Of course Sony would never suggest themselves the PlayStation 3 is their last console, since it’s the company’s only profitable unit, but cloud platform provider Gaikai suggested just that at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show 2012! They mentioned one of the current console manufacturers does not have plans to join the 8th console generation.
Since Nintendo have already announced their next-generation console, the Wii U. And Microsoft leaks have indicated the Xbox 720 is in development with a Windows 8-related Xbox roadmap. That leaves Sony who insist they won’t talk about PlayStation 4 until 2016 at the earliest. Hence the rumor is Gaikai and Sony sitting in a tree… C-L-O-U-D-I-N-G. All jokes aside, here’s what Tom reports Gaikai said that jump-started all sort of rumors.
“Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation.” -Gaikai
To quote, chief product officer for Gaikai, Nanea Reeves:
“Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation. That will be the big news at E3 [this year].”
Sony’s executive deputy president Kaz Hirai that same week responded to Bloomberg about future PlayStation consoles. He said:
“It’s very important that we continue to have a dedicated home-based console. Relying solely on networks to deliver content is unfortunately just not possible. It’s still very difficult to have consumers download 50 gigabytes of data or more.” He once again stated that the PlayStation 3 console will have a 10-year-lifecycle, which its only halfway into at the moment.
But they are such vague statements that you can read them as both a pro and a con towards cloud-gaming, so let’s just stick with the literal meaning: The PlayStation 4 isn’t going to appear on the table anytime soon. Although Sony Consumer Electronics also creates many different (Vaio) PC ranges, so having their games appear cross-platform via cloud-gaming, might help expand the PlayStation brand to Sony computers (note: plans have already been made for PlayStation Network support for Vaio).
“Whether it’s in mobile or cloud-based services, there are opportunities there…” -Andrew House
Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House previously mentioned at the Japanese PS Vita launch that “Whether it’s in mobile or cloud-based services, there are opportunities there for more casual content and in our case potentially for legacy content, which we would definitely like to explore. But I think we are a way away from being able to deliver the full-on top-end experience like that.
The scale of data involved and issues around latency do mean that, at least for now, the easiest consumer experience is from physical media.”
This Sony commercial shows they want the PlayStation Network to be part of everyday life.
Perhaps Gaikai – who certainly have to gain from a cloud-based console future – are merely trying to plant the seed of an idea in one of the console manufacturer’s minds. Anyone who’s seen the movie Inception knows how dangerous that can be!
Would you like a PlayStation 4 launch in 2014-ish or rather have a cloud-based future altogether?