You know, maybe we've just forgotten: it's 2011. In looking at the history of this industry, especially the history of the PlayStation brand, shouldn't we be anticipating the fourth console…like, now?
We're only months away from the four and a half year mark in regards to the PS3. Looking back at the original PlayStation, which launched in 1995, going four and a half years would put us in the middle of 1999…a mere 15 months (or so) away from the release of the PS2 in 2000. It was a bit longer between the PS2 and PS3 – the PS3 launched in late 2006 – but let's not forget that we'd be hearing news and rumors for well over a year before the machine actually arrived. And thus far, we've heard next to nothing about a fourth PlayStation. So what's the deal? Why isn't everyone everywhere clamoring for information? Where are the headlines?
Well, it's probably because nobody wants it right now. These years seem to have gone by faster than ever before, and Sony has only recently started to look at the PS3 as a profit-turner. Furthermore, most developers are saying the same thing- "hell no, I don't want the PS4; the PS3 still poses plenty of challenges and it's still plenty expensive to make games for it!" Before, when Sony would say a games machine would be around for 10 years (as was the case with the PS2), that didn't mean they wouldn't release a new console in that time frame. But this generation, doesn't it seem like just about everyone – gamers and game makers alike – would be perfectly happy if we didn't see another PlayStation for a good three or four years? It feels like the general consensus.
Personally, I distinctly remember really looking forward to the PS2, and actually sorta getting tired of the first PlayStation. But really, with the PS3, I feel plenty satisfied, and I'm convinced developers can indeed do more. Besides, I get the sneaking suspicion that the PS4 will be extraordinarily different…so different, in fact, that it'll be unrecognizable to those who grew up during the dawn of gaming.