PS4 vs Xbox 720 Release Date 2013, Specs, Price: The next generation console war is just heating up and Sony may shoot first against Microsoft with a big PlayStation announcement coming next week. Read on for more PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date news, specs leaks and price estimates.

Last week Sony announced that the PS4 release date could arrive in 2013 in a GameSpot article leaking the news that Sony is planning a big PlayStation announcement on February 20 at 6 p.m. EST in New York. The report followed a teaser video released earlier this year.

We recently stumbled onto a very interesting article from the Houston Chronicle by Willie Jefferson speculating on how the PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date battle will play out in 2013. Inspired by Sony's news that a big PlayStation announcement is coming on February 20, Jefferson speculates on what may come next.

According to Jefferson, the PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date battle has already started, at least from Sony's perspective. After losing this generation's console wars to Nintendo, Sony is looking to reclaim the glory it claimed with the PS2:

First, if proven true, Sony's PS4 announcement on February 20th means Sony knows getting out of the gate first is a winning strategy. This generation, Sony has edged Microsoft in overall sales - latest figures here but is still in second place behind the Nintendo Wii. For a console maker that dominated last generation, a second place spot isn't something to brag about. Sony, realizing how important being first really is, has decided to get out the gate first next generation, which apparently starts later this year.

Furthermore, he adds that when it comes to PS4 vs Xbox 720, release date may not be Sony's number one priority, rather they see it as one key aspect of their march to total victory:

Fourth - Sony's PS4 announcement means Sony is serious about winning this generation. Getting out the gate first isn't their primary objective. WINNING is... this time around, Sony is giving developers and publishers all the time they need to craft killer-looking games and the necessary time to make them shine on their new console.

He also notes that although "the 360 got a year head start... [the PS4] did eventually outsell the 360, but it didn't sell like the PS2 sold." Jefferson attributes this difference to exclusive content, which has more recently been Microsoft's strongsuit thanks to games like "Uncharted," "Infamous," and "Skyrim" DLCs.

As for PS4 vs Xbox 720 price comparisons, Jefferson predicts that Sony may be scheming to beat out Microsoft when it comes to cost, possibly creating a pricing war between the two companies:

Sony's PS4 announcement means Sony isn't going to charge a cow and a half for their console. According to sources, the new console, which I fully expect to be the best 3D Blu-Ray player on the market, will be around the $400 mark. That's a great starting point, but I am concerned about the launch lineup. Without a stellar lineup, sales will sag for the console and Sony may consider a price cut. If that happens, you can smell the blood in the water.

Finally, Jefferson argues that the PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date race is about to take off, predicting that as soon as Sony makes their announcement Microsoft will be close behind:

Lastly - Sony's PS4 announcement means Sony ... will force Microsoft to follow suit. Sony isn't worried about Microsoft's game plan. They are concerned about regaining the crown from Nintendo - yes, Nintendo won this generation, though the Wii's demise is sad but it did outsell the PS3 and 360 by a country mile... Microsoft remembers the thumping the original Xbox suffered by the PS2. Microsoft will have no choice to speed up their timetable and release the next Xbox close (or even before) the PS4 hits retail."

That's right, when it comes to PS4 vs Xbox 720 release dates just because Sony makes the first move doesn't mean they're next generation gaming console will hit stores first. However, his real point seems to be that the PS4 vs Xbox 720 war may not be as simple as we believed.

The latest PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date news also flies in the face of earlier reports that Sony would not unveil their new console until Microsoft shot first.

"Why go first, when your competitors can look at your specifications and come up with something better?" Sony CEO Karz Hirai explained in an interview with The Times (via IGN).

However, it seems pretty clear that Hirai was bluffing. It's all but certain that Sony will launch ahead of Microsoft when it comes to the PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date battle.

PS4 vs. Xbox 720 specs.

-8GB RAM (half as much as Xbox 720 according to VG247)

-1.84 teraflops (50 percent more than the Xbox 720 according to VG247)

-Rumors are flying that the PS4 won't be able to play used games

-No backwards compatibility

Microsoft's Xbox 720 rumors:

-4GB RAM

-Twice as much RAM as PS4

-1.23 teraflops

-Blu-Ray support

-Backwards compatibility, according to Nukezilla. Willie Jefferson hopes that this rumor will prove true and Sony will return to their "core values," but worries that the PS4 won't offer backwards compatibility.

Xbox 720 vs. PS4 Price.

Jefferson puts the PS4 price at just under $400, and his predictions support an earlier report by OXCGN which cited a post on Reddit by an anonymous console developer. The Redditor claimed to know for a fact that both consoles' price points will be somewhere between $300 and $350.

That's all we know about PS4 vs Xbox 720 release date, specs and price. The big question is who will shoot first, and will it matter in the long run?