According to Forbes magazine's sources, Sony is already working on its highly anticipated, next-generation PlayStation 4 console.

Forbes reported on Wednesday that a number of former AMD employees had confirmed not just the device's existence, but also that the PS4's processor designer would "play a key role in the new product".

AMD is the company that makes graphics technology used in Microsoft's current Xbox 360 console. It's use would mark a massive change in the tech currently used by Sony in its current-generation PlayStation 3 - which uses graphics tech made by Nvidia.

The news that Sony is currently working on its next-generation console has since re-ignited fans' hopes of seeing the console sooner rather than later.

Prior to Forbes report, Sony had moved to quash speculation that it would be following up its Vita handheld, releasing a new PlayStation console before the year's end.

Speaking to IGN, Sony US leader Jack Tretton reportedly denied current speculation that the company would unveil the PlayStation 4 (PS4) by the end of 2012. Earlier reports had suggested the company was planning to unveil it as early as 2012's E3 in June.

"In terms of when you talk about [the next generation] and when you announce it, it really depends on the health of the existing platform and the other things you have going on.

"And right now, we're focused on PlayStation 3, and I've got another platform (PlayStation Vita) to get out the door in seven days, so I don't want to be thinking about trying to launch new technology anytime soon," IGN reported Tretton as saying when asked about the PS4.

Sony US's leader went on to clarify that launching the PS4 so soon after the Vita would be a mistake stating: "quite frankly, [it] would be very distracted if I had to be talking about next generation hardware this year."

Tretton's comments are in line with those made by Sony's Kaz Hirai at 2012's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). During the show numerous media outlets reported Hirai as confirming that Sony planned to hold to its previous 10 year life cycle plans for the PlayStation 3.

"[W]e are not making any announcements at E3," reported Hirai as saying. "I've always said a 10-year life cycle for PS3, and there is no reason to go away from that."

The PlayStation 3 was originally released in 2006, meaning that if Hirai's comments are true, Sony fans will not be seeing a next-generation console until 2016 at the earliest.