Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are the big three console makers and rumors about each company’s next generation gaming machines have been cropping up as E3 approaches. Sony recently announced it was working on the next generation Play Station but it might not be ready for prime time quite yet.
Sony Talks The PS4
It’s no surprise Sony is working on the next generation PlayStation which for now will be dubbed the Play Station 4 or PS4. During a conference call, Sony’s Executive Vice President, Masaru Kato, was asked about increased research and development costs. Kato had this to say:
For the home equipment the PS3 still has a product life. But this is a platform business, so for the future platform – when we’ll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that, but our development work is already under way, so the costs are incurred there.
It’s almost non-news as Sony isn’t expected to exit the console and game development business any time soon but what is interesting is the hardware that will be powering the next generation console.
Less Custom Hardware
One of the hallmark features touted by Sony was the Cell processor that brought the PlayStation platform to high definition gaming and allowed developers to create more visually intense games.
The Cell processor, along with other custom components tacked on extra costs to the PlayStation 3 which put it at a disadvantage to the cheaper Xbox 360 and more affordable Nintendo Wii. To combat the problems of high costs — which Sony absorbed some of – the next generation PlayStation will be using more off the shelf components.
This would reduce the amount of Sony developed parts as the console makers opts to use an already made CPU and GPU from another manufacturer with some slight optimization.
Won’t Be Ready Anytime Soon
Despite Sony working on the PlayStation 4, you should’t expect it anytime soon. Sony has a massive investment in its current console and won’t be quick to phase it out when the company has already committed at least ten years to the PS3. That puts a future PlayStation launch sometime in 2014 to 2016 as Sony could sell the PS3 at a reduced price alongside its next generation counterpart like it did with the PS2 during the PS3’s launch.