PlayStation father has plans for his next three children

Although Ken Kutaragi is set to retire on June 19, the father of the now three generations of PlayStation may only be half through his plans for the console. According to an interview with EE Times, Kutaragi said, “As a matter of course, I have the vision of PlayStation 4, 5 and 6, which will merge into the network.”

While little details are known about the PlayStation 4, Sony's Phil Harrison believes that the PlayStation 4 will forgo any form of optical storage altogether. “I’d be amazed if the PlayStation 4 has a physical disc drive,” said Harrison to Wired last summer.

Meanwhile, some analysts were predicting that the PlayStation 3 could be the last of its kind for Sony, citing that the new appointment of Kazuo Hirai, a software-focussed individual, could shift the company’s focus. “The appointment of Hirai could be the start of a shift from hardware to software,” said Yuta Sakurai, an analyst at Nomura. “I cannot now imagine a PlayStation 4.”

Kutaragi’s recent comments reveal that a PlayStation 4, and beyond, has already begun preliminary planning -- though what happens to those plans after Kutaragi’s departure is still unknown. Talked about for the PlayStation 2 and finally introduced with the PlayStation 3 is the idea of a network processor.

“The design concept of the Cell processor is the network processor.” he said, adding that the network environment now makes his visions for a net-based games console possible. Although the PS3 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.

Kutaragi has always been a visionary in technology and gaming, but he has not forgotten about taking care of present business. He says that he has provided plans to the PS3 design team on how to reduce costs as well as new design features for the next two years.

Where Kutaragi does next is still a mystery, though he currently remains involved in Cellius, a joint venture games company by Sony and Namco Bandai. Kutaragi may also be looking at his retirement as a well-deserved rest. He once said that it was his dream to retire at age 50, for which he is now six years overdue.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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