Sony has 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 denied 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," Tretton said.

He added that launching the PS4 so soon after the Vita would be a mistake stating. "[I] would be very distracted if I had to be talking about next-generation hardware this year," he said.

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.