The bad news just keeps coming for PS4 fans, with a recent report suggesting that at least one of the "Big Three" gaming regions (United States, Europe, Japan) might not see a PlayStation 4 release date before the end of 2013 after all.
Digital Spy spoke with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe UK managing director Fergal Gara on Friday, and the SCEE director all but confirmed that the European launch will be delayed until 2014 with his reported dodging of a question on the subject. While he didn't come right out and say the delay was guaranteed, Gara admitted that a phased released could draw the PS4 release out over a period of several months (possibly even into 2014) when all is said and done.
Last month, Edge Magazine reported the PlayStation 4 release date might be coming to Japan and North America during 2013, but "complexities involved in European distribution" would likely push the console's European launch into early 2014. As per usual, Sony refused to comment on the rumors, but a number of lagging European console/portable launches in recent years certainly seemed to back up Edge's claim. Now, Gara's comments seem to confirm that Sony is at least worried about a potential delay, if not already certain that one is coming.
The potential PlayStation 4 release date delay continues a string of relatively unpopular PS4 announcements following the widely publicized PlayStation Meeting which took place in New York City on February 20. In the days since Sony's press event, executives have announced the transfer of decision-making responsibilities -- regarding the acceptability of playing used games on the PlayStation 4 -- to game publishers, after previously saying that the console wouldn't block used titles.
Gara also reconfirmed that the PlayStation 3 game library streaming service confirmed to be in development at the PlayStation Meeting won't be ready for the console's launch but saying that it (like many other services) will make their debut as the PlayStation 4 continues to "evolve" post-launch. Somewhat surprisingly, the SCEE UK managing director also revealed that Sony has not reached a firm decision on whether or not to bundle the dual-camera PlayStation Eye with the PlayStation 4 at launch.
In a bit of good news, the SCEE UK managing director did say that, barring control scheme barriers, all PS4 games would eventually be playable on the PS Vita via their home WiFi network. The PlayStation 4 also won't play well with PS3 games or controllers; however, Gara did leave the door open to backwards compatibility for other PlayStation 3 accessories. The PlayStation 4's full game catalogue will also apparently be available for sale in the updated PSN store; however, it's unclear if the digital download will always be available on the day game's like "Killzone: Shadow Fall" launch, or if there will occasionally/always be a delay between games' physical and digital availability.
Unfortunately, for Sony, offering backwards compatibility for old PlayStation Move controllers or USB devices is unlikely to make up for the customers lost as a result of developing a (presumably) for-pay backwards compatibility service instead of offering it either natively or free-of-charge for existing PS3 game owners.
Are you looking forward to the PlayStation 4 release date? Do you think players are too concerned with Sony's seemingly still-evolving stances on issues like used game support?
Let us know in the comments section!