News Article

Talking Point: Do We Need PlayStation 4 Yet?

Posted by Christopher Ingram

The future is... when?

Recently we looked at The Future of PlayStation, and if there's one topic constantly hammering itself to the top of news sites it's which new home consoles might appear at the 2012 E3 Expo. We know that a new console from Microsoft is a possibility and Nintendo’s Wii U is a definite, but Sony has previously stated many times that PS4 won’t be shown this year. As we’ve let all these exciting new revelations sink in and file away in our brains, one question seems to linger in our minds: do we really need PlayStation 4 just yet?

Happy Now?

Back in October, as we were all in excited anticipation for PlayStation 3’s biggest 2011 game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, we found ourselves taken aback by a nugget of news at Develop that claimed a few Sony studios had begun working on PlayStation 4 projects. At the time, it was hard to think forward to the PS4 when the PS3 was about to be pushed further than we’d ever seen. Sony has stated many times over that the PS3 would have a solid ten year life cycle and we were just about to hit the five year benchmark when this news came across our desk, but it's reasonable that a few of the studios would surely be needed to head into the next-gen development, as it takes years to create killer launch titles for a new home console.

After being blown away by Uncharted 3 and witnessing what the PlayStation 3 is still capable of, we started looking forward to PlayStation Vita: Sony’s new high tech handheld was about to launch in Japan and the thought of PS4 becoming a relatively near reality had long since drifted away. But that all changed when MCV reported that Sony will indeed be showing off the PS4 at E3, quoting an unnamed “ultra-high level source” and “100 per cent concrete” information. Is it possible that Sony is worried that it has to show PS4 now to keep up with the competition? While this could potentially allude to E3 2012 being the best showing in history, it also brings us back to our original question: even if Sony does show off the PS4, do we need it yet? Well, let’s dig a bit deeper and see what we can find.

The Power of Four

Worldwide PS3 sales are now sitting right about even with its only HD competition: Xbox 360, which is now starting to show its age not because of the system's power, but instead by disc limitations. We’ve seen developers scale down games to fit the limited disc capacity, and going forward it could even lead to the system missing out on games altogether as more multiplatform developers start using the PS3 as their primary kit. Microsoft has in turn shifted the 360 to a more casual appeal through the use of Kinect, finding great sales success in spite of the majority of its games not faring too well with reviewers. But with the majority of Xbox owners being core gamers, the Kinect effect isn’t quite as appealing as the likes of, say, Gears of War 3 and it’s looking like the time for the next Xbox console is right around the corner. An E3 showing is seemingly inevitable.

PlayStation Move has been a subtle sales success for Sony, but it’s also clearly still in its infancy too. It's given us a great way to play FPS games with motion controls and has surprisingly found its niche with core gamers, but games being developed solely around the controller haven’t quite found their stride just yet. Sony has pledged that this will change and is backing developers to bring new high quality Move exclusive titles to the PS3 in the coming years and Sorcery is looking like it could have just the magic touch needed to set the glowing controller on fire this Spring. With titles like BioShock Infinite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DUST 514 supporting Move, it’s clear that core gamers will keep on Movin’ in the coming years as well.

Then we’ve got PlayStation Vita charging up to challenge the realms of what portable gaming can be. Portable consoles have always offered stripped-down versions of console games, but Vita is changing that by allowing cross-platform play between Vita and PS3. Equally tantalising is the ability to play games on your PS3 at home and then pick up right where you left off on-the-go with Vita. With the immense power of Vita and the connectivity it holds with the PS3, there’s a potential for developers to explore exciting avenues for titles that use both the PS3 and Vita together in new and creative ways – similar to Wii U. Thinking forward, Sony has the potential to market Vita as a direct competitor to Wii U. The PS3 already has an install base of over 55 million units sold worldwide and rapidly growing, so many gamers have no need to purchase a PS3 to gain the Wii U-like features, all they need to do is purchase Vita for $249 – possibly cheaper than the Wii U price point. Whether or not Sony will take advantage of this scenario is yet to be seen, but one thing that’s completely transparent is that interconnectivity between the systems holds the potential to expand the way we play games, whether we’re at home or away. With both being independent consoles at the same time, the possibilities here are seemingly unlimited.


System specifications also play a major role in home consoles and the PS3 is no different, so let’s briefly talk about them here for a minute. With Ultra High Definition Televisions (a.k.a. UHDTV’s) still years away from landing on retail shelves, there’s not much room for the PS4 to improve in the realm of graphics. One thing many seem forget is that Sony is an electronics company first and foremost and when the PS3 launched you probably bought a new TV, HDMI cable and surround sound system to enjoy the new console in its full glory. Sony made a lot of sales from multiple sources and the PS3 showed off multiple products to the entire entertainment media. Sony’s PlayStation brand is a medium to sell a full range of products: wouldn’t it make sense for Sony to move into the next generation of UHDTV’s and surround sound with the PS4, just as it did with the PS3? If so, this means we won’t be seeing PS4 for a few more years down the road.

With Naughty Dog currently developing The Last of Us, Sony pushing for new high quality Move exclusives and Vita’s interconnectivity features, there’s definitely still a lot of life left in the PS3. Whether watching movies on Netflix, catching game highlights on NHL Gamecenter or streaming music through Music Unlimited, Sony’s idea to create a gaming system that "only does everything" has finally become a reality. There’s no reason for Sony to dive off the cliff when it's just now reaching the top: it’s always wise to enjoy the view for a while planning your next big climb.

Do you think we’ll be seeing PS4 at E3? Can the PS3 hold strong against the upcoming Wii U and Xbox console? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

User Comments (29)



Squiggle55 said:

I know I'm not ready for a PS4. Hopefully all I have to get this year is the Wii U, and playstation just focuses on the ps3/vita connectivity. that seems like a level playing field to me. there's nothing I want my PS3 to do that it can't do at this point, so that point you made about waiting until UHDTV's hit the market makes a lot of sense. Until there is something definitive that calls for a console upgrade I am very happy with PS3 and it should survive nicely next to Wii U.



DarkKirby said:

If the Wii U wasn't being released there wouldn't bee a need for Microsoft or Sony to worry about a next gen console. But the danger for them lies in if Nintendo chooses to have the Wii U provide a combination of things that currently keeps the consoles separate. Good online service, which the 360 has BUT it cost a ridiculous yearly fee, average but free online which the PS3 has, not restricted developers on what they will allow on their system which Nintendo usually does, and HD graphics.

If nothing else, Sony and Microsoft want to at least have a more powerful system then Nintendo to maintain the power they have over the Wii now. But making the system too powerful will mean it will be very expensive and not cost efficient to manufacture and sell.

Having the most powerful system doesn't mean your console will be the winner of the console war. Most multiplatform games are developed for the 360, and thus work better on the 360, despite the PS3 being more powerful, to make sure it CAN work on the 360, then poorly ported to the PS3, which will always run 360 developed games but not at an optimal level as most developers can't be bothered to make the game run in a way that utilizes the the entity of the PS3's cell processor . If they made games for the PS3 there is a high chance it would not work for the 360, and would have to be downgraded to function.

PC beats every console at everything but no developer really favors it because it's the easiest platform to pirate on.



CanisWolfred said:

"Do We Need PlayStation 4 Yet?"

No. Because no...okay for a bit more insight, we can have the PS4 when Kingdom Hearts 3 is already out on the PS3. Why? Because I said so!



NathanUC said:

While 1080p is still the standard, we don't need a new PlayStation imo.



Gamer83 said:

I'm not sure we need the PS4 or the next Xbox yet but if Sony and MS can get new consoles out by late 2013 at an affordable price I'm definitely ready for the next gen.



tandam2012 said:

if certain ps3 games in the near future have trophies that can only be unlocked if uve done something with the vita version of the game i think i might turn green.

the thought of not being able to platinum a PS3 game coz i dont have a bugs me!

i hope this does not happen.

nice article btw



Dak_n_Jaxter said:

No, they need to just pay attention the still plenty capable PS3. But mainly they need to just throw everything they've got at the Vita. I honestly wouldn't even be aware of it's existence if it wasn't for these sites.... and that's sad. I'm getting one next week and would love these 3rd party rumors to be false. They need marketing and development.... GAMES make a system, or break it.



Supereor said:

Am I the only one who thinks that Sony's PS4 is just an alias for — I know it's stupidly ridiculous, but just hear me out — the PlayStation Vita? I mean, I really can't even say what the Wii U is — it's not a handheld or a console system, really. The Xbox series is and is doing fine, but if you look into the Xbox really, you'll find it's somewhat generic...



Slapshot said:

Thanks guys for all the great comments and giving your insight on this issue!

@GrandChaseLover I don't think that Sony would even dare pull a publicity stunt that states "PS Vita is the PS4." I think that'd be quite bad for their business.



fortius54 said:

I think one thing that needs to be mention from a company stand point concerning the PS4 is can Sony afford to launch the new system? They can't afford to sell these consoles at a loss like some have done in the past. Playstation sales of both hardware and software kept Sony from being worse than it really was. It was one of if not he only sections of the company up year over. I don't know if selling a system at a loss to gain an install base is something that is feasible. If they don't do that and come in trying to make a profit...well, we know what happened there.

Another thing to considered we the competitors. Wii U is not considered a next gen system. It is a mild step up. Third party developers can most likely create a game for the current gens that will port well with Wii U and vice versa. If you let Microsoft make the successor to 360. Will companies go with them if they are he only game in town? We know here is a learning curve ffom one generation to the next. Why not if I am a third party developer wait for Sony and Nintendo to make a move?

Am I off base with this think?

Sorry for the typos. I really am more intelligent than my fingers allow me to be.



Slapshot said:

@fortuis54 You bring up some good points, but to clarify a bit: Sony's losses were primarily with overproduction in their large high-end televisions. They also spend billions on research and development across nearly every realm of electronics each year: the 3D projectors that you see at the IMAX, as well as the incredible UHD projectors that are now in the theaters, that's mostly all Sony equipment that they've developed. That's where they've got to scale down to stay profitable, not necessarily in their PlayStation lineup.

Wouldn't the "next-gen" be when the system can push UHD graphic?



Azikira said:

I don't think we need the PS4 quite yet. The PS3 is still strong, and PS Vita is literally days away, so at the most I think they might show a prototype for a PS4 that will be released years down the line. Not only would that give them time for the PS3 to live it's lifespan, but it'd give them an advantage by seeing how Microsoft's new polished piece of cra-I mean console, and Nintendo's Wii U work, and leave the PS4 more room to grow. Plus I mean, C'mon, I don't have unlimited funds Sony, and I am already buying your Vita! Give my wallet a well deserved break! D;



rjejr said:

I'm not ready for a PS4 yet but I don't think thats important, what is important to Sony is competition. I still blame Sony for killing the Dreamcast (yes I know it was piracy related) with all the PS2 hype, and then I beat The Bouncer in 20 minutes. How long was the PS3 announced before it was supposed to be released, and then how long after that until it was? The WiiU may make Sony unveil something at E3, but I wouldn't expect to see it on store shelves until 2014.

This article is the first time I've ever read or heard of UHDTV. I don't think the PS4 need wait for that. I would like God of War and Castlevania graphics with camera control - fixed camera is graphics cheating. And an XMB that works with Move.



Fuzzy said:

No way near ready for one yet. If no games came out for the rest of the year, I'd still have ones I wouldnt have gotten to yet.



SuperNictendo said:

The ps3 still has so much potential. I think the addition of the vita will allow it to compete with wii U and the next xbox. They just need to think innovative with their games. Although I think the wii U will be a force be reckoned with.



Supereor said:


Oh, sorry, I just said that because the PS Vita is pretty... um... I don't know... when I think about it, why DID I make that comment...


The third sentence in that comment is hilarious, if a little offensive to Microsoft. About that last sentence, Sony will never give fan's wallets a break, Sony is known for depressing people with their monster prices.



Azikira said:

@GrandChaseLover: After having 5 defective consoles, and them dropping their "replacement in case of red rings" policy, AND with the idea that they want to make a game work on only ONE console, I truly hope developers see what greedy, lazy, pathetic people run the Xbox division. Microsoft, stick with Computers. It's the only thing you're good at.

And I know right? Sony plays pacman with money instead of pellets XD



Ginkgo said:

Really? I can't believe there are so many comments saying that the PS3 does everything they want. Me, until I can't tell the difference between a game and real life, bring on the next gen.



fullyilly said:

Let's put this into perspective. When have we ever 'needed' next gen? Answer...never. Now let's change the question. Do we 'want' next next gen? Answer...HELL YES! There is NOTHING more tantalising and exciting than months and months of early games footage from a new console and glimpses of the new hardware itself...once we all get that put in front of us, then we will all want the next gen. Once 'in game' looks as rich as 'pre-rendered' then we'll really be in for a treat! Bring it on!



James said:

@Azikira "AND with the idea that they want to make a game work on only ONE console"

Sorry, what? Is this about the unsubstantiated rumour that the next Xbox won't work with pre-owned? Because we should all know that's just not going to happen



odd69 said:

I still think the ps3 has plenty of life left, I too would be distracted. With firmware updates, patches, its good to go another generation or well close to one.Id say it could last as long as the ps2 did. Now is the time to jump on sony's bandwagon though the peak of a console is always a good time,with releases left and right . my Next generation will be spent catching up with all sony.



DrCruse said:

I'm not ready for a PS4. I don't think there's much room for improvement and I just got my PS3 last year. I still have tons of great titles to track down and play for the first time. I bought a PS3 expecting it to have a ten year lifespan. I think waiting for UHDTV is a great idea.



Splat said:

Since I have only had my PS3 since November, I'm in no rush for PS4 to come out.



CanisWolfred said:

"When have we ever 'needed' next gen?"

When we've reached the limits of the current technology, which we obviously haven't done with the PS3 yet.



davitpr said:

@James I think what @Azikira is referring to is to the fact that Xbox has a policy where if a game shows on PS3 first or has more content or looks better on PS3, Xbox won't publish it.



JayMiller1988 said:

In my line of thought, late 2013 or early 2014 are the most feasible. People have been having countdowns since 2010 for PS4. The PS3 is fine for another year or so. They are just now making moola out the wazoo which would make up for any losses they have. The PS Vita is going strong, so I see no need for a 2012 PS4, we don't want to be overloaded with new systems.

Plus, really, Wii U is coming out in holiday 2012, does Sony really want to release at the same time? They are good developers and marketers, but against Wii U? Seriously.

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