Sony's deputy president says the PlayStation 4 will not be announced at E3
E3 is a giant trade show for the video game industry
Sony is focused on deploying and supporting its PlayStation Vita hand-held
Sony says it’s not quite game over for the PlayStation 3.
Contrary to reports, Sony does not plan to announce a new home video-game console at a trade show in June, said Kazuo Hirai, the company’s deputy president.
“We’re not making announcements at E3,” Hirai told a roomful of reporters at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show here Tuesday when asked about plans to announce the PlayStation 4. E3 is the annual convention in Los Angeles where game companies typically make their biggest announcements.
The five-year-old PlayStation 3 will have a 10-year life cycle, Hirai said. Sony could still release a new system sometime in the next five years, of course. Sony continued to sell the PlayStation 2 system and games years after the PlayStation 3 debuted in stores.
For Sony’s next console, the company will not deploy a streaming delivery system like OnLive, or fully cut out disc retailers like Best Buy and GameStop, Hirai said. While Sony has increased the number of games and other media available for download or streaming through its networks, most people cannot be expected to frequently download several gigabytes worth of data, which can be a time-consuming process, he said.
Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said earlier that Sony is not planning to discuss a new console, the website ComputerAndVideogames.com reported on Monday. He also said that physical media, like Blu-ray discs, are currently the optimal way to deliver full games.
Sony released a new hand-held game system, the PlayStation Vita, in Japan last month. It plans to start selling the Wi-Fi and AT&T 3G versions of that system in the United States on February 22.
Like Microsoft has done with the Xbox 360 through Kinect, Sony is trying to extend the life of the PlayStation 3 through new accessories, like the Move controller wand, and initiatives like 3-D games. There are dozens of 3-D games now available, Hirai noted.
“We are definitely, from a Sony perspective, very committed to 3-D,” Hirai said. “It’s going to take a little while.”
Sony CEO Howard Stringer, who also attended the gathering on Tuesday, compared the uptake of 3-D gaming and video to that of color television.
“3-D is waiting to happen,” he said. “It’s an inevitability. So be patient.”