Market Overview

Will Sony Unveil the PlayStation 4 this Month?

Less than two weeks ago, Sony (NYSE: SNE) CEO Kazuo Hirai publicly denied rumors that the company would announce PlayStation 4 this quarter.

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?" he questioned.

Hirai's comments were thought to have been a jab at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is largely believed to be preparing the next Xbox for a holiday 2013 release, as well as an Xbox gaming tablet. Now it seems that Hirai may have been referring to Sony's most formidable competitor -- Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) -- which released its new console last fall.

According to IGN and numerous other websites throughout the game industry, Sony has simultaneously published a tweet, a Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) post and a YouTube (NASDAQ: GOOG) video hinting at the "future of the PlayStation business."

Yes, the PlayStation business -- that is the official word from a Sony rep who spoke with IGN. In other words, the event could be about anything -- PS Vita, PlayStation 4, new PS3 games, a new mobile initiative or virtually any other concept consumers can muster.

It is wholly possible that Sony will attempt to save PS Vita by releasing a Vita phone. While this might have seemed like a crazy idea two years ago, Samsung has paved the way for larger phones via the "phablet" concept. Why can't Sony take advantage of consumers' newfound acceptance of larger phones and release a PS Vita that can make and receive calls?

In addition to the possibility of PS3 software (which would likely disappoint everyone expecting the first PlayStation 4 teaser), Sony may also use the event to highlight a host of fresh PS Vita games. Better still, it may announce a long-awaited price cut that could make PS Vita more competitive as both a small tablet and a handheld game machine.

Then there is one idea that almost no one is talking about -- the streaming service that Sony is building. Sony has not officially said that it will stream games on PS3, PS4 or any other platform. However, the company spent $380 million to acquire Gaikai, a company that specializes in streaming video games. Surely the company intends to eventually use Gaikai's technology. It could be as soon as this month or (perhaps more realistically) a few years from now.

Whatever Sony plans to announce, the world will be watching with an immeasurable amount of anticipation. In less than one day, the teaser video has already garnered nearly 600,000 views on YouTube.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Gaikai PlayStation 4 PS Vita SonyNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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