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Sony Will Unveil Playstation 4 This Week

Sony Corp. is expected to unveil its next PlayStation console this week, hoping to breath fresh life into a videogame business that has been racked by slowing sales and growing questions about the future of dedicated home consoles.

The new console — what many have already dubbed the PlayStation 4 — is not expected to go on sale until sometime this fall. That would put it seven years after the launch of the PlayStation 3.

During that time, Sony has sold about 77 million units of the console globally but has watched its lucrative game business come under challenge from Microsoft’s Xbox, as well as seismic changes in the overall industry as smartphones and tablet have become powerful game platforms in their own right — with games themselves frequently sold for $1 or given away.

That has put pressure on Sony as well as its peers to convince gamers to continue to pay premium prices for high-definition, immersive game experiences. The companies are also working to put their consoles front-and-center in the home as entertainment hubs — and as possible replacements for the set-top boxes that cable companies distribute as part of their services.

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