Sony has just announced a PlayStation-related event for February 20th at 6pm, and it looks like we'll get our first look at the company's next-generation home console. In a tweet, Sony says that the PlayStation Meeting 2013 will allow us to "see the future" and an attached video teaser may even have given us a glimpse of the hardware. The video is mostly abstract renderings of the classic PlayStation button symbols, but there are brief flashes where it looks like something else could be going on. In any case, we could have less than three weeks left until we see the next PlayStation, reportedly codenamed Orbis, for real.
Additionally, noted industry analyst Michael Pachter says Sony has also extended invitations to company investors for the upcoming event. We can't be positive a PlayStation 4 is on the agenda, but clearly whatever Sony is preparing to share is rather important. Prior to today's teaser, many believed Sony would be revealing its latest console at this year's E3 conference, if not later. CEO Kaz Hirai has hinted that Sony might repeat its last-gen approach: let the competition go first, and follow up with a more powerful machine. The PlayStation 3 was released an entire year after Microsoft's Xbox 360, which left Sony with an uphill battle to eventually catch up. Microsoft employee Larry Hryb ramped up hype surrounding a successor to the 360 earlier this month, too, leading many to expect an unveiling of the next Xbox before Sony made its move.
Still, Sony has a history of unveiling hardware well ahead of E3. The PlayStation Vita — known only by its codename of NGP at the time — made its debut on January 27th, 2011. So there's precedent that points to a grand reveal on February 20th, though we imagine Microsoft may still be caught by surprise.
Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that the next PlayStation will indeed be revealed on February 20th.
See the future: us.playstation.com/meeting2013 #playstation2013— PlayStation (@PlayStation) January 31, 2013
Chris Welch contributed to this report.