And Here…We…Go: Sony’s Announcing The PlayStation 4 February 20th

What you see above is pretty much all Sony is telling us right now, but it’s pretty easy to do the math: The PS4 is incoming.

Just for the sake of completeness, here’s the trailer, which is pretty much just multicolored lightning and Sony’s button markings:

This is interesting because, if it really is the PS4, and it’s hard to see what Sony would be doing that it would create such hype otherwise, then the race is officially on. It’s no secret that the the next Xbox is in heavy development and that Microsoft intends to roll it out this year. The fact that Major Nelson posted a similarly vague E3 countdown clock indicates that Microsoft might just be facing its thunder stolen.

On the other hand, Sony would not be rolling this out at a special event if they intended to have it sitting around until 2014. Furthermore, Sony needs the video games unit to be profitable again, and to attempt to use as a springboard for yet another new format, 4K in this case. That February 20th is five days before Sony’s big retailer convention is also attention-getting. You don’t show 2014 products at an event designed to get retailers to sell your stuff this year.

In other words, whatever we see February 20th will likely be something we can buy this year. And we’ll be curious to see what it is.