While gamers anxiously await a release date for the PS4, one of Sony‘s last big PS3 exclusives may have spilled the beans. Tucked away in a scene from Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is a ‘Mandatory Evacuation Notice,’ which clearly mentions the date October 17th, 2013.

Now, while this date could mean anything in the context of Last of Uspost-apocalyptic setting, we’d like to believe there is something deeper. Could we be looking at the release date for the PS4?

It’s hard to tell. Sony did mention a Holiday 2013 release window for the PS4, which makes October a little too early for a console release. For a point of comparison: the PS3 released in mid-November – a date that’s much closer to the “Holiday” timeline. Still, stranger things have happened.

Another likely possibility with the date is a trailer release date for the next Naughty Dog game. As you might remember, Naughty Dog teased The Last of Us in Uncharted 3, so it only makes sense that The Last of Us might tease Uncharted 4 — the next-gen version of the flagship Sony franchise.

Check out the image below [Click for high-res version]:

The Last of Us PS4 Teaser

Or maybe it’s just a date in a video game, and it has no bearing on the PS4 or a future Naughty Dog release. But that would take a lot of the fun out of it.

Unfortunately, October 17th is a full 6 months away, which means by the time that date comes around a lot of gamers will have forgotten the subtle clue. Moreover, with The Last of Us slated for a June launch, very few will probably even be thinking about Naughty Dog’s game amidst all of the next-gen hype.

That being said, if Sony does announce October 17th (or potentially the 18th depending on how you want to interpret the sign) as the PS4’s release date, Naughty Dog can point back to this scene and say, “I told you so.”

What do you think the sign’s date means? Will the PS4 launch before or after October 17th?

The Last of Us is set for a June 14, 2013 release exclusively on the PS3.

Source: PS3 Center