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
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.