With the technological gap between generations of consoles appearing to decrease each time, it is little surprise that this year’s batch of consoles (led by the Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) will most likely be on shelves for even longer than their current incarnations (the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively), with Sony themselves predicting that their new product could lead their gaming efforts for the next 10 years.
He said of how the ‘potential for growth’ will give the PS4 a much longer lifespan than its predecessors (which lasted for 6, 6, and 7 years as Sony’s ‘newest’ home console, respectively): “I would say the same [10 years] or similar, because the PS4 has an incredible amount of RAM and I don’t think any launch titles need that 8GB of RAM. So there’s room for growth in both game content and system features.”
In the middle of PS3 we really hit the limit with what we could do on the system side. We wanted to add the cross-game voice chat that many people asked us about, but we had no room in the system memory at all to add it. So the PS4′s enlarged, very fast memory allows us in the future to improve and add more new features. And at the same time we are continuing to invest and add onto the online services so that, three years from now, the PS4 will be much, much better than PS4 this holiday – and that was the case on PS3 and PS Vita.”
Yoshida added of the ‘pleasant surprise’ of the Xbox One’s expensive pricetag announcement compared to his own company’s console (which insist that their price announcement was always scheduled for E3, and was not influenced by the idea of undercutting their rivals’ announcement earlier in the day).
He summarised: “Designing PS4 was all about learning lessons from PS3 – ease of development and the cost of the system is a big part of it. We always wanted to hit $399 and we designed the system and carefully chose out of all the potential inclusions of the core hardware components and we made a system that we could sell for $399. So we just did what we aimed to do and we were hoping that people would like it. I was very surprised about the announcement yesterday by some other company… in a good way.”
With more and more positive (or rather, not negative) information being built up for the PS4 ahead of its still-unspecified release date, will a potentially long-lasting console’s aim of ‘awaiting greatness’ be fulfilled shortly into its planned decade?