by Anton Shilov
07/08/2010 | 01:06 PM
Sony Computer Entertainment claims that its fourth generation PlayStation system will be revealed later than its potential competitors: the third-generation Xbox and the next-gen console from Nintendo. Potentially, this will allow Microsoft and Nintendo to see increase in their hardware sales and offer something that PlayStation 3 will not be able to. But Sony will have time to add even more features to the PS4.
“Looking from the outside, it was Microsoft that released the first of this generation of consoles. Naturally, in my opinion, Microsoft will make the first move. Or, because Nintendo’s approach was not to upgrade much on its basic hardware – Wii doesn’t even support HD resolution – so they might be the first to move,” said Shuhei Yoshida, the head of Sony Worldwide Studios, in an interview with Develop web-site.
Thanks to head-start with Xbox 360 in 2005, a year ahead of PS3 and Wii, Microsoft managed to force Sony to answer its console with own competing offerings. The ramifications for Sony were pretty clear: instead of focusing on development of technologies that were meant to be a part of the PS3 from the start, the company had to follow Microsoft and then Nintendo. Although Sony does support Blu-ray playback, which is its indisputable advantage, not a lot of hardcore gamers wanted to watch movies on their consoles. As a consequence, Xbox 360 and Wii set the trends that PlayStation 3 had to follow. Considering these facts, it is rather strange to learn that even Sony itself does not expect the next-gen PlayStation to be on the market on time with its competitors.
But development of the PlayStation 4 may be a challenge for Sony. The company reportedly looked at Larrabee graphics processor for the PS4, but the former was cancelled in late 2009. The Cell processor architecture is no longer developed and will hardly evolve. Considering the fact that Sony should at least try to maintain compatibility between PS3 games and PlayStation 4 game console, the company will have to redesign the Cell processor by itself considerably to simplify software development and ask Nvidia to design a new graphics processor. However, there are possibilities that Sony will still utilize a new CPU architecture and ask a different partner to design a new graphics chip.
Thanks to addendum of Sony Move motion-sensing controller, stereo-3D support for movies and games as well as some other advantages, the PlayStation 3 may stay relevant for a longer period than Microsoft Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii. In fact, this is the only thing that Sony presently puts its bets on.
“Probably the watch should be on these companies, in my opinion. Because PS3 was later than Xbox, and is more powerful, so it has a longer lifespan,” said Mr. Yoshida.