Taiwanese manufacturers will begin production of Sony's PlayStation 4 at the end of this year, according to DigiTimes' component-maker sources. Sony apparently plans to ship the PS4 to us lucky consumers sometime in 2012.
The sources also claimed that the PS4 will feature "body-movement-based control", which suggests Sony may do away with its wand-like Move controllers and switch to a system more like Microsoft Kinect.
Last month, a cryptic phone call from a high-level Sony executive possibly, maybe, could have, perhaps, hinted that the PS4 was already in development, but no further details about features or a release date were given. If these latest rumours are to be believed, that phone call carries a little more weight.
Eurogamer argues that these rumours are "ridiculous", claiming Sony will want to milk the profit from the PS3 that it is only just seeing -- the PS3 has so far represented a massive loss for the company. Couple that argument with the monumental troubles Sony has had with the PlayStation Network hacks and we can't help but agree that an entirely new console is unlikely to be released so soon.
It's often the case, however, that leaks about new products come directly from the manufacturers making the parts, so it could be that Sony indeed has something on the way. But we think it's more likely that Sony is planning a refresh of the PS3 -- a PS3 2, if you will -- perhaps in response to Nintendo announcing its next-gen Wii U.
Time will tell what plans Sony has up its sleeve, but we don't suggest you start saving your pennies just yet -- there's probably an iPhone 5 to buy first.