Expect a big announcement from Sony about its next-gen PlayStation 4 console this month or possibly in early May, a source familiar with the company's marketing strategy revealed this week.
Sony already disclosed some PlayStation 4 specs at a February event in which the company unveiled the console's controller and a stereo camera with motion capture capabilities, but not, to the chagrin of gamers everywhere, the PS4 itself.
But Sony may be parcelling out information about its coming game console to build up buzz, according to the source. Some industry watchers anticipated another reveal or at least some PS4 news at last week's Game Developer Conference, but the company only tipped some details about the underlying hardware, Ars Technica reported.
GDC was probably the last big stage for the company to talk up the successor to the PlayStation 3 at Amazon before the E3 gaming conference in June, unless Sony manufactures its own event. Well that's precisely what Sony plans to do, according to the source, who said late April/early May will be the likeliest timeframe for a full-blown launch of the PS4.
Microsoft, which is playing its cards much closer to its chest with regards to its own next-generation console, has also been rumoured to be planning an April event to lift the curtain on what many are calling the Xbox 720. The source had no knowledge of such plans but guessed that an E3 reveal would be more likely given Redmond's recent history — Microsoft unveiled Kinect (then dubbed Project Natal) at the 2009 show and announced the redesigned Xbox 360 at the expo the following year.
What's more, Microsoft in January posted a countdown to this year's E3 on its blog, which many be interpreted as a countdown to the next version of the Xbox.
Unlike Sony, which has doled out some information about the PS4, Microsoft has yet to even officially state that it has a new console in the works at all — though leaks and rumours about the Xbox 360's successor have been rampant for more than a year.
So far, Nintendo's Wii U is the only member of the so-called eighth generation of video game consoles to have hit the market. Both the PS4 and the unnamed Xbox 360 successor are rumoured to be slated for release later this year, in time for the holidays.
Meanwhile, with no console news coming from the Sony and Microsoft camps at GDC, Kickstarter-funded upstarts Oculus VR and Ouya were able to hog the hardware spotlight at the conference. Oculus treated attendees to demos of its Rift virtual reality headset and Ouya announced it will make its low cost Android console generally available on 4 June.