PS4 rumours a-swirling

PlayStation 3.

PlayStation 3.

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET

There's been some buzz the last few weeks that Sony might unveil its next-generation PlayStation sooner rather than later, and definitely much sooner than the annual E3 Expo in June. Now, the credible-sounding scuttlebutt suggests Sony will hold an event in late February to give the world its first glimpse of the PlayStation 4, or PlayStation Orbis, or whatever it ends up being called. One specific rumour, originating from gaming site expertreviews.co.uk, suggests the PS4 will be released in 2014, and the early reveal is part of a strategy to steal some thunder from the next Xbox, which is expected to launch this holiday season. Better start saving your pennies.

Xbox rumours a-twirling

Meanwhile, our friends at IGN Xbox, in their 10 Bold Xbox Predictions feature, believe the next Xbox will be revealed about a month before June's E3 Expo, will go on sale in November for $400, and will simply be called "Xbox" in much the same way Apple calls each new iteration of their tablet simply "iPad." If I was a betting man, I'd place wagers on each of these things. We won't have to wait much longer.

Hardware, hardware, everywhere

The new PlayStation and Xbox will be facing a lot of competition in the living room when they do arrive, with the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas debuting a slew of new gaming devices, including Piston (a small computer designed to play PC games from Valve Software's Steam service) and Shield (an Android-based handheld games machine from graphics chip maker Nvidia, which looks like an Xbox controller trying to mate with a tablet.) Lots of choice is exciting, but with every new piece of hardware introduced, the market becomes ever more confused and fragmented, which ultimately does no one any favours. At the end of 2013, it will be fascinating to see who's still standing.


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