It sounds like Sony will let Microsoft make the first move (excluding Nintendo) in the next-gen battle.

Speaking to The Times (via IGN), Sony overlord Kaz Hirai said: "Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?"

That's all he said. So what does he mean?

Does he mean Sony will wait for Microsoft to unveil its new Xbox before the curtains are pulled back on PlayStation 4? Or does he intend to let Microsoft release its console to the public first again?

Back in 2011, Sony was keen not to allow Microsoft another head start. That certainly hurt Sony as far as sales of third-party games were concerned. But last summer, Sony backtracked on that sentiment and ran with a different message: "We've never been first. We've never been cheapest. It's about being the best," said Sony US head Jack Tretton.

Whatever Hirai means, it's unlikely the design of PlayStation 4 or the next Xbox will change this late in the game. Marketing campaigns can, though, as IGN pointed out.

Hirai may fancy a game of PR poker, but of the two companies - Sony and Microsoft - it's Microsoft's new console we know less about.

Digital Foundry delved deep into the makeup of the Sony's new machine, Orbis, this weekend. It looks like Sony's building a powerhouse.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.