Sony U.K. Vice President Fergal Gara has revealed that the company will continue to support the PlayStation 3 and won’t move onto the next-generation until consumers demand it.
It’s been such a long time since the PlayStation 3 graced our lives and things are starting to stall in terms of major gaming improvements which has led many fans to begin anxiously awaiting the day when Sony finally reveals the PlayStation 4 to the world, but oddly enough the company has stated that it’s up to fans when the move to the next-generation is made, haven’t they been listening?
At the moment Gara believes that there’s still plenty of life left in the PlayStation 3, “We don’t take the view that it’s over for current-gen,” he explains “that’s not the shape of our business. We’re continuing to innovate with the PS3, making it smaller, lighter and offering better value entry-point consoles. There’s been a big engineering push in Tokyo to give it a facelift and a spec revitalization, too, so that’s good to see… We take a longer view of lifecycles than some of the competition.”
It appears that Sony’s interest is shifting to the casual market to bring in more revenue from customers who wouldn’t have even considered the console when it originally launched, “There were pros and cons with the PS3 when it launched,” admits Gara. “With it being such a high-powered machine it did mean it was quite expensive, but that also meant you could keep pushing it for a lot of time to come.”
“We’re into the world of trying to expand the console to new entrants who maybe considered a console in the past but perhaps thought the price was too high… we’re into that stage of the cycle, of trying to bring in the less committed side of the market and that’s where Wonderbook and Book of Spells will work for us.”
Of course Christmas is always a massive time for console manufacturers and the perfect chance to notch up some hefty sales with deals and price cuts, however the competition from Nintendo’s Wii U is going to hurt Sony this year. “There is healthy competition out there, coming at us from different angles. It’s interesting this year since we all seem to be playing the game a little bit differently. Nintendo in the home console space is launching a new platform where I’m sure they’ll do well,” Gara explained. “But I don’t see an awful lot that’s new or exciting on the family agenda or in the Kinect space, so I think we have an awful lot of opportunity to bring something to the market, especially for that casual consumer.”
“Where we’re not at our strongest this Christmas is with a big core gaming IP from Sony ourselves, so we’ve keen to ensure that the partnerships surrounding us, such as with Assassin’s Creed III are stronger than ever.”
“I sense a level of fatigue in the market over games with bigger and bigger budgets. And when some of those bubbles burst people will aspire for something with some more innovation…A lot of people seem to think that current gen is dead – it isn’t dead for us,” Gara concluded.
So it appears that until revenue streams begin to dwindle or unit sales start to drop Sony is happy to continue plowing forward with extending the life of the PlayStation 3. However, given the amount of leaked details and rumors that are starting to surface about Orbis dev kits and the PlayStation 4 I doubt that Sony is going to hold back a next-generation release if it’s ready to go just to try and squeeze a little more life out of the PlayStation 3. Regardless of what happens the PlayStation 3 is going to be supported for a good few years.
Is it time for the PlayStation 4? is there still life left in the PlayStation 3? Share your thoughts in the comments below.