PlayStation 4 will launch in Japan and North America this Christmas, with a European release following in early 2014, according to the latest industry chatter.

EDGE reports that the next-generation console will be revealed at Sony's 'See The Future' event on February 20, and will see a staggered global release due to "to the complexities involved in European distribution".

PlayStation 4 will also feature a "redesigned controller" of a similar size to the PlayStation 3's DualShock 3, EDGE's sources claim, but with a "small touchpad in place of the existing Select, Start and PS buttons".

EDGE claims that the technology is similar to the PlayStation Vita's rear touchpad, and is "similarly responsive in use".

As well as a touchpad, the controller will also feature a new "Share" button, EDGE alleges, which lets players easily upload screenshots and recorded video online. According to the site, "the PS4 hardware will continually record the most recent 15 minutes of onscreen action (with no processing penalty, claims our source), which users will then be able to edit and broadcast via the Internet."

As for specs, EDGE claims that PlayStation 4 "on paper, outperforms Microsoft's next Xbox", and will feature the eight-core 1.6GHz CPU and 4GB DDR5 RAM solution rumoured previously.

The console is also said to be more developer-friendly than the PlayStation 3, "notably because the hardware is much more PC-like in its makeup" than Sony's existing console.

A "new, improved iteration of its PlayStation Eye peripheral" is in development, too, EDGE claims, and PlayStation 4 will continue to support PlayStation Move.

Sony teased the imminent announcement of its next-generation PlayStation last night.

Source: EDGE