127w ago - Today Aaron Lee of DigiTimes.com (linked above) reports that according to Taiwan makers Sony is rumored to start production of the PS4 console at the end of 2011.
To quote: Sony will have Taiwan-based partners begin production of PlayStation 4 (PS4) featuring body movement-based control like Kinect at the end of 2011 for launch in 2012, according to Taiwan-based component makers.
Foxconn and Pegatron Technology, assemblers of PS3, will undertake assembly of PS4 as well, the sources pointed out.
The planned shipment volume of PS4 in 2012 is at least 20 million units, the sources indicated.
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Exactly, so wouldn't the next logical step in a next-gen console be to significantly outperform what we have now? Think of the major changes that have occurred throughout time with video game consoles, every next-gen console that releases is significantly better than it's predecessor. SNES to N64, PSX to PS2, PS2 to PS3. All have been MASSIVE leaps in graphics technology. And while 1080p is more than twice the resolution of 720p, I don't think it will make enough difference to truly make the PS4 anything special when it comes to graphics. PC games have probably been going beyond 1080p for over a decade now, I think it's about time a console could do that as well.
But perhaps resolution isn't everything, heck even I have argued that point before. But at the very least I think the PS4 will have the capability to do higher than 1080p resolutions, not necessarily for games, but for movies. Because higher res TV's will be releasing, probably much sooner than we would imagine. A blu-ray disk can handle it due to it's capacity which seems to be growing all the time, and we all know that movies recorded on film go well beyond a 1080p resolution. The only limiting factor here is our TV's and the devices used to output the video.
Cause think about it, the TV companies really can't do too much more with the current HDTV's aside from perfecting the tech (perhaps some touchscreen stuff will make an appearance soon). So they will want to introduce the next big thing that they can charge $20,000 for, then as a few years go by that originally priced $20k, beyond 1080p res TV, will be under $1,000, ripe for the hands of the average consumers and just in time for the PS4. Not only do the TV companies benefit from this change, but also companies that make HDMI receivers and blu ray players, as people will need to buy new beyond 1080p receivers/players that can handle/output the higher resolutions.
It's all about money, and while I am perfectly fine with 1080p for my TV, people nowadays are all about the next best thing. And even though 1080p technology for the living room is still a relatively new adoption, it is already 'old news' because technology nowadays moves so insanely fast.
Not really sure about that, considering that hardly any currnet console game is running at full pontential of 1080p (hell - not even of 720p - most of them are runing internally on lower res and simply upscaling to 720p) ...
I am not saying 1080p wouldn't be good enough, because as you pointed out most PS3 games aren't even doing native 720p, I was simply estimating the future need for higher res games. PC gamers have been enjoying beyond (way beyond) 1080p gaming for quite some time now, and it makes logical sense that as technology grows, 1080p will be looked upon as the red-headed step child in the HD world. PC gamers have already been laughing at us HDTV owners because we think 1080p is so great, while they have been playing games on their beyond 1080p monitors for some time now.
I guarantee you within the next 2-3 years TV manufacturers will be coming out with higher res TV's, that go well beyond 1080p. Mark my words, that WILL be the next best thing in HDTV technology. They did their motion enhancement 120hz, 240hz, LED back-lighting and 3D stuff... and it is highly likely that next step up on the cutting edge evolutionary chain of HDTV technology will be the implementation of 1080p+ resolutions. Because lets face it, people get bored of stuff very quickly in today's society, and 1080p is old news. And the prices for 1080p HDTV's have gone down so much it is mind boggling. For the price I paid for my 32" 720p Samsung back in 2007, I could get a top of the line 120/240hz, 3D, 1080p, 55", LED HDTV. Higher res is the next big step for HDTV's, and if Sony thinks ahead with the PS4, they will need to prepare for this.
Same goes for touchscreen tech, I personally hate it but people seem to love it. And I wouldn't be surprised if TV's started to come out where there was a sensor on the TV that could identify your hand gestures to move around the TV's settings and menus, basically like a virtual touch screen. Sony will have to identify all the potential future technology and implement it into the PS4, which is also another good reason it won't be coming out any time soon, because too many things are unknown about what future tech may bring.
And if they don't guess right, the PS4 would be obsolete much sooner than expected. Because say if they release with a 1080p limitation, and beyond 1080p TV's get really popular.. well, you get the idea. Gaming is not the only thing the PlayStation is used for, you can't discount blu rays and the whole home theater aspect of owning a PS3 and potential PS4. Cause while games may not go beyond 1080p on a console for the next generation, blu-ray movies and TV's most definitely will.