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PS4 likely to cost $400, according to Japanese sources

Sony's upcoming PS4 console is likely to launch before Christmas in Japan and the US, according to a Japanese newspaper.

According to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, a pre-Christmas launch is all-but guaranteed - with Sony expected to confirm or deny this fact at a press conference scheduled for the 20th of Feburary. Sadly, that launch appears to only apply to the US and Japan; residents of other nations could be waiting until 2014 to get their hands on the console, something suggested by an anonymous developer earlier this month.

The paper's report didn't just report what was already known, but also provided the first clue as to pricing: according to Asahi Shimbun's sources, the console will retail for around $400 in the US - meaning, once VAT has been taken into account, the PlayStation 4 is likely to cost at least £310 in the UK.

If accurate, that's a considerable saving over the PlayStation 3, which launched in the UK at an eye-watering £425 - largely thanks to its use of an expensive Blu-ray disc drive, which Sony bundled in a successful attempt to edge rival high-definition media format HD-DVD out of the market. Since the PS3 launched, Blu-ray drives have dropped in price dramatically - echoed in the cost of a new-model PlayStation 3, which can be had for as little as £180 - which will likely help to reduce the launch price of the PS4.

Designed as a replacement for the ageing PlayStation 3 console, the PlayStation 4 has certainly gathered a healthy selection of rumours ahead of its release: the device apparently swaps the Cell processor of its predecessor for an AMD A-Series APU, making it easier to program, while the iconic DualShock controllers could be getting a Vita-like touch-control system as well as an upgraded motion-sensing EyeToy peripheral.

Sony, for its part, has refused to comment on the paper's claims, but with the console's unveiling expected to take place later this month fans won't have long to wait to see if the rumours are true - although for UK gamers, the wait to actually get their hands on the device could be a little bit longer.

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