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Sony boss claims Xbox One early release will give PS4 advantage

The long-held belief that the next iteration of the Xbox will debut before the PlayStation 4 has more or less been confirmed by Sony president Kaz Kirai.

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?" asked Hirai in an interview with the Times.

Hirai refuted the notion that the Xbox 720's speculated headstart would provide it with a market advantage, reasoning instead that the lead-in time gives Sony the opportunity to learn from its rival before releasing the PlayStation 4.

Regardless of what the statement suggests about Sony's intentions, it's unlikely that either the Xbox 720 or the PlayStation 4 will see drastic changes so close to their respective unveilings, which could happen as soon as next month, if the rumours are to be believed.

Still, 'soft changes' could be applied in the areas of UI or networking facilities, which brings up an interesting problem for Sony, whose late release of the PlayStation 3 allowed the Xbox 360 to grab much of the console gaming social space through Xbox Live. Alongside an initial advantage in third party support, that feat helped maintain the the Xbox's early lead.