Is the PS4 imminent Gamers abuzz after Sony calls mystery meeting to announce 'the future of Playstation'Tech giant sends out invites for February 20 meeting in New YorkSpeculation rife that it is preparing to release a new games consoleTeaser video gets nearly 600,000 views in less than 24 hours
17:37 GMT, 1 February 2013
17:58 GMT, 1 February 2013
Rumours are circulating that Sony is preparing to launch its next generation games console soon after the Japanese tech giant sent out invitations to an event on 'the future of Playstation.'
Sony would not say whether it was preparing to unveil the successor to the 70million selling PS3 at the February 20 meeting in New York, but the prospect had gamers abuzz on Twitter.
'We will be talking about the Playstation business,' Sony spokesman Masaki Tsukakoshi said today.
Scroll down for video
Tantalising: A still from the video Sony released to drum up excitement over its Playstation announcement
Despite that, the scale of the excitement over the meeting was indicated by a Google search for 'Sony Feb 20 Playstation' which returned more than 7million hits.
The last time Sony held a Playstation event, in January 2011, it presented a protoype of its handheld Vita console.
Before that, it convened a gathering in 2005 two months after it first demonstrated the PS3 concept. A meeting in 1999 revealed designs for the PS2.
It has been more than six years since Sony launched the PS3 home console, a longer gap than between it and its PS2 predecessor, adding to the anticipation that it will soon disclose its next gaming concept.
Current generation: Sony's super-slim
PlayStation 3 has been on the market for more than six years, selling some 70million units, making the
Japanese technology firm long overdue a new flagship product launch
Despite remaining tight-lipped about the specific purpose of the press conference, the company published a teaser video about the meeting on YouTube which has already been viewed more than 400,000 times in less than 24 hours.
The video also promoted a Twitter hashtag, #Playstation2013, to which video game fans flocked to share their excitement about the forthcoming event.
It was clear that most expected to see the PS4 unveiled.
'#playstation2013 I am ready for next gen consoles !!!' wrote Dogukan Celik on the social messaging site.
David Brammell Jr tweeted: 'I may not be ready for a new console yet. I might be getting one sooner that I think. Mystery Sony conference in Feb. #playstation2013 #PS4.'
Such a console would follow Nintendo's Wii U, which launched last autumn, and precede Microsoft's next Xbox game console, which will likely be unveiled in June at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles.
The PlayStation Vita: The portable console, successor to the PSP, was unveiled the last time Sony held a Playstation event, in January 2011
Since Sony's last home console launch, the games market has been transformed by the boom in smartphones and tablet computers that have wooed players with free or cheap games.
Sony and its video game rivals Nintendo and Microsoft now have to contend with competition from powerful hand-held devices made by Apple, Samsung and a string of others.
Analysts expect that tablets and other mobile devices will match the power and graphics of today's games consoles within a few years.
Many are already able to run the kinds of 3D games that were once the exclusive preserve of those dedicated machines and high-spec gaming PCs.
Struggling under competitive pressure, Nintendo on Wednesday cut its sales target for the Wii U, successor to its 100million-selling Wii, to 4million machines by the end of March from its launch in November.
That compared with an earlier forecast for 5.5million.