Rumours have been flying around the internet for some months now that the "next generation" of consoles will soon be upon us. While Nintendo released their effort, the Wii U last year, both Microsoft and Sony have remained fairly tight lipped, with few references towards new hardware, or their next-generation machines from either company. Despite their reluctance to talk, though, alleged "leaks" and anonymous sources have repeatedly suggested that we'll be seeing new consoles - sequels to the Xbox 360 and PS3 - at some point this year. And, with the release of a video, Sony has just set the entire internet ablaze.
While the video admittedly doesn't reveal much - it's essentially just some 3D recreations of the iconic Playstation buttons slowly rotating - it does reveal one important date, the 20th of February, just under three weeks away. According to this video, it's then that we'll get to discover the "future of Playstation". Quite how we'll discover that remains to be seen - it could be in the form of an event that the press attend (although we haven't heard anything yet), it could be an online conference, or someone could simply press a button in Sony HQ that reveals all to the world (the information, that is). And while there's certainly a chance we may be disappointed - it could just be a few new games, for example - the fact the video makes reference to the future of Playstation suggests we could be in for something very, very big indeed.
Of course, as with any new console launch, increasingly fantastical rumours have been finding their way onto the internet on an almost daily basis, but there have been a few recurring themes. Codenamed "Orbis", the next generation of Playstation may be stepping away from the Playstation name - much like Microsoft decided to go for Xbox 360 rather than Xbox 2 so as not to sound inferior to the Playstation 3, Sony may have decided a change in branding is necessary to keep the Playstation relevant - although we're not convinced. Like Opal Fruits becoming Starburst, sometimes it's best to stick with a name people know. Other rumours suggest a redesigned controller, a greater use of the Playstation Eye camera, and an equally strong focus on families alongside the more "hardcore" games.
Either way, with a potential announcement now scheduled for the end of the month, it seems Sony are set to get a head start on Microsoft, who have yet to announce anything to do with their next-gen console. It's long been suggested that one of the companies would show their hand early, with an event before the traditional reveal-season around the LA gaming convention, E3 in June - and it seems those rumours have been proven right. We'll be keeping our ear to the ground in the run up to the 20th - so make sure you check back soon.