An Australian technology website, Smarthouse, has allegedly been talking to a “Sony insider” who has said that a new version of the PS3 could be with us in as little as 18 months.

They’ve been calling the new machine a "PlayStation 4", but they clarify by saying the model will be based on the same chipset as the PS3, only with a different "drive bay and attachment area". Apparently, it will also have a software suite for content streaming management to TVs and Hi-Fis.

The source on the website said, "We have even looked at a Sony home server based on PlayStation technology. This would allow consumers to connect home automation devices to the Sony server while also delivering online gaming and access to an extensive movie and music library".

As for Sony, a spokesperson has dismissed the news as pure speculation, and with the idea of a new PlayStation coming so soon after the launch of the PS3 we’d be inclined to agree. However, the simple expanding of the PS3’s capabilities doesn’t seem so far fetched.