It's been five years since the current console debuted, but development of Sony's fourth version of the PlayStation is underway according to one high ranking official.

The company's executive vice president and chief financial officer, Masaru Kato fielded questions from investors in a conference call on Thursday. One of the questions was regarding the shelf life of the PlayStation 3. Kato's answers revealed the company's future plans.

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 said.

Development is a fuzzy term and Kato did not set up a timetable for its release. Prior to Kato's statements, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Kaz Hirai said in January that PS3 would be the company's main console until 2016. He also said the next-generation console is not even under discussion.

Whenever the PS4 surfaces, it is likely to be very different from its predecessor, especially in terms of price. Kato admitted the company made a huge mistake in putting too much capital into its initial PS3 investment. It no longer thinkable to have a huge initial financial investment like that of the PS3, Kato said.

The overhead pushed the price of the console to be $500. The high cost of the console caused many to choose Nintendo's Wii and the Xbox 360, putting Sony in third place for the duration of this generation's console sales wars. For the previous generation, Playstation 2 was the leader over the Nintendo GameCube and the original Xbox.

Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna