Sony Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Masuru Kato has announced during a conference call with investors that the company will be working on a future platform console, indicating the impending launch of PlayStation 4.

Masuru Kato was quoted saying on Wednesday, For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life. But this is a platform business, so for the future platform - when we'll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that - but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there.

Kato's news about the PS4 differs from Sony Computer Entertainment chief Kaz Hirai's view of the company's current plans. According to Hirai, the company plans to concentrate on the current PS3 console rather than focusing too much on PS4.

I think the value of the PS3 will continue to rise. Because of this, a near-future PS4 or next-generation home console is not something that we are even debating now. That is to say, we are still concentrating fully upon the PS3. Right now, I appeal to you to think of the PS3 and NGP as a new, co-operative partnership, said Kato.

Amidst the conflicting quotes, the future PS4 console has been included into the company's financial costs, confirming that development is under way.

The announcement comes even as Sony is trying to recover from the current hacking crisis. The company's PlayStation Network was hacked last month and subsequent outage which lasted for several weeks, has hurt company profits. The security hack is expected to set the company back by about $170 million. Though the services were restored earlier this month, Sony was forced to set up a new firewall system, $1 million in identity theft insurance offerings to customers, and free games and goodies to makeup for the month long outage.

Meanwhile, despite the online attack, Sony still posted increased hardware sales along with improvements in profits. The PS4 will stir excitement into the company's continued growth. The predicted 15 million unit sales of PS3 hardware for next year can also stir more confidence into the market's demand for high performance gaming consoles.