A release date for the PS4 has not yet been announced by Sony Electronics (NYSE:SNE), while Amazon currently lists the console as launching on Dec. 31, 2013. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) states that the PlayStation 4 release date listed is simple a placeholder, as the true release information has not yet provided by Sony.
The PS4 may see its release date as early as Nov. 22, if Sony follows a Friday release pattern started with the PS3 and wants to build hype throughout Black Friday 2013 (Nov. 29) and into the new year. However, an attempt to preorder on BestBuy.com reveals that the retailer has PlayStation 4 consoles available with a pick up date of Saturday, Nov. 30, which means the PS4 will be available on or around that date, but most likely before.
Amazon has in place a Nov. 27 release date for Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox One in the U.S., and Sony has only said that the PS4 will “be available this holiday season” for the U.S. and in Europe. The price of the Xbox One is $499, which includes a updated version of the Kinect video and audio tracking sensor, while the PlayStation 4 has a price of $399, with the PlayStation Camera, an accessory similar to the Kinect, available for an additional $59.99.
PS4 presales on Amazon have been so successful that preorders for the console were divided into multiple editions. This including several versions of the PS4 bundled with a game, as well as a launch date console that guaranteed a PlayStation 4 on its release date, which is no longer available from the online retailer.
Will Sony undercut the Xbox One on its release date as well as its price? It was reported that Sony cut the PlayStation Camera from the PS4 at launch to undercut pricing on the Xbox One. A Sony executive said that was not the case, and the company had “couldn’t possibly have known what the Xbox was going to cost.” Sony's executive could have been stretching the truth, and the PlayStation 4 could see an official release date before the Xbox One, beating Microsoft into the living room.
The PlayStation 3 (PS3) was released in the U.S. the following year on Friday, Nov. 17, 2006, launching in Japan less than a week earlier. The PS4 could stick to the Friday release pattern set by the PS3 for the United States and launch on Nov. 22, 2013.
A Nov. 22 release date for the PS4 would allow Sony to have the new console be a major part of the Black Friday hype on Nov. 29, preventing the Xbox One to steal all of the post-Thanksgiving limelight. Any of the newest generation consoles that do make it into brick and mortar stores during the perennial day of pre-holiday sales will likely be in high demand. The information given by BestBuy.com for PS4 preorders could be an error by the retailer, or it could mean the console will see a later U.S. release date of Nov. 30.
Whenever the PS4 sees its official release date, many consumers will not be able to purchase a PlayStation 4 (or an Xbox One for that matter) until after the holiday season. One industry analyst said that both consoles will likely see shortages at launch, so those who wait to preorder may be forced to wait until well into 2014 before they can purchase either the PS4 or the Xbox One.
This article has been edited to omit references to the Xbox One release date, which has not been announced by Microsoft.