Unlikely rumor: Sony PS4 to launch in 2012

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Sometimes rumors I pass on seem like a pretty sure bet. Other times they're pretty far-fetched. Today's rumor falls into that latter category.

It's about Sony's Playstation 4, the theoretical next home gaming console from the company. According to a post at DigiTimes, Sony will begin manufacturing the PS4 in late 2011 in order to be ready for a 2012 launch. Further, the PS4 will have full-body motion controls similar to what Microsoft has done with Kinect, and Sony plans to ship at least 20 million units in 2012 (says the rumor).

[Also see: Hands-on with Sony's PlayStation Vita and E3 press conference: A humble Sony leans on Move and NGP [video]]

Last month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo showed off its next home console, the Wii U. It's expected to ship in 2012, and that's a typical launch process: show early hardware off a solid year before launch. Given that Sony's focus is on the portable Playstation Vita console (coming in late 2011 or early 2012) it's really hard to believe they're almost ready to go to manufacturing on a console that hasn't been announced yet.

I'm sure on some level Sony is working on a PS4, but this year and 2012 is going to be about the Vita. Sony might show something from a PS4 at the 2012 E3 and schedule a launch for 2013; a lot probably depends on how the Wii U launch goes, and what rumblings come out of Mircrosoft. But a new home console in 2012. Nope, not going to happen.

I'm also skeptical about them developing a Kinect-like system given how much they've invested in Playstation Move, and the fact that the Sony brand is very popular in Japan where apartments tend to be small; playing a game by flinging your body around takes a lot of room.

Now. switching gears a bit to what is going to happen. The global PSN outage will finally end for everyone this week. In Japan some services are still down, and the last to come back online will be Sony's music service, Qriocity, which is scheduled to come back online on July 6th. The outage is already a distant memory for many gamers in the West, but I'm sure Japanese PS3 owners will be happy to have their services back up and running once again.

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