Sony's Jack Tretton Shares PlayStation 4 Vision: It Is About Core Gaming and Entertainment

Sony: PlayStation Has Never Been the First or the Cheapest

by Anton Shilov
06/08/2012 | 05:32 AM

The head of Sony Computer Entertainment America said in an interview that PlayStation 4 will continue to be a console not only for core video games, but for entertainment in general and will thus grab necessary features to stay relevant. Jack Tretton also said that the PlayStation consoles are not meant to be rushed to market or be the cheapest, he sees PlayStation as the best.

 

"Let's go back to our roots in 1995, when I joined the company, and the name Sony Computer Entertainment, it is computer entertainment business. We named it PlayStation, the power of a workstation for play. That is our mantra seventeen years later. We are all about gaming, gaming is our DNA, but as a device it got to do a lot more, it got to have more entertainment. But as a core foundation, it is a gaming machine for the core gamer, it is a 'live or die' to keep those consumers interested, that is what we are focused on," said Jack Tretton, the president of SCEA, in an interview with GameTrailers web-site.

The focus of the PlayStation 4 "Orbis" will be fundamentally the same as that of the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3: to sustain a long-term life-cycle and stay relevant both for core gamers as well as for more casual users. Given the fact what is going on with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita now, one can expect even deeper cross-platform integration in the next generation of consoles.

"Every [PlayStation] platform we do [has] long-term lifecycles, diversity and key [exclusive] franchises that keep people interest in our platform. It has really been the focus behind three consoles and two portables and it will clearly be our focus in the next generation," explained Mr. Tretton.

Even though the Sony PlayStation 3 is relevant in many terms six years after its release, so is the Microsoft Xbox 360, which came out a year earlier. Over the years, Sony's PS3 has lost its advantage of being a Blu-ray disc player as prices on the latter dropped substantially. Initially the Blu-ray optical drive was the most expensive component of the console, which increased its pricing and conditioned a very slow start for the platform. Still, with Blu-ray, the PS3 has some advantages over the Xbox 360 when it comes to core games as well. The PlayStation 3 also has technical advantages over Wii, but life-to-date sales of the latter are some 30 million higher than PS3's ~65 million.

Despite of all pros and cons, the head of SCEA believes that it is crucial to make a hardware platform that is the best and that can add features to keep core gamers interested in it over time. In some cases that could transform into higher pricing and later time-to-market, but the long life-cycle is projected to payback everything in the long-term future.

"If you look back in history, it is very difficult for multiple companies to repeat generation after generation, lot of companies slip. We have tended to have a great staying power, we have tended to be relevant on the worldwide basis and we have tended to really sustain long product life-cycles, I think you are going to see that from us going forward. [...] We have never been first [in the global console cycle], we have never been cheapest, it is about being the best. If you can build a better machine and it is going to come out a little bit later, that is better than rushing something to market that is going to run out of gas in the long term. Ideally, in a perfect world, you want the best machine that ships first andis  the cheapest [which is impossible], so our goal is to be the best," stressed Mr. Tretton.

Based on unofficial information, Sony PlayStation 4 "Orbis" will become available in late 2013. It is expected that the console will feature central processing unit and graphics processing unit designed by Advanced Micro Devices and will have a Blu-ray disc optical drive.