You know, after Sony insisted enough times that the company wasn’t even thinking about a successor to the PlayStation 3, I was almost starting to believe them. But that would just be silly, wouldn’t it?
Articles have been popping up all over the internet declaring that a PlayStation 4 is in the works. The evidence cited is a quote from chief financial officer Masaru Kato, who discussed R&D costs with investors in a meeting recently. He said that work on a future platform to follow the PS3 is under way. Regarding the upcoming platform, Kato said, “When we’ll be introducing what product I cannot discuss that – but our development work is already under way.”
The timeline makes sense. Sony wants the PlayStation 3 to have a 10 year shelf life, and this winter will mark the fifth year that the system’s been on the market. Beginning development now would likely mean a 2013 or 2014 release, which would give the PS3 another few years on the shelf with competition from the PS4. It’s a lot like what happened with the PS2, though the PS2 has outlived the 10 year expectation. New PS2 games still come out every month.
In a later interview, Kato changed his tune a bit. “Some people misread what I said,” he claims. “Any time we launch a product, from that day we already start thinking about the next one. This is a just a general statement.”
While that’s clearly a different statement, it doesn’t actually change the content of the earlier one. Kato says that the company starts thinking about a new product as soon as it launches the first one, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a real plan in place for the PS4.
Another thing to keep in mind is that E3 is not too far off. Nintendo is going to be revealing its next system, and both Microsoft and Sony have to compete with that. The NGP/PSP2/whateverit’scalled is big, but it’s not exactly new. There needs to be something bigger than yet another ‘Uncharted’ game and the price of a handheld system. A PS4 tease could put Sony in strong contention with Nintendo for publicity.
Either way, if something’s coming in the near future, we’ll almost certainly find out in the next few weeks.
[via PC World]