Sony announced that they are going to make a big announcement on feb 20th. Gaming press is pretty sure it's the next console.
Both Sony and Microsoft's next gen specs have been leaked and lawsuits regarding the leaks confirm their accuracy. Unfortunately I don't understand what those specs actually mean. I'll know when I see pretty pretty pictures. I know they are upgrading the resolution from 1080p to "4k" whatever that means. I think the resolution craze is just hype so you'll buy a new TV every other year.
Last console jump I think what made the difference was going from grunge maps to normal maps. I can't wait to see what trick they have up their sleeve this time.
Square put out a "real time" tech demo last E3. I'm just not sure if they know the difference between realtime and pre-rendered.
Crytech may already be running on their next gen engine. I know even the best, highest upgraded PCs struggle to run it cranked all the way up.
I'd put money emphasis on supporting some sort of tech that makes it easier+faster=cheaper way to make things pretty.