New comments from a high-ranking Sony executive offer the latest proof that gamers will likely know the PlayStation 4 release date by the middle of 2013 at the latest. Though, it looks like May might be the earliest we can hope for.

During a recent interview regarding a variety of upcoming Sony initiatives, Vice President Hiroshi Sakamoto told that the company would likely announce the PlayStation 4 sometime during the Summer 2013. The Sony Home Entertainment executive teased an E3 announcement before admitting there was a strong possibility of a pre-E3 PlayStation 4 unveiling sometime during the month of May.

"I can only say that we are focused on the E3 gaming event," said Sakamoto [translated by Google]. "Maybe ... earlier in May. "

The Sony VP stopped short of out-right saying that some sort of PlayStation 4 news would arrive during May but did reiterate the possibility during a follow-up question. When asked whether or not the May news would be a small aside or major announcement, Sakamoto reportedly said that a major announcement was much more likely but stressed that Sony "must wait until May at least."

It's unknown if the PlayStation 4 release date will be be discussed during the console's official unveiling; however, as CVG notes, an increasingly large group of people believe the PlayStation 4 release date will arrive sometime during the next year. Unfortunately, the Sony executive also didn't comment on recent speculation that the company could ship the PlayStation 4 with technology that prevents gamers from playing used games.

In fact, many believe Sony is pushing to get the PlayStation 4 on the market before the Xbox 720 in hopes of getting an early jump on Microsoft in the next generation of the console wars. Unfortunately, for those anxiously awaiting any news on the PlayStation 4 release date, the new rumors cast even more doubt on prior speculation that Sony could unveil information about the Playstation 4 release date during a February press event being called Destination PlayStation.

Of course, Sakamoto's comments could just be the Sony executive's way of keeping the media on their toes when it comes to the PlayStation 4's official unveiling. The company certainly stands to benefit from continued media discussion/speculation regarding the PlayStation 4 release date; however, Sakamoto's comments do match up with a number of rumors regarding the PlayStation 4's unveiling and release date.

When do you think that Sony will reveal their new console and finally announce the PlayStation 4 release date?

Let us know in the comments section!