Software company PokerTracker announces the next major version of their popular analysis software.

PokerTracker publicly announced plans for the next generation of their tracking software, slated from commercial release by the end of 2011.

According to the press release on their new promotional website at preview.pokertracker.com, version 4 includes “a new application interface,” redesigned HUD, new resizeable replayer with “social networking functions” and significantly improved reporting features.

PokerTracker aims to enter beta testing for PT4 in two to three months, with full public release by the end of the year. The website indicates that players who purchase PT3 now will receive free upgrades when PT4 is released. No details are yet available as to the cost for new licenses or upgrades for existing users.

Highlighted in the press release was the positive effect PokerTracker has had in demonstrating the skill aspect of the game:

Amidst the uncertain legal status of online poker in the United States and growing cries for taxation, licensing and regulation, PokerTracker’s products … are in a prime position to substantiate the status of poker as a game of skill. PokerTracker’s analytical products have been used as astonishingly effective assessment tools for game and player integrity.

Hold’em Manager, considered PokerTracker’s primary competitor, is currently alpha-testing the next generation of their software with select users. However, the development team has requested no media coverage before they enter public beta testing, in contrast to the promotional efforts of PokerTracker ahead of their public release.

Meanwhile, both companies continue to maintain their existing products with frequent updates. Last week, PokerTracker added support for sites on the Yatahay Network to PT3; recent updates to Hold’em Manager’s ever-changing “1.11” version include new reporting stats alongside updates to the integrated “Leak Buster” analysis guide.