GameStop attempts to walk back comments made by its CEO Paul Raines after the executive seemed to imply that the PlayStation Neo will release this year.
Last month, a report came out claiming that Sony would launch its PlayStation Neo console in 2016, despite skipping this year’s E3. Since then, multiple other stories have surfaced to keep the Neo rumor train rolling, including one last week where an October release date may have been accidentally leaked by an online retailer.
Now, GameStop CEO Paul Raines is the latest industry insider to add some fuel to the fire, albeit unintentionally. Raines appeared on CNBC on Monday to talk about Pokemon Go but the interviewer also asked the executive what gamers could expect from the industry this holiday season. Raines pointed out that the Nintendo NX won’t see release until 2017 but then mentioned the PS4 Neo and Xbox One S, presumably while still talking about 2016.
“Yes, there will be a new Nintendo console launch in March 2017,” Raines said. “But remember, there are two different form factors: a PS4 Neo and an Xbox One new slim version. So there will be some activity and upgrades, along with the VR.”
Sony has confirmed that its PlayStation VR system will release this October and Microsoft’s Xbox One S will start shipping in August. But it’s Raines inclusion of the Neo within the same general time frame that caught the attention of some viewers. After some fans started speculating online, a GameStop representative attempted to walk back the CEO’s comments in a statement to Gamespot.
“Paul did not say that Xbox One S and PlayStation Neo hardware units would be coming for the holidays. The anchor was the one who referenced the holiday period,” GameStop’s director of corporate communications told the website. “Paul simply reminded him that there would be hardware upgrades coming–Xbox One S and PlayStation Neo. He did not give a reference as to the timing on when they would be launching.”
But Gamespot also notes that if Raines was really just talking about new hardware in general, it’s interesting that he didn’t mention Microsoft’s Project Scorpio, which, like the NX, won’t see release until 2017. Raines also has a history of leaking Sony release dates. Back in February, the GameStop CEO said that PlayStation VR would not launch until the fall. At the time, Sony was still saying it would be out in the first half of this year, but the company eventually confirmed the delay in March.
If the Neo is indeed coming in 2016, gamers are likely to find out during this year’s Tokyo Game Show. This year’s TGS is in September, which would give Sony enough time to still build up some hype ahead of that rumored October release. Until then, all gamers can do is continue to speculate and keep an ear out for whatever Paul Raines decides to say next.