Don’t expect the PlayStation 4 to be announced anytime soon – that’s the message that Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, communicated in an interview with MCV.
When questioned about the arrival of a new PlayStation, House stated that the “right time” for a new console would only come if a “significant leap on the current experience” could be demonstrated.
“The right time to talk about new advances in hardware is when you can demonstrate a significant leap on the current experience, and something that is going to be attractive. That remains our philosophy. Beyond that we have nothing to say at this point.”
Sony has always stated that it would adhere rigidly to the PlayStation 3’s advertised 10-year life cycle. With this in mind we won’t see the PlayStation 4 until 2016.
House’s argument that a “significant leap” on current hardware is first needed is valid. Incremental upgrades to the PlayStation’s hardware would simply not be enough to make a new console “attractive”.
Arguably, we don’t necessarily need better hardware in the immediate future to enjoy a better gaming experience. We’ve reached a point at which hardware has become less relevant, instead software the main focus.
As seen with mobile, hardware restraints force software innovation. Process-intensive tasks can be outsourced to cloud servers, reducing what is required of internal hardware and ultimately device costs.
PlayStation 3 sales remain strong, affording another reason not to announce something new. It’s up to Sony to prioritise system software enhancements and auxiliary services over the next few years to remain fresh.