For as long as gaming consoles have been a thing, they’ve been all about longevity and affordability, but this generation both Sony and Microsoft have bucked tradition, introducing the powered-up “half-step” PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X at a premium price. Could this be the beginning of a trend? Sony and Microsoft have tried to reassure fans they won’t break the console business with constant updates, but still, the specter of new console refreshes ever year or two looms large.
Well, PlayStation Global Head of Marketing Jim Ryan weighed in on question of console refreshes in the most recent issue of Edge magazine (thanks to WCCF Tech for the transcription), and he seemingly left the door open for future half-steps…
“It’s a very interesting question. The cultural phenomenon of regular updates to smartphones and tablets is without question, perhaps subliminally, coloring mindsets. And the days of a 13-year PlayStation 2 cycle will almost certainly never repeat themselves. But equally, a platform is a very delicate ecosystem, and if that platform is to succeed, you’ve got to give those who make content for it the chance to recoup on it. At the end of the day, like it or not, these are businesses.
We struck – and Microsoft has as well – a good balance of innovation within the confines of the platform. Also, services which operate agnostically of particular hardware, like PlayStation Now for example, are something you’re going to see more of. I think we’re only six months into PlayStation 4 Pro, and it’s too early to tell. The Xbox One X hasn’t launched yet. I don’t know if this is the way forward or not.”
Reading between the lines a bit, it sounds like Ryan is saying “We’re going to wait to see how the Xbox One X is going to do – if it takes off, we definitely have another PS4 refresh loaded in the chamber.” There are rumors Sony may be prepping a new PlayStation model for 2018, although there’s division over whether Sony’s next machine will be another PS4 update, or the full-on PlayStation 5. Perhaps Sony itself doesn’t even know at this point.
Source: WCCF Tech