PlayStation 4 reportedly hitting shelves this year

Last night, Sony released a new teaser that seems to point to an incoming PlayStation 4 reveal. The Wall Street Journal today is reporting that Sony will indeed reveal the next PlayStation at this event on February 20, and that the console will be releasing sometime this year. That's a pretty exciting claim if true, but keep in mind that we won't know Sony's real plan until at least February 20.

We'll probably be waiting for more details beyond that suspected launch event too, as there's a chance Sony will wait until E3 2013 to talk about pricing and a release date. In any case, the Wall Street Journal's anonymous sources – who are said to be "familiar with the matter" – claim the next PlayStation will be arriving this year, with Sony targeting a pre-holiday launch. They also claim that Sony was considering ditching the optical drive in the PS4 at one point, be ultimately decided against it.

Good thing too, since many gamers these days still don't have their consoles connected to the Internet. There's also the problems of large download files and storage space, so requiring players to download their PS4 games probably wouldn't be the best idea. Luckily, the optical drive has since been restored to the work-in-progress console, or so these sources claim.

WSJ's write-up also says that Sony is focusing on the social aspects of gaming with the next PlayStation, so it sounds like Sony may be taking a few cues from Nintendo here. Just as well, apparently the company is putting more importance on improving the way people interact with their console than it is on improving hardware. Perhaps Move will play a larger part in Sony's next generation console? We'll hopefully be finding out soon.