Sony sent out invitations Thursday to a mystery event in New York City
on February 20, sparking rumors that the world would get its first look
at a new-generation PlayStation videogame console.
Both Sony and
Microsoft are expected this year to show off successors to their
competing consoles, which have been evolving into home entertainment
hubs for films, television, music, social networking and more.
The PlayStation 3 was released in November 2006 and industry trackers believe a successor is on the near horizon.
January, the number of PS3 units shipped by Sony hit an estimated 77
million units, according to market research firm International Data
IDC gaming research manager Lewis Ward predicted at
the time of the report that consoles will retain their strongholds in
homes while expanding to include other digital entertainment.
console ecosystem is in a state of flux since these platforms need to
support an ever-growing array of non-gaming features and services at the
same time that game distribution and monetization is moving in a
digital direction," Ward said.
"It doesn't appear that alternative
platforms set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs
and so on are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the
'big 3' console OEMs in 2013 or 2014."
Videogame industry sales
should be bolstered by the arrival of next-generation videogame consoles
from Sony and Microsoft, according to Ward.
"With the advent of
eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms
strongly imply that game disk revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and
rise substantively in 2014," he said in the report.