Sony CEO "Can't Imagine" Future of PlayStation

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Sony CEO "Can't Imagine" Future of PlayStation

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When you've got a product out there as futuristic as the PlayStation 3, it's nearly impossible to figure out what comes next.

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton may not even be thinking about the PlayStation 4 right now, because to him it's just so far away. In an interview with FastCompany, he confirmed that the PlayStation 3 still isn't even old enough to have a mid-life crisis, while also finding the time to get in a few jabs at competitors.

With the PlayStation 3 just a few months out from its third birthday, Tretton emphasizes that Sony is still sticking to a 10 year life-cycle for the product. "I can validate that we are in the first 25% to 30% of this generation," he said, believing this puts Sony in the "cat-bird seat," meaning it has the upper hand with the PlayStation 3 in the current console war. Ideally, he hopes that "in 2015 somebody is going to be saying, 'This is the Year of the PlayStation 3,'" and thinks the console has the "horsepower to do it with this generation."

In previous generations, companies would be looking to the next big product three years into a console's life. However, Tretton says he "can't even imagine what can be done technically beyond the PlayStation 3 in the near future." According to Tretton, the PlayStation 4 would only happen: "When somebody can craft the technology that exceeds what we're able to do on the PS3, but we are still just starting to harness it." Apparently, the level of power needed to build a PlayStation 4 would be well over 9000, an unthinkable amount by anyone's measure.

So, forget about the PS4 for now, and focus on Sony's upcoming motion controller instead. By the way, Tretton says Sony's perspective is that the company "introduced motion gaming with the EyeToy for PlayStation 2," and that it was "an incredible experience to be able to stand in front of the TV with nothing in your hands, and see yourself on the TV and interact with the objects there." Sorry Sony, but I'm pretty sure that technology was invented by Nick Arcade. He does believe that "you have to tip your hat to Nintendo for introducing the motion gaming using their controllers, [and] doing it in a more social fashion." However, he also takes a shot at Natal, saying "we all know that it was not homegrown" and that "it's certainly technology that we worked with before; we had the experience with the PS2 and EyeToy."

Motion gaming jabs aside, it remains to be seen whether the PlayStation 3 can actually hold up for a full 10 years. Microsoft is sure to come out with another product so it can put the debacle of the extremely defective Xbox 360 behind it, though we're at the point where a company can't just come out with a new machine that doubles the amount of "bits" to get people to buy it. I would expect whatever the next Xbox is to somehow negate the advantage of the PS3's Blu-ray discs if possible, perhaps with a proprietary disc format like Nintendo used for the GameCube. For the PlayStation 3 to truly last 10 years, Sony must have some kind of strong plan in place, not just a new controller for people to wave around. It's easy to say that the PS3 will last after its strongest holiday season, but seven more years is a very long time.

(Via: CVG)

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I think the fact that everytime this man gives a talk he continually jabs at the opposition shows that his arguments, and console, alone arent strong enough to stand up for themselves. I really hate how everytime he has a conference he sounds like

"We are so amazing in every way and xbox sucks, PS3 FTW!"

10 years is a very long time, but there is some more than could be done. New franchises and more perhaps?

Calumon: 6 more years! 6 more years! Yay!

Futuristic? We're talking about a console that can at best barely outperform the X360 on a graphical basis.

Hahahahahahaha

It's nice to see him being optimistic (if a bit arrogant) but he seems to be forgetting that technology, specifically graphical advancements, do not stay on hold for 10 years. Epic is going to be revealing Unreal Engine 4 in a few years and new consoles will have to be released if they want to keep up with it. I can certainly see the PS3 having a lifespan of 10 years (the PS2 is still going pretty damn strong) but I seriously doubt the machine has the hardware to keep up to date.

It seems Sony are still blowing their own trumpet. I do love my PS3 though.

We'll see how long this viewpoint lasts once MS announces it's next system. Not saying it's happening any time soon, but you know that despite everything Sony says they are already researching the next PlayStation. After seeing what happened with the PS3 and that they are just now catching up, there is no way Sony is going to give MS another yearlong head start.

Will the ps3 be the only playstation on the market for seven more years? Not likely, but it will be sold for the next seven.

Anyone want to post a graph of sony games division revenue/profit since PS3 was released?

Wouldn't it be great to work there? "Boss said he doesn't care if we keep losing money for the next 7 years just like we have for the last 3".

Zer_:
Futuristic? We're talking about a console that can at best barely outperform the X360 on a graphical basis.

It can and has done, don't really get what you're saying. It seems to struggle in multi-plat games a little though, although that seems to be getting squeezed out.

Still, I don't think that a 3-year-old set of hardware can be described as futuristic.

Well, I'm sure there will be a "4" in the title somewhere, along with "Playstation". And I think it'll most likely play those game things.

Though, I'm not 100% on that. So don't quote me. (Unless I get it right, then feel free to.)

Tom Goldman:
and thinks the console has the "horsepower to do it with this generation."

My RAM(all 8192MB of it) would like to have a moment to laugh at the profound ignorance of this statement, it won't take long, since it runs at 1600Mhz instead of the usual 667Mhz. Most other components of my rig echo that opinion. Except for my 1Tb 7200RPM HD, who is having a midlife crisis over being almost as old as the current gen consoles.

When OpenGL gets SDK's for DX11 and all consoles are royally screwed on the "non gamers who only want shiny graphics" front.

And by "futuristic," you mean "financially disastrous," right?

Tom Goldman:
Apparently, the level of power needed to build a PlayStation 4 would be well over 9000, an unthinkable amount by anyone's measure.

What does that sentence even mean?

Tom Goldman:
I would expect whatever the next Xbox is to somehow negate the advantage of the PS3's Blu-ray discs if possible, perhaps with a proprietary disc format like Nintendo used for the GameCube.

PS3 is not leading the console race. I don't think negating the "advantage of Blu-Ray" is what Microsoft should be worried about.

2015 would be the ninth year of the PS3s existence, and I do recall someone else from Sony saying the plan was to have the PS3 around for a decade.

...they're really hoping for the "finish strong" strategy here, or at least Tretton does.

My mates dad works for Sony and apparently they've got some virtual reality thing going on, but then again that may not be true.

Sony saying they they basically invented the motion controller is like that Twilightard saying that Stephany Meyer (sp?) invented werewolves.

I don't think any console needs to be fully updated. The motion plus helped the Wii, and while it may lag behind graphically, it's a fun sustem.

However, ten years is a long time. Honestly, the only reason I was playing the PS2 still when the PS3 first came around was because 1) They were still making games for the PS2 and 2, the PS3 was too expensive.

*shrug* We'll have to see.

SharedProphet:

Tom Goldman:
Apparently, the level of power needed to build a PlayStation 4 would be well over 9000, an unthinkable amount by anyone's measure.

What does that sentence even mean?

If you use the internet, you'll find out someday.

SharedProphet:

Tom Goldman:
I would expect whatever the next Xbox is to somehow negate the advantage of the PS3's Blu-ray discs if possible, perhaps with a proprietary disc format like Nintendo used for the GameCube.

PS3 is not leading the console race. I don't think negating the "advantage of Blu-Ray" is what Microsoft should be worried about.

It's just speculation. What advantage does the PS3 have over the 360 technically? Blu-ray is it. At some point, I feel Microsoft will need to negate this advantage... in the long term.

To Mr. Tretton's credit, we are beginning to approach the limits of computing power with conventional lithography, but there's still potential for multiplying processing power quite a few times. The idea that the PS3's technology is going to hold up for another seven years is pretty silly, although I do applaud the fact that he wants to focus more on software innovation rather than jacking up transistor density every three years. Makes me glad to have a PC, though. :)

Ich, I was hoping for an interesting thread about gaming technology but the XBox/Playstation fanboys are already at each others throats...

Call me when you design a prototype for virtual reality gaming guys, really. There's no limit to where games can reach.

Tom Goldman:
Tretton says he "can't even imagine what can be done technically beyond the PlayStation 3 in the near future." According to Tretton, the PlayStation 4 would only happen: "When somebody can craft the technology that exceeds what we're able to do on the PS3, but we are still just starting to harness it."

Someone should show Tretton Crysis 2 or an Nvidia GF100.

Much as people knock the PS3's financial record in comparison to the Xbox 360, the PS3 has actually gained more than Microsoft relative to the time of release. A few months ago the PS3 outsold the Xbox 360 and the Wii, leaving Microsoft's console at the bottom of the three horse race!

Also is it just me who misunderstood the title?

Whispering Death:

Tom Goldman:
Tretton says he "can't even imagine what can be done technically beyond the PlayStation 3 in the near future." According to Tretton, the PlayStation 4 would only happen: "When somebody can craft the technology that exceeds what we're able to do on the PS3, but we are still just starting to harness it."

Someone should show Tretton Crysis 2 or an Nvidia GF100.

Since it's going to be on PS3 I'm sure he's seen Crysis 2...

I feel kind of bad for this, but only 2 things really popped into my mind reading this.

1) PCs Graphic abilities are going to outshine consoles so much it isn't even funny.

2) Since most games seems to have their shiny graphics potential gauged on what the current console generation can manage, and computer hardware getting more powerful while the demand a game puts on a platform stays the same, the cost for a good gaming computer rig is going to be incredibly cheap. Might even get to the point where even a new rig is cheaper then a console, and a savvy shopper might as well hook up a PC to a Television, and get way more then a console can properly manage.

What? Publishers generally treat the PC crowd like they have leprosy, let me at least be a little cocky about something.

Also, this is probably good overall. An extra long generation will mean that developers will be forced to innovate in game play instead of graphics.

Woodsey:

Zer_:
Futuristic? We're talking about a console that can at best barely outperform the X360 on a graphical basis.

It can and has done, don't really get what you're saying. It seems to struggle in multi-plat games a little though, although that seems to be getting squeezed out.

Still, I don't think that a 3-year-old set of hardware can be described as futuristic.

The PS3's Cell processor is definitely powerful, but it's most definitely bogged down by everything else. Low RAM, a mediocre GPU. The GPU doesn't even have unified shader architecture, which is standard accross all GPUs since the last 4-5 years now. Heck the 360's GPU is quite a ways better than the PS3's GPU.

On a side-by-side comparison between most 360 exclusives and PS3 exclusives you won't find that big of a graphical difference between the two. Sure, you may find the PS3 will have the edge on some aspects, but when it comes to Anti-Aliasing and texture data the 360 has the edge.

It is great when you heard the people in charge of its own product trying to up-sell it.

PS3 does look like it will last a farewell, but, I am sure they are always making plans, that much is for sure

Zer_:
Futuristic? We're talking about a console that can at best barely outperform the X360 on a graphical basis.

Hahahahahahaha

Uhhh... what?
Look at Uncharted 2/Heavy Rain/MGS4. Then come back.

PS1 1994, PS2 2000, PS3 2006...

Do I see a trend here or not?

Zer_:
Futuristic? We're talking about a console that can at best barely outperform the X360 on a graphical basis.

Hahahahahahaha

Of which parallel universe are you referring?

The amount of extra textures and detail that are able to be loaded on a blu ray disk, by far and away, out perform the 360 with it's terrible dvd/cd-only drive. Only due to some developers lazy coding do you see small differences in cross platform games.

Paddin:
I think the fact that everytime this man gives a talk he continually jabs at the opposition shows that his arguments, and console, alone arent strong enough to stand up for themselves. I really hate how everytime he has a conference he sounds like

"We are so amazing in every way and xbox sucks, PS3 FTW!"

I hear the opposite from the Xbox crowds, its how you get hype up and lengthen the Console Wars. I would care less about which console is great if they had great games on it and for me I just happen to find my games on the PS3. I have been wondering when someone (sony executive) would throw a punch at Natal vs Eyetoy though.

Paddin:
I think the fact that everytime this man gives a talk he continually jabs at the opposition shows that his arguments, and console, alone arent strong enough to stand up for themselves. I really hate how everytime he has a conference he sounds like

"We are so amazing in every way and xbox sucks, PS3 FTW!"

reminds me of Aaron greenburg for Xbox...

I don't think that graphics are going to get much better and even if they do who gives a damn! I never play a game just because the graphics are supposed to be great, it seems like programmers today are spending so much time working on the graphics of a game that they forget all about the gameplay!

I don't know about you guys but I would definetly give up spectacular graphics in a game for one that tells a good story, offers a moderate length and is just fun to play!

Paddin:
I think the fact that everytime this man gives a talk he continually jabs at the opposition shows that his arguments, and console, alone arent strong enough to stand up for themselves. I really hate how everytime he has a conference he sounds like

"We are so amazing in every way and xbox sucks, PS3 FTW!"

I've heard those kind of comments from across the industry, it isn't just PS3.

Do I have proof? Nope, just from the last few years of observations I've made.

And this particular guy's not alone. Economic analysts agree.

Although I'll admit that point's weak, especially when you realize that there is about an equal number of analysts in support of each individual console.

Nevertheless, every company says, "we are so amazing in every way and [insert top competitor here] sucks, [insert our main product here] FTW!"

Look at almost every car commercial, and you'll see what I mean.

Jas0913:
I don't think that graphics are going to get much better and even if they do who gives a damn! I never play a game just because the graphics are supposed to be great, it seems like programmers today are spending so much time working on the graphics of a game that they forget all about the gameplay!

I don't know about you guys but I would definetly give up spectacular graphics in a game for one that tells a good story, offers a moderate length and is just fun to play!

Part of what's been going on over the last few years has been an industry growth. They had relatively untapped potential and tested it out to see what they could do. Unfortunately, the industry didn't realize that most gamers have the perspective that you do.

Nevertheless, increased graphics capabilities represents something far greater in terms of game play. The same thing that allows for great graphics (polygon count and the like) can offer up new game play mechanics, allowing for games to be experienced in new ways, adding layers to an already deep game.

Heavy Rain is an example of this, where good graphics allow for the hiding of clues that can potentially change the story - clues that can be over looked.

It can also help with physics engines, such as the Frostbite Engine in Battlefield Bad Company.

Although I agree with you, a game doesn't need to be the most beautiful game on the market to be a winner, I feel as though many people with your sentiments overlook the importance of having good graphics.

Zer_:
Futuristic? We're talking about a console that can at best barely outperform the X360 on a graphical basis.

Hahahahahahaha

that's not true. the PS3 consistently beats the 360 on a graphical basis. the 360 has better rendering effects (meaning that the games often look more polished, even though the PS3 can pack more details). However, this difference is software related, and could be fixed with updates or in game effects.

The problem is that most of the games we can compare are cross console, where effects aren't made based on a console by console basis.

Not to mention the technology involved in the PS3 is supieror to the 360's.

However, I give the 360 credit. The reason why it's "on par" with the PS3 isn't the advancement of technology, but the utilization of older technology. Microsoft was basically like, "Ok ok, we'll just pack a lot of out dated technology in a little box to make it powerful and cheap!"

It worked, causing the 360's domination in the current console war.

The downside was in relatively faulty systems (as mentioned in this article), and a relative short life span (Microsoft planned the 360 for a typical 5-6 year lifespan). Seeing as how the 360 came out almost two years before the PS3, this is bad news.

The good news is that when the next generation of Xbox comes out, it will make the PS3 look like an old horse. But then we'll return back to the current situation. Where Sony releases the PS4 while banking off of the success of the PS3. Today, the PS2 consistently outsells the 360 and the PS3. Only in the last 6 months has its sale desipated.

Suddenly you see the brilliance in Sony's plan. They never wanted a console that was successful. They wanted a console that will last, where they make a lot of money over a long period of time.

Seeing the trend Microsoft follows with its Xbox's, the 360 will be a footnote in the grander scheme of Xbox's over the next two decades... where as the PS3 will be revered as a classic (due to it's long life) much as the PS2 and PSone.

Personally, I see brilliance in both strategies, but for you to just laugh off the PS3's plan is sheer stupidity/biasness to me.

Not that any of it matters cause no one can best Nintendo! (which is where my heart truly lies :])

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