Up until the release of the current console systems, the gaming community knew to expect a new system every 4-5 years. The evolution of the Xbox® 360, the PlayStation®3 and even the Nintendo® Wii have extended the lifespan of these systems much longer. Add the inclusion of media applications such as ESPN, Hulu and Netflix as well as peripherals such as the Kinect and the PlayStation® Move, and instead of a five-year cycle, it’s been extended to almost eight years.

A few hours from now, 6PM ET/3PM ET, Sony is planning on making an announcement today. The buzz is that this is the announcement of what will be the PlayStation®4 (you know, because why shake up things with the names?)

To build up the buzz for this, Sony has created some really cool retrospective videos to showcase the each of the previous console systems. It’s fun to speculate on what’s to come, but equally fun to look at the history of where they’ve been.

Evolution of PlayStation: The Beginning

Evolution of PlayStation: PlayStation 2

Evolution of PlayStation: PlayStation 3

Evolution of PlayStation: Portable Gaming

The transition to the next generation of consoles for some has been long overdue. Based on some of the rumors floating around already including the ability to stream games, the 8GB RAM, the controller and costs, it’ll be interesting to see how accurate these rumors will be. With Sony’s acquisition of Gaikai who’s known for streaming games, it’ll be interesting to see the impact the notion of cloud gaming may have on this new system. Sony has been mum on their plans since the acquisition, so this may be part of today’s announcement.

If the launch of the Wii U™ was the firing of the first salvo in the next evolution of the console wars, the Sony conference is likely going to be the next shot escalating things to the next level.  What will really add to the fun is how Microsoft will respond since they were first to market in the last generation of platforms.

PAX EAST and the Game Developer’s Conference are both a few weeks away so the road to E3 has already been paved. It’s shaping up to be a very exciting time for gamers. Don’t you think?

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