PS4 launch tipped for Q2 2013 by key Sony exec

The next-generation PlayStation 4 (PS4) game platform could be unveiled as soon as May, according to Hiroshi Sakamoto, VP of Sony Home Entertainment.

Asked by Chilean news site emol.com about the company's plans for the console, Sakamoto revealed that while the PS4 was still a "big secret," the new model was likely to be officially outed in Q2 2013.

"Our friends are preparing Sony PlayStation. I can only say that we are focused on the E3 gaming event, schuedle for June. Announcement may be made in that minute or even earlier in May," he said.

Pressed to discuss Sony's plans further, he confirmed that a "big announcement" would be made in the coming months.

"We expect to deliver great news, but we must wait until May at least," Mr Sakamoto added.

Speculation surrounding the PS4, codenamed Orbis, has been rife lately. Sony stoked the fire last week when it distributed invites for a press event in February, dubbed Destination PlayStation.

More excitable pundits see Destination PlayStation as a potential launch platform for the PS4, though Sakamoto's comments surely confirm that the Scottsdale, Arizona get-together will focus on the PS3's 2013 lineup.

Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian agrees, arguing that E3 is the event to watch.

"Given the fragile state of the console game market, we expect the E3 trade show in June will take on added significance, most likely providing the industry with the first public opportunity to examine next-generation hardware," Sebastian noted.

He added that he expected the PS4 to hit the consumer market in October 2013 - earlier than its main rival, Microsoft's rumoured Xbox 720, which will arrive in November.

Concept image credit: Joseph Dumary via Yanko Design