Sony Said to Be Prepping PlayStation 4 to Keep Consoles Relevant

Sony Corp., trying to reverse a two- year decline in PlayStation sales, is prepping a powerful new version of the home console to deliver more realistic games and entertainment features, an analyst said.

Sony “is 100 percent certain to announce the PlayStation 4” at a Feb. 20 event, Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, said yesterday, citing his checks with game developers and retailers.

The company this week invited journalists and analysts to a PlayStation meeting in New York, without providing details of the agenda. Dan Race, a Sony spokesman, didn’t respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment. A year ago, Tokyo-based Sony company introduced the PlayStation Vita portable game console in Japan.

They’ll be able to put a lot more characters on the screen and allow for hyper-realistic games,” Pachter said.

Sony’s new console will feature graphics chips developed byAdvanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and processors capable of rendering games at 240 frames a second, Pachter said. Current-generation games typically render at 30 or 60 frames per second. As with past model changes, Sony would continue to produce and sell the almost 7-year-old PlayStation 3.

We don’t comment on rumor or speculation as a matter of policy,” said Drew Prairie, a spokesman for Sunnyvale, California-based AMD. Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) provided the graphics chips for the current generation of Sony game consoles.

The New York presentation is expected to focus on Sony’s effort to deliver better integration with its entertainment properties and the ability to shift content off the device to the Internet, Pachter said.

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