about now, so need I say more?

Microsoft has plenty of time to prepare for an E3 Xbox 720 reveal, and the last thing Sony wants is its leading competitor stealing the show; having PS4 at the same event would easily split attention, and counter anything Microsoft has to offer. After all, E3 is the biggest gaming show on earth, and a great platform for Sony to announce its plans for the next-generation. Letting Xbox gobble up all the next-gen hype at E3 would be a disastrous move on Sony's part.

Lastly, PS4 is being released in 2014 according to rumors, making a June announcement much more likely. PS3 needs leg room for now and Sony must focus all its efforts in marketing the last slew of triple-A titles such as The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension and Sly Cooper 4 -- Sony would be shooting itself in the foot if it were to unveil PS4 at the same industry bash. With much of its major releases behind it by the time E3 comes knocking, the way would then be clear for PS4/Orbis to take centre stage.

Do you think PS4 will be announced next month? Do you think it’s a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below.

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