We might continue to see normal console cycles after PlayStation 4
Sony Corp.’s (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 Neo is the company’s approach to extend the console’s capabilities to support new technologies like 4K TVs and virtual reality. It was confirmed after various rumors and leaks that an upgraded PlayStation 4 model is indeed coming, but Sony did not say when it would arrive.
The console’s announcement breaks the traditional lifecycle where we used to see one console being carried on throughout its tenure until it was replaced by a successor. Talks of a mid-generation console refresh emerged earlier this year with Sony and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) both using this strategy. Both console manufacturers are officially working on new systems, and while the move strongly suggests that traditional console lifecycle will now be replaced, Sony believes it to be otherwise.
In an interview, Sony President of Worldwide Studio Shuhei Yoshida commented on whether PlayStation 4 Neo spells a shorter lifecycle for the console, to which Yoshida San clearly said we should not expect as such. He added that “PS4 is PS4” and “high-end PS4 is still PS4,” suggesting that both consoles will be phased out together at their appointed time.
Previously, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Andrew House expressed in an interview with The Guardian that Sony is not moving away from the traditional console lifecycle: “I’m certainly not making that statement” he said.
PlayStation 4 Neo is a high-end model of the existing console meant to deliver better resolution and higher visual fidelity. For all we know thus far, with the rise of 4K TV fervor in the market, Sony saw an opportunity to cater to that segment which wants more performance. One of the reasons Andrew House explained during the interview was potential customers eventually moving to PCs, due to console hardware which grows outdated over time.