Sony is aiming for the launch of the PlayStation 4 to keep up with rivals after Jim Ryan, PlayStation Europe big cheese, said that it would be "undesirable" for the PS4 launch to lag too far behind the competition (next-gen Xbox, Wii U).

In the interview with Eurogamer, Ryan spoke of how Sony would want to launch its successor to the PS3 closer to its competitors, clearly referring to the year gap between current consoles.

"I think we would consider it undesirable to be significantly later than the competition [with the next-gen PS4]," he said.

And it's not only a possible Xbox launch that Sony has to worry about, as the Wii U should also be launching in 2012. And despite this urgency, it seems that Sony still may not be ready as, in the company's eyes at least, the PS3 has a fair few miles in it yet.

Ryan continued: "If you look at PlayStation 2, now in excess of 150m units installed globally, a huge majority of that was done at price points of £120 or lower. We've only just hit £199 in the UK [with PS3], so clearly there's a considerable untapped part of the market there."

There's also Sony' slightly dodgy finances to think about and whether this has led to cutbacks in departments like research and development - something that Sony would want to be fully focused on if it's to go up against some pretty stiff console opposition.

Whatever the situation the message is clear from Ryan: Sony is going to do its best to launch the PS4 within spitting distance of the next-gen Xbox, and if that means 2012 it'll be quite a turn up.