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Sony admits that the PlayStation 4 is on the way

A top Sony executive has dropped a hint that the company is currently developing the successor to the PlayStation 3, a next-generation mainstream console to match its upcoming NGP hand-held device.

While the company hasn't officially announced the console - dubbed the PlayStation 4, for obvious reasons - its executive vice president and chief financial officer Masaru Kato let the secret slip during a conference call.

When quizzed about a sudden rise in the company's expenditure on research and development, Kato claimed that the PS3 "still has a product life," but admitted that "development work is already under way [on the PS4], so the costs are incurred there."

Sadly for Sony fans, Kato refused to give any further details on the project, stating that he couldn't discuss details of the platform or a time scale for the device's introduction into the market.

All three of the major console manufacturers - Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo - are now known to be working on next-generation console hardware, with Nintendo expected to launch its Wii 2 'Project Café' device at the Electronics Entertainment Expo.

With Sony's reputation damaged by the recent security breach of its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment services, which saw millions of users' credit card details downloaded by attackers - it will have to ensure the development and launch of the PS4 goes smoothly if it wants to win back its fans.

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