That out-of-nowhere, weirdly unsourced claim from British biz site MCV last week bluntly stating we'd see Microsoft's next Xbox and Sony's PS4 at E3 this summer? Baloney, says Sony (about the PS4, anyway).
"I don't think we're contemplating talking about anything to do with future console iterations at this point," Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House told CVG, noting that Sony is "just entering into this great period for PS3."
Late last week, MCV wrote a story titled "Next Xbox AND PS4 set for biggest ever E3." The rest of the story? Just a few paragraphs claiming the same, without so much as a single "our sources tell us" or "supply chain members reveal." (Hey, the Internet...claim anything!)
Instead, says Sony, keep yours eyes on the PS3: "[One] thing I always point to is that, somewhat in contrast to our major competitors, we have, particularly with PS2, managed the length of the lifecycle and ensured its profitability for our publishing partners for a much longer lifecycle than has been true of the competition," says House. It's true, so long as we stick to set-top consoles (though Sony's only released two to date, so the "always" part's statistically flat).
Sony claims its device longevity has to do with the company's history as an electronics manufacturer and its close partnerships with publishing partners to ensure profitability, though that doesn't really explain the revenue hemorrhaging the company endured for years while it was selilng the PS3 at a serious loss (the company didn't climb out of the red until early 2010, over three years after the system debuted).
So when will we see a PS4? House wouldn't say, but he admitted the future probably has a lot to do with high-definition breakthroughs, and that physical media would probably still play a major role because it offers "the easiest consumer experience." Expect cloud and streaming content to be part of the package, but more for mobile (the Vita and Sony's PlayStation mobile phone platform, in other words) as well as casual content.
Anything's possible when it comes to game companies, but I'd say the chances we'll see the PS4 — behind closed doors or no — at E3 2012 is zero. The same goes for Microsoft's next Xbox. Neither the Xbox 360 nor PS3 are threatened in a generational sense by the Wii U, and both companies have too many triple-A titles in queue to risk stalling sales by teasing next-gen stuff.