During an investor call in Japan late last night, Sony confirmed they are working on a "future platform." Although few hard details were revealed about the platofrm, this is the first official mention from Sony of these plans.
When discussing an increase in research and development costs over the last quarter, Sony’s VP and CFO Masaru Kato said:
"For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life, but this is a platform business, so for the future platform – when we’ll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that – but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there.”
Kato said whatever Sony is working on will have a different kind of launch than the PS3. The losses they have suffered on the PlayStation 3 had to do with the price of semiconductors versus retail prices. Sony has since created its own semiconductor facilities, and this mean it is "no longer thinkable to have a huge initial financial investment like that of the PS3," according to Kato.
It's hardly surprising that Sony is working on a new console -- that's the company's whole thing-- but Kato's comments seem at odds with recent statements from Sony head Kaz Hirai. Back in February, Kaz said, "A near-future PS4 or next-generation home console is not something that we are even debating now. That is to say, we are still concentrating fully upon the PS3. Right now, I appeal to you to think of the PS3 and NGP as a new, co-operative partnership."
Obviously, as soon as we know more about whatever Sony is cooking up, we'll tell you, but it might be a while -- we have no word on when we'll be hearing more.