EA's battle with Activision for the action-FPS crown means that it's already following its rival's release tactics. Activision alternates between different CoD mini-franchises each year (Modern Warfare/Black Ops etc), and EA moves from Battlefield to Medal of Honor, this year being the imaginatively titled Medal of Honor Warfighter. Therefore news of Battlefield 4 arriving next year may not surprise, but some of the details might.
For starters, this became known due to EA UK marketing's Dan Sheridan tweeting the following: "Pre-order Warfighter and get access to #BF4Beta." That slip has since prompted EA to confirm that the beta is expected to hit in Autumn 2013, making the usual blockbuster release period of October/November more than likely. The timing may also be interesting, as that period may see the next generation of console from Sony and/or Microsoft, though Sony is still investing a lot of effort in the current generation. It remains to be seen whether this big entry in one of EA's most valuable franchises will appear on PS3 and Sony's next offering.
It all depends on timing, but does the promise of BF4 beta access tempt you to pick up Warfighter?