Sony may have confirmed that the PS4 next-gen console is in development, but the company isn't so foolish as to announce any launch details for fear of cannibalizing PS3 sales. That hasn't stopped the tattle-tales in Taiwan, of course, which inform DigiTimes that Sony is readying production though Foxconn and Pegatron at the end of 2011.
That's ahead of a commercial launch of the PS4 sometime in 2012, the component supply chain sources suggest. Sony supposedly expects to ship at least 20m PS4 units in 2012, though the exact release date during that year is unknown. Foxconn and Pegatron are both responsible for assembly of the current PS3.
Specifications of the PS4 are a mystery, though motion-based control in a similar fashion to what Microsoft enabled with the Kinect sensor bar for the Xbox 360 is said to be a given. Comments from Sony in the past have suggested that the console will still rely on optical media rather than shifting to all-digital; Sony looks to have been burned by the PSP Go! fiasco, which ditched physical media but lacked momentum in the digital download space.
Otherwise it's likely to be the usual recipe of faster, more graphically powerful and more internet and smart home aware. Sony has already leveraged its PlayStation Network - recent hacking and downtime notwithstanding - but we'd expect to see interaction between the company's upcoming S1 and S2 tablets as well.