I don’t mean to alarm you but Sony are currently busy at work on the PlayStation 4. I know, shocking that a platform holder would be thinking of another console when the current gen is already half way through its predicted lifecycle… Okay, enough of my churlish sarcasm, Sony executive vice president and chief financial officer Masaru Kato was questioned at a recent earnings report on the increase in costs for research and development. His answer referenced prototyping and developing of video games and of course the NGP device which is still scheduled for a 2011 release. A new handheld with such power would naturally eat up a lot of R&I costs. Kato also said regardless of how long the PS3 has left, Sony are a platform holder who are looking towards a future platform with the work already under way (via Gamespot).
I can’t imagine any kind of announcement coming in this E3 other than maybe, just maybe a code name for the inevitably named PS4. But even then that feels too early. This is the generation of the ten year cycle with the PS2 actually reaching such a milestone just last year. It was never really thought a console released in 2000 would continue to sell as well as it has which is why expectation for the HD generation were scaled up, subsequently meaning the first real signs of a PS4 and next Xbox won’t be until 2012-13 at the earliest. Nintendo on the other hand are in a completely different situation with the Wii. On release, the hardware was already going out of date so a small step to at least support HD has been expected for some time. And now we’re getting just that with Project Cafe, officially unveiling in just over a weeks time.
There’s still so much untapped potential in the current HD consoles and a recent addition of motion controls too so I’d be surprised if anyone is clambering for a successor anytime soon. But above everything else, you’d hope that at the very least, backwards compatibility will come as standard to all models whenever they do show themselves. Wishing for HD remakes is never as good as having the option to play games from your existing collection.