The executive vice presient and chief financial officer of Sony Corporation, Masaru Kato, revealed earlier today during a conference call to investors that work on a "future platform" succeeding the PS3 is already "underway".
The news comes as the CFO was pressed by the audience to explain the rising costs of research and development.
According to Eurogamer, Kato said "For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life, but this is a platform business, so for the future platform - when we'll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that - but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there."
The PS3 is expected to have a shelf-life of a decade although that may depend heavily on market conditions. Nintendo is rumoured to be preparing for the launch of a successor to the popular Wii gaming console - codenamed Project Cafe - as early as next month and Microsoft has apparently started to distribute development platforms for a new Xbox console.
But it is the rise of superphones together with the voracious appetite for marketshare of companies like Apple and Google - which have no existing platform to protect - that may hasten the production of the Playstation 4 gaming console.
By this time next year, the first working prototypes of ARM's Cortex A15 system on chip will already have been sampled by hardware partners and it is more than likely that their raw computational and graphics capabilities may rival existing gaming consoles.