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Sony Feeling No Pressure From Wii U

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Jack Tretton was recently interviewed by Forbes magazine, in which he discusses the Vita, PS3, and Sony's general philosophy toward the role of its products in an evolving market. Tretton painted the company as having a broader appeal than its counterparts -- with Nintendo catering to the "casual, young audience," and Microsoft aiming for shooter enthusiasts - with Playstation balancing the appeal to that elusive non-gamer audience while satisfying the "hardcore" crowd. The interviewer asked the SCEA CEO about the company's plan for a successor to the PS3, which was met with the most unfortunate reply that, as far as Sony is concerned, it won't be making its debut anytime soon, regardless of Nintendo's forthcoming entry into the console market.

From the Forbes interview:

PlayStation 3 is really just hitting its stride. And technologically, I don't think it's possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have. What we've seen from the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3. We invested heavily in that, we rolled a very heavy rock up a steep hill, through the launch period. But now I think that all pays off, and we've got a long run way behind it. So, I wouldn't look for any discussion of a next generation PlayStation for quite some time.

More after the jump!

Tretton did also take a swipe at Nintendo, remarking that "If you're looking at being a multimedia entertainment device, if you're looking at high def gaming, that was 2006 for us." This brings to mind earlier, thorny sentiments about Nintendo, particularly Tretton's remarks that likened Nintendo handhelds to "babysitting tools," and that "no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those" - thus implying that any twenty-somethings who do in fact own them must be overgrown man-children, a burden that can only be lifted with the purchase of a PSP. I criticized him at the time for being rather irresponsible, and I echo those criticisms now. There's a fine line between making jabs at the competition, and shooting your mouth off. I'm not tremendously well-versed in corporate strategy, being no greater than a Private in the Prole Army and all, but it stands to reason that smugness is not the best way to promote your brand. Adapting a line from the tome of corporate platitudes, every Nintendo customer is a potential Sony customer. Regardless of one's feelings about competition, the more professional approach would be to illustrate why the PS3 is a better value for the money. But I digress.


Personally, I don't put a whole lot of stock in the notion that Sony is taking its sweet time with a follow-up to the PS3. If the rumors that Microsoft will be announcing a new console at E3 2012 turn out to be true, Sony risks being late to the party (again), and as 1UP notes, we're coming up on six years since the PS3's launch. The Unreal 3 "Samaritan" tech demo gives us some insight into what next-gen graphics could look like, and it's most impressive. Now it's just a matter of getting the hardware to run it.

11 Comments

Oldtaku said:

Lies.

> And technologically, I don't think it's possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have.

And this proves it. Maybe from the heady future of 1996.

my goodness Sony are just FAIL personified. In fact from now on I will use SONY in place of the term fail.

Yawn! said:

Sony should have nothing to fear. The Wii U will not sell half the amount of units that the Wii did. The only people that will shell out the money for that bad idea are the same old Nintendo sheep that follow that company blindly. Honestly, how can you sheep play the same game with the same tired characters and the same old gameplay?

jayoshi said:

@Yawn!

Hello troll! Nice to meet you. How is that nice bridge you moved under last week? I heard you got a great deal on it.

Yawn! said:

@ jayoshi

I stayed somewhat on topic. You came in and brought absolutely nothing to the table.

I believe by the true internet definition, that actually makes you the troll. The irony did make me chuckle though.

jayoshi said:

@Yawn!

I'm so happy that I could make you laugh. It brings me such joy when I'm able to bring joy to others.

You're welcome :)

Bearfamily said:

Its ok Sony nobody is competing for your last place. I'd say your pretty safe too.

AnakinGaeda said:

I'm glad to hear that Sony is going on record to say they are going to continue to support the PS3 for the long haul and not get dragged in to some stupid race for the next console generation. Nobody was excited with the price point for the PS3 when it came out, but it would be worse if they expected us to shell out that kind of dough every six years or so. Obviously they are doing research and development, but I'm glad they aren't going to rush something out just to yell out "first!" They've already updated the PS3 firmware to do 3D gaming if you've got a 3D tv, and they are trying to compete with motion gaming with the move, and they could just release a new PSP to work with the PS3 in a similar fashion to the WiiU, and most of the hardware architecture seems to already be there so it wouldn't be hard. It's Sony's marketing that claims "It only does everything." So unless they come up with an idea that can't be added via firmware update, there is no reason to jump ship. If they continue to suppport the console, I see no reason it can't have as much and more staying power than the PS2. And if it takes another generation after the WiiU and whatever the next XBox will be before we see a PS4, all the better for my wallet.

Sony is ridiculous,for them to sit there and blatantly insult Nintendo is a cheap move. It's funny though because Sony thinks that there PS3 is like the God of War or something when really,it's in dead last in the console race,it's experiencing tremendous online issues with hackers and being shutdown every 2-3 months,and honestly,the system is a good-for-nothing powerhouse that doesn't even know how to harness it's own power. People can sit here and say how the Wii is the weakest system of the current generation but look at what system has the best sales,look at what system attracts a wide variety of audiences,and look at which system has a successor coming up. Microsoft has done an excellent job as well, maintaining 2nd place as they did last generation,they continue to create excellent games for their system,and they can price things reasonably. Sony just needs to get their heads out of their asses and realize something,they are not God,this is no longer the era of the Playstation 2(where admittedly they reigned supreme),and a new generation is approaching. Microsoft and Nintendo about being smart and jumping on the next gen bandwagon,I suppose Sony will be the ones to be left behind. Oh well,at least their precious little "Playstation 3" will be with them when they suffer their ultimate demise as a gaming company.

AnakinGaeda said:

Sony didn't come out with this statement to insult Nintendo, they were simply informing a public that wanted to know what there plans were for the "next generation". The WiiU is going to update to 1080p graphics, which the PS3 already has. For Sony to start talking about the next version of the Playstation, the obvious question is "what does the new system improve over the old system?"

One direction Sony could go would be to come up with a system that can deliver higher than 1080p graphics, but then there are ZERO televisions that display at higher than 1080p, so the consumer wouldn't have any reason to upgrade to the new console. If there isn't any benefit to upgrading to the next console, then nobody will buy it, and Sony would have wasted a huge amount of money with nothing to show for it.

Another direction would simply be a faster/more efficient processor and more RAM. Apple might be able to get away with releasing new products with better hardware, forcing people to buy whole new systems rather than being able to upgrade the individual components in their computers, but people consider computers as more of a necessity, especially if they are actually using it for their jobs. I don't think most gamers would be interested unless it's an incredibly tremendous leap in hardware capability. In order to be a good enough jump in computing power to justify upgrading to a new console, it would likely be extremely expensive, just like the PS3 was when it was initially released. Also keep in mind where the economy is at this point. People are willing to buy games because they provide lasting entertainment for your buck, but in this climate, I don't think people would be willing to pay a high price to upgrade to a new console and pay the higher prices per game (since the prices of games tend to go up with the console because it costs more money to develop games that continue to push the limits of the hardware). Right now and for a few more years still, I think they would more likely continue to prefer buying games for the current console, leaving the newer console to fail.

Nintendo probably will not have to spend as much on development to bring 1080p graphics to the WiiU because it's not exactly new at this point. They also have a lot of experience with touch screens due to the DS and have used hookups for GameBoy Advance games with the Gamecube in the past, so putting this experience toward the new console, won't exactly make it overly expensive. While I think it will be financially successful for Nintendo, I agree with Yawn! (above) that it won't be nearly as successful as the Wii. I don't think the majority of people who buy game consoles will be nearly as enthusiastic about upgrading any of their consoles in the next couple years as they were with the current generation.

Beyond better graphics, faster processor, more RAM, there isn't a very concise direction for Sony to go with their next console. As I already stated, they already have an architecture where PSPs connect with PS3s, it would only take a little tweaking to bring the exact same type of gaming experience between the "controller" and the console that the WiiU is going to offer. Sony isn't as creative as Nintendo for sure, but that doesn't mean they have to jump in and release another console to compete with the WiiU.

>>"the system is a good-for-nothing powerhouse that doesn't even know how to harness it's own power"

The PS3 is a pretty solid system, and you're right, it still has unfulfilled potential. It makes sense for Sony to continue to support the system with updates that will fulfill all that potential and satisfy their customers. Unless they can come up with a really creative idea that can't simply be adapted to the PS3, then they won't have a strong *selling point*. If they can't give the consumer a solid reason to pay for a new console, then the consumer won't buy it and it could very well cost them their place in the industry altogether, the way the Dreamcast unfortunately failed Sega.

The recent hacking by anonymous was pretty bad, some of the worst we've seen with the duration of the shutdown, but PSN doesn't get shutdown "every 2-3 months". Sony is also not solely subject to hacking. Hackers cause a lot more grief to individual players day-to-day on XBN I think then they do on PSN. And releasing a new console won't magically make hackers stop being a problem. Hackers with personal vendettas against particular companies are always going to find ways to cause problems.

And lastly; sure, Sony acts like the PS3 is the only great thing since sliced bread, but that's *marketing*. Choosing not to jump in with a new console right now isn't arrogance, it's simply take a smart perspective on the market. There are huge economic woes worldwide and even on their home front, the Japanese people are going to be more concerned with continuing rebuilding from the earthquake/tsunami then they are about a new gaming console. Add to that fact that if they want people to buy the PSP Vita, they don't want it so close to a new console that their loyal fans will have to choose one or the other. "Playing it safe" with the PS3 right now is going to be financially better for them in the long run then releasing a new console that would be primed to fail under the current economic conditions.

AnakinGaeda said:

*Side Note.

I also am not trying to say there is any problem with Nintendo and the Wii, or the WiiU, or Microsoft and the Xbox. Both companies have done some really creative things and have done very well for themselves financially. The WiiU promises to be very interesting, and I think it will be a success for Nintendo, but that doesn't mean it will be a wild success like the Wii was.

I'm just simply stating that Sony doesn't have to come out with a new console *right now* to compete with them and remain in the gaming market. They can still support the PS3 and make money from it for several years to come before shifting focus to a new console, and that strategy will work fine for them.

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AnakinGaeda on Sony Feeling No Pressure From Wii U: *Side Note. I also am not trying to say there is any problem with Nintendo and the Wii, or the...

AnakinGaeda on Sony Feeling No Pressure From Wii U: Sony didn't come out with this statement to insult Nintendo, they were simply informing a public that wanted to know...

Hollywood Gamer on Sony Feeling No Pressure From Wii U: Sony is ridiculous,for them to sit there and blatantly insult Nintendo is a cheap move. It's funny though because Sony...

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Bearfamily on Sony Feeling No Pressure From Wii U: Its ok Sony nobody is competing for your last place. I'd say your pretty safe too....

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