Talking to various developers and publishers, analysts Arvind Bhatia and Colin Sebastian both believe that the next PlayStation and Xbox are destined for release in late 2013. Neither Sony nor Microsoft talked about their next consoles at this E3 during their press conferences, focusing instead on services and games for their existing hardware, but that doesn't mean that the writing isn't on the wall
"[There's a] high probability that PlayStation 4 and/or Xbox 720 will be out in late 2013. Based on various conversations we had at the conference, we believe it is all but a given that either Microsoft or Sony or both will launch their new consoles next year," said Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia, noting, "Publishers [are] excited about PS4 and Xbox 720. Publishers seem to be a lot more excited about the potential for the next consoles from Microsoft and Sony than they are about Nintendo Wii U."
Bhatia added that the upcoming console transition will be "tough but not as much as in the past." He continued, "Historically, the console transition period is tough for everyone in the industry. We expect that to be the case next year, albeit to a lesser degree than in the past. This is based on our conversations with industry players that suggest that the technology in the next-gen consoles will be simpler to develop for compared to the complications for the PS3 and 360 roughly six years ago."
"Next-gen platform details [are] slowly emerging," noted Colin Sebastian of RW Baird. "Based on our conversations at E3, we continue to expect a late-2013 launch for next-gen Microsoft and Sony platforms. While there will likely be improvements to processing power, speed, and graphics on the new platforms, the most significant innovations may be tight integration with online services, as well as flexible revenue models, such as Free-to-Play, Micro-transactions (services model)."