(Pocket-lint) - Sony showed of a prototype version of its first dedicated 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray during the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin last week, but while rivals have machines already on shelves, it might not appear until 2017.

The deck shown doesn't yet have an official name, but Pocket-lint was told that its design is final. A full consumer model will look similar to the player we photographed at the show.

We were also informed that it will be released before the end of the financial year 2016. Technically, that is April next year, meaning the Ultra HD spinner could appear in the first quarter of 2017 rather than in time for Christmas.

One rumour we've heard (via What Hi-Fi) is that Sony will unveil the full version and even a second machine during CEDIA in Dallas this month, but they might still be slated for an early 2017 release.

The PS4 Slim could provide a possible reason for Sony's tardiness in joining Samsung and Panasonic in offering dedicated devices. It is expected to be formerly announced on 7 September and go on sale a week later. If it is to offer 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback, like its rival Xbox One S, that could explain the company's strategy.

However, current leaks and rumours suggest not. There is no indication so far that the PS4 replacement device is anything more than a slimmer, neater version of the original. We'll let you know if we hear otherwise.

Writing by Rik Henderson.