One of the country's most reputable dailies claims that Sony will confirm PS4 details on February 20.
The Asahi Shimbun is one of the largest news publications in the Japan. In the business section of its online edition, the newspaper has boldly claimed to know several key details about Sony's new console, namely that it will release in the US and Japan by the end of 2013, and it will retail for 40,000 yen ($427 USD). The report also suggests Sony is sticking with its "if it aint broke, don't fix it" stance on their controller, with the PS4 controller to be roughly the same size and shape as the current Dual Shock 3. They claim that Sony will confirm all of these details on February 20, a date previously hyped with a viral video.
This report seems to suggest that Sony has learned from its past mistake. The Playstation 3 launched in 2006 with a price tag of $600 USD (or a staggering $1000 AUD if you happened to live in the wrong hemisphere...) which was very widely criticized, and contributed to its slow early adoption rate. This 40,000 yen figure puts the console more in line with Nintendo's recently released Wii U, which currently retails for 31,500 yen (32 gigabyte version).
While the report claims that the console will be released in the US and Japan by 2013, it offers no word on a European release date. It also says that Sony will be utilizing some kind of touch screen technology for its new machine.
Consoles are typically sold at a loss at launch with the intention of making up for it in both software sales and the average longevity of a console generation. Sony took a big gamble with the PS3 by giving us a machine that was much more powerful than anything its competitors had to offer. Unfortunately, the unprecedented push in multi-platform games this generation meant that many triple A titles were built for the less-powerful Xbox 360, and didn't take advantage of the advanced power of the PS3.
With PCs poised to take the power and price advantage away from consoles in the next generation, and Nintendo showing that a less powerful machine can still be successful, the low price point of Sony's new console could suggest that the company will be using more modest hardware this time around.
Source: Asahi Shimbun (Japanese)