Sony is planning to launch PS4 globally in 2013, according to GameStop executive vice president Michael Hogan.
Speaking to investors and analysts alongside other company executives on the retailer's fourth quarter earnings call last week, Hogan said (via Seeking Alpha):
"We know that Sony will introduce the PlayStation 4 globally in 2013, but we are still waiting to see what Microsoft's final plans are.
"We have scenarios with one console introduction, as well as with two. Even a single launch in 2013 will drive double-digit console growth in 2014; and two launches would likely drive the console category north of 20 per cent growth."
Sony revealed PS4 in February, when it confirmed a PS4 release date of "holiday 2013" in at least one of Japan, Europe and the US. We've contacted Sony for an official line on the console's global launch window in light of GameStop's comments.
In the same earnings presentation, Hogan said GameStop research shows "extremely strong consumer interest" in new consoles. Showing off a slide highlighting purchase interest for a number of products among GameStop PowerUp Rewards members - who are deemed to be the retailer's most active customers - he said:
"In this case, purchase interest means do they plan to buy in the next year? As you can see, purchase interest for the new PlayStation 4 is very strong. In fact, across a wide range of products, including new smartphones, new tablets, laptops, et cetera, the PlayStation 4 is by far the top scoring item.
"This is further supported by the fact that nearly 900,000 members have already signed up for the PS4 First to Know List on PowerUp Rewards."
It has become a growing expectation in the industry that Microsoft will announce its next-generation Xbox platform at a special event in late April.