The PSX, not to be confused with the codename for the first PlayStation
New PlayStation in 18 months, claims Sony source

With PlayStation 3’s time on the market closing in on only six months, there are already talks of the next versions of the console. According to a vague source cited by Australian web publication Smarthouse, a new console it names as PlayStation 4 is less than 18 months away.

Rather than being an entirely new console, the device will supposedly include the same architecture as the current console but with a new drive bay and attachment area. The new box is said to also include extensive software suite for the managing of content being streamed to a TV or Hi Fi source.

It appears that these updates to the current console aim to position the machine as more of a home entertainment hub rather than as a games machine. “We have even looked at a Sony home server based on PlayStation technology. This would allow consumers to connect home automation devices to the Sony server while also delivering online gaming and access to an extensive movie and music library,” said one Sony source.

The report also ties in comments made by the soon retiring Sony chairman, Ken Kutaragi, who spoke on his plans for PlayStation 4, 5 and 6. “As a matter of course, I have the vision of PlayStation 4, 5 and 6, which will merge into the network,” he said.

“The design concept of the Cell processor is the network processor.” Kutaragi said, adding that the network environment now makes his visions for a net-based games console possible. Although the PS3 hardware still has a long road ahead of it, Kutaragi could be hoping for future PlayStation generations to be compatible with the Cell processor to create the supercomputer network that Sony has boasted about.

It seems unlikely that the new PlayStation will be named with the numeral four, at least not within the next four years; but based on Sony’s comments and the shift that high-end machines are moving into the home entertainment space, a  newer, differently positioned PlayStation box is possible.

In fact, Sony has already made such a product with the PlayStation 2. Released only in Japan, the PSX was a general home media center based on PlayStation 2 hardware with digital video and DVD recorder functionality. The PSX was a product under Sony Corp. instead of Sony Computer Entertainment, further reflecting the different position of the device.

The PSX was released in Japan on December 13, 2003, but never saw the light of day in other territories due to poor sales projections.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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