Sony will be facing extreme anticipation for a PlayStation 4 announcement next year, but they’re not putting the PS3 to sleep any time soon. In fact, its lifecycle won’t end until 2015.
That’s the official word from Sony VP John Koller, who basically confirmed to GameSpot that the company would fully transition from the PS3 to the PS4 sometime in 2015:
We’re going to continue supporting the PS3 for the next few years. Absolutely. And we’re going to continue supporting it not only that long, but as long as there is a development spigot that’s running hot. And I can tell you right now, the development spigot for PS3 is very hot. A lot of great games coming. Same thing with PS2…it’s kind of stuck around as that old warrior, many years after its launch. But there’s still games launching for it.
It’s interesting that Koller suggests the PS3 can be a long-term mainstay device like the PlayStation 2—mainly because a look at the numbers for each console says he’s wrong.
One main reason that the PlayStation 2 continued to see game releases far past its “sell by” date was the massive install base. At more than 150 million units sold worldwide, the PS2’s install base was so huge that many developers and publishers had nothing to lose by continuing to make games for it.
That’s simply not the case with the PS3, which has only sold about 66 million units in comparison. Moreover, there’s various factors like the down economy and a huge shift from console games to mobile games—if anything, the PS3 will only see a real advantage in leveraging releases on the PlayStation Network.