There’s been a buzz about the next generation of consoles for a couple of months now, but SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) president Jack Tretton denied that a PlayStation 4 launch is even remotely imminent during a recent interview with Forbes.
Tretton had this to say about Sony’s ongoing commitment to the PlayStation 3:
“PlayStation 3 is really just hitting its stride. And technologically, I don’t think it’s possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have. What we’ve seen from the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3.
“We invested heavily in that, we rolled a very heavy rock up a steep hill, through the launch period. But now I think that all pays off, and we’ve got a long run way behind it. So, I wouldn’t look for any discussion of a next-generation PlayStation for quite some time.”
A couple of weeks ago it emerged that Sony had begun development on the PS4, although one needs to keep in mind that researching and developing a new platform can take a good two to three years. For instance, Sony began development on the PS Vita in 2008 and it’s only scheduled to launch at the end of this year. If we apply this same development window to the PS4, it’s completely plausible that it could launch as late as 2014.
Even if Microsoft releases the next Xbox in late 2012 or early 2013 – perhaps announcing the new system at next year’s E3 – developers will be tempted to continue making games for the hundred million or so current gen consoles in people’s homes. The last few years have proved that multiplatform releases are big business, and thus Microsoft will have a hard time persuading the big developers to fully utilise the new Xbox’s hardware as long as the PS3 (and upcoming Wii U) are still around.
The next few years should be highly rewarding ones for PlayStation users. The PS Vita is bound to enhance our experience on PS3 in various ways – whether it be competing against Vita players online or using the Vita to give us a new window into a PS3 game’s world (as Nintendo demonstrated at E3 using the Wii U’s controller).
Personally I’d like to see developers focussing on gameplay, control and frame rate first, and graphics second. Too many games on PS3 feel somewhat sluggish (such as LA Noire) because the designers have opted for a slow frame rate in order to deliver cutting-edge graphics. On the other hand, titles like inFamous 2 show that good graphics and a speedy frame rate (somewhere in the region of 40fps I would guess) are simultaneously achievable on PS3.
What do you think of Tretton’s remark: “technologically, I don’t think it’s possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have [on the PS3]”? Any PC gamer will tell you that PS3 and Xbox 360 lag far behind modern rigs in terms of performance. Perhaps “major advancement” would have been a better choice of words.
Longer console cycles mean better value for money for consumers, and a larger library of games to enjoy on their system of choice. Are you revelling in this “golden age” of the home console, or chomping at the bit for Microsoft or Sony to release a new platform featuring the latest tech? Let us know your take on the matter in the comments section below.