The PlayStation 3 didn't launch until over a year after the Xbox 360 released, which generated a sales gap the PS3 has yet to close (but according to recent sales figures, Sony has almost tracked down Microsoft in worldwide numbers).
It just isn't something Sony wants to do twice. In speaking to Eurogamer TV , PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan said it would be "undesirable" for the next PlayStation to repeat that cycle. During a press event for the PlayStation Vita in London, Ryan said:
"I think we would consider it undesirable to be significantly later than the competition [with the next PlayStation]."
Well, that begs the question then: if the new Xbox is indeed set to launch at the end of 2012 – as some rumors want us to believe – does that mean Sony is prepared to be in step with the proceedings? I.e., to have the PlayStation 4 ready to release alongside Microsoft's console? The Wii U comes out next year, but Sony has repeatedly said they don't consider Nintendo to be their competition.
Ryan did add that Sony has "a lot of unfinished business on PS3," and part of that "business" will be to lower the price in the future:
"If you look at PlayStation 2, now in excess of 150m units installed globally, a huge majority of that was done at price points of £120 or lower. [With PS3] we've only just hit £199 in the UK, so clearly there's a considerable untapped part of the market there."
With all this talk of the new generation, we have to remember that the PS2 went strong for several years after the PS3 launched. In fact, the PS2 really did have the 10-year lifespan the PS3 has been reported to have…Sony just launched a new system in between.
And they'll probably do that again, too.