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.

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Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I can wait.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

To be honest Jawknee, The PS4 can stay away for another few years. I still see the PS3 as a viable platform, and hardware that very few have even mastered.

Cavan1
Cavan1
9 years ago

i think the difference between the ps3 and the first 2 ps's, is upgradeability. With these consoles being online, they can be made better over time – off the top of my head, Home, Dynamic themes, bbciplayer, blu ray 2.0, 3d, movement controls.

Where as the ps1 and ps2 are the same today as they was the day they released – the ps3 is alot different now than it was when released. all these things give the playstation extra legs, plus the recession didnt help.

AshT
AshT
9 years ago

dont want my ps4 before 2015

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I think that the recession extended the life of current consoles by a year or so. Where we saw the PS3 arrive6 years into the PS2's life, we may see the PS4 arriving 7 years into the PS3s life.

telly
telly
9 years ago

There's a time in every console's life when it becomes clear that developers are being constrained by the technology. Those latter-day PS1 and PS2 games clearly showed the limits of the technology being used to develop them. It became easy to envision the next steps — what the next consoles would be able to do with these ideas. I don't feel that way even a little bit with PS3. The graphics for the top games are utterly spectacular and show no sign of age. Why rush to the next thing when we clearly haven't hit the ceiling yet? I'm so excited to see what guys like Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog, Rockstar, Kojima Studios, etc. can do with the technology now that they're very familiar with it all. What a great time to be a gamer.

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Well I hope they're working on the PS4, but as long as there's great games on the way for the PS3 I'm fine with waiting. Hell I'm not even waiting I'm just enjoying some great gaming!

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

I dont' think so. The PS3 just recently began gaining steam.
Stretch it and then release an affordable (not $600.00 again)PS4.

Qwarktast1c
Qwarktast1c
9 years ago

hell no i am not ready for a PS4

i still have yet to buy a bunch of games that i haven't played yet…. plus there are even more coming out!

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Heck some of us still have a backlog of PS2 games to play. I still have to get to Persona 4 myself but its a good thing that HD remakes of some PS2 game be coming to the PS3.

So yes I can wait as well. We still have to consider the fact that the beginning of this gen started out significantly different than the previous ones.

Godslim
Godslim
9 years ago

so true man im not ready for it yet another 2 years and maybe
but i still have a load of games to play and dont feel the tech is even near outdated yet

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

Ha, yes i have plenty of PS2 games i still have to play, luckily gor me i still have my PS2 compatible PS3 ūüėÄ

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I'm always a sucker for new hardware but this gen does feel different to me. I think one reason for that is because how high quality the average game looks and feels these days. Our olde' games of yore' had crude looking edges and plenty of visual deficiencies reminding me that I AM playing a video game on limited resources. But now I play games like Killzone 3 and I'm constantly amazed by how great it is.

BTW: the alleged "self appointed gurus of game development" (even though they engineer proprietary hardware capturing technology and have business partners like Nintendo, Criterion and more while also being appointed by CvG to cover all of their neat'o stuff through their site) , The Digital Foundry, has scored an interview with GG revealing all kinds of juicy bits that guys like me go nuts over. Simply put, KZ3 just couldn't happen on any other hardware–as if there was ever any doubt.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Thanks, Sensei Temjin. That was a great read. Basically, what I got from the DF/GG interview is switching QAA from the RSX to MLAA on 5 SPUs not only provided sharper and cleaner visuals, but also significantly freed up resources allowing better draw distance, culling, texture resolution and detail, smoother frame rate, and much improved response time (116ms compared to 150-200ms of KZ2), with the only minus being some line crawl on thin and distant straight lines in industrial areas.
Also, the same advances in tech that have allowed 3D directly helped with the implementations of split-screen.
And the curious use of Brink video encoding (which is why KZ3 is on a dual layered bluray 42gigs up from the 12gigs that KZ2 required) allowed quicker loading of larger levels and assets).

Aside from the phenomenal visuals (that are darn near next-gen many times), I was also blown away by the intensity of the sound. The depth of the bass, the frenetic number of layered sound effects, and riveting sound track kicked up the immersion additional notches, ensuring that the senses are bombarded at all times, which made occasional cutoff easily forgivable.

The game truly is amazing on so many levels, and how GG pushed it out in two years is really a mind-blowing feat, even with the 5 years invested in KZ2.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Nice, using the resources of the Cell freeing up the GPU to do GPU work…sometimes I think we all forget that the PS3 was originally not going to have a GPU and everything would have been done on the Cell BE's SPUs.

I remember way back when CellBE was first announced and then it was announced as the CPU for the PS3. Back then most tech journalists dismissed the SPUs because they didn't understand the point of them. Those same journalists belittled the local store on the SPU and the speed of the internal bus that connects the SPUs. At the time a very few of us tagged the SPUs as something special. It's so nice to see that coming to full fruition now with the SPUs on the CellBE being seen as the real strength of the CellBE.

For those that don't know the architectures or remember the detail. Here are two things to chew on for you.

The configuration of the CellBE with the 8 SPUs is remarkably similar to the Cray YMP super computers. For those that don't know, Cray super computers were the be all and end all of super computers back in the day. The Cray super computers used a single service processor and multiple vector processors that could work individually, or together in whatever combination was needed. The SPUs in the Cell are essentially vector processing units, and just like the vector units that made up the Cray, they have local storage and hugely fast bus connecting them. The PPC core on the Cell BE mirrors the service or IO processor in the Cray. The SPUs can work individually or in concert, again just like the Cray. In fact an 8 SPU CellBE matches the configuration of an 8 vector unit Cray, but has a higher clock speed than the Cray could achieve. Considering that the CellBE has a theoretical maximum performance well in excess of 200GFlops, and the architecture reflects the supercomputer designs of only a few years prior to the Cell's own launch, you can see why the Cell BE and PS3 were billed as super computers for the home.

The other thing to consider is that the PS2 CPU architecture was a a single general purpose core with two vector processor units. Operating at a far lower clock speed than the PS3 of course, the original PS2 CPU architecture was actually very like that of the Cell BE. The vector units could be used individually, or together, and the system could run separate instructions on all the execution units (would be called 'cores' today) simultaneously. The PS2's CPU was essentially a 3 core system consisting of a single general purpose core and two co-processor cores. When PS3 first launched, I wondered whether PS2 programmers might have an advantage since they were used to using a multi-core architecture already. Considering the incredible results from Sony's in-house dev teams, I would say that was indeed the case.

It's been an interesting 6 years or so since CellBE was originally announced.

</geek>


Last edited by TheHighlander on 3/7/2011 10:36:04 AM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I liked this particular line, "Tasks that prove troublesome or computationally expensive for the graphics chip can be offloaded to Cell's phenomenally swift SPUs, and the precision of those effects is often superior too as the SPUs are capable of handling more complex code than a GPU's shader cores."

I never knew the SPU was actually better at doing shaders than the shader cores directly on the GPU could do them. THat's intense.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

@ Highlander

You may label yourself a geek but to alot of people who don't have the knowledge you do still think that this is interesting stuff.

LittleBigMidget
LittleBigMidget
9 years ago

I kinda am and I'm kinda not. I am because PS4 means better hardware, software, better graphics, games, and hopefully a better UI and online service. But, the other part of me is content with what I have, and imo, one of the best consoles I've ever owned: the PS3. So yeah, I guess I can wait.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I grimace when I see anything about a PS4. It just doesn't need to happen yet. The 360 is tapped though, so maybe that needs a new iteration. But I'm with most of you firmly in the camp where a PS4 isn't needed, wanted, or should worthy of excitement over for at least 3 more years.

There is tons more left to be done and third party devs have only begun to understand the thing. It would be counter-productive to start the hype machine now.

Edit: And I think the NGP needs a shot at success first. That thing is gonna be a huge investment for Sony and they can't get distracted now.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/6/2011 10:46:56 PM

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

which is why you should buy one the instant it comes out for sale… on another note, if good ol mikey went ahead and did another xbox iteration with better graphics and what not that would make sony release their next console too, which in turn would be like shooting themselves on their foot because they just released "the new microsoft 360 2.0 now with wifi! edition". but lets just hope they at least come up with a proprietary media format that can fit a decent length videogame that would otherwise just fit in like a third of a bluray…

cLoudou
cLoudou
9 years ago

Nope still to early for the PS4 but I think it depends on the competition. I can see the PS4 releasing a year or two after the competition.

The Doom
The Doom
9 years ago

We might be seeing it soon, though. With all the PS3 hacking and the potential loss in software sales, it might push Sony to do a hardware revision via the PS4

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

I'll say no.

Hell, a lot of developer's are just starting to hit their stride figuring out the PS3's mechanic's & it's full potential.
And I'm looking forward to quite a few more awesome games to be announced.

IMO, a PS4 certainly isn't needed yet for at least another 2 years.
But I also believe that Sony hasn't been sitting on their laurels either. I'm sure Sony's has a whole extra R&D team that's been planning the PS4 as soon as the PS3 released.
And I'm also sure this one will now be a hell of a lot more hacker proof too. Can you say Fort Knox??


Last edited by BikerSaint on 3/6/2011 11:02:23 PM

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

ben its articles with such titles that makes consolemakers put it in high gear to make the next gen console. which really worries me, im not ready for a next gen console, although a ps3.5 "now with full 1080p!" would be nice. I mean how can you top an already great machine?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I can promise you this article won't impact Sony's plans for a PS4 one iota. ūüôā

LittleBigMidget
LittleBigMidget
9 years ago

Better games.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

seriously? current games arent enough for you?

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

Not even slightly interested in a ps4 right now. My ps3 continues to do more and more all the time. If my system is growing, why replace it. You only want to replace it once it can't compete and right now it's blowing everyone else out of the water.

There are more and more great games coming out for ps3, once the devs aren't sure what else they can do, then we'll need a ps4, but that shouldn't be for at least 4 years.

th3_bLy
th3_bLy
9 years ago

Only if it plays ALL playstation games. Even then, I can wait.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

only until third party devs start using EVERY SINGLE of the ps3s' SPUs can sony release another ps3 console

Nlayer
Nlayer
9 years ago

I'm not even ready for the PS3! I still have a lot of PS1 and PS2 games to find and play through.

I enjoy my PS3, but there's so many games coming out! Good games too! (Can't really complain about that though, haha).


Last edited by Nlayer on 3/6/2011 11:32:13 PM

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

i think another good question is when will microsoft put out a better console. i think sony is still more years away than any one else. ps3 just started to get really good. no reason to upgrade or even talk about it when this system is just hitting its peak. buying a system that is future proof means not needing a new system for many many years.

took sony to long and to much money to get where they are now just to move on to something else. that is not their style.

ps4 can wait 5 years as far as i am concerned


Last edited by frylock25 on 3/6/2011 11:37:00 PM

t4_robz
t4_robz
9 years ago

thats exactly what i was thinking, if they were to release a PS4 what kind of things would they add to it that cant already be added on PS3 with a simple update or by being developed into the games? and yeah if xbox were to come out with a new system that featured a free online as well as a premium online which you would pay extra for and a system that wasn't mechanically full of flaws and bugs or just built poorly and cheaply then yeah i could see alot more people purchasing xbox's… but yeah like everyone else i have too much money invested in my PS3, games and accesories and besides im still very satisfied with the games that sony it producing, i could wait a few more years for sure!

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

PlayStation 4?

I'd probably buy it day 1, but only if that day is at least 4 years from now!

Just look at what we have for the PlayStation 3. Almost every new game that comes out from a major studio claims that they have pushed the system to its limits, but no one quite seems to be sure what those limits are, or if they have been pushed far enough.

PlayStatoin 2 started to get a bit boring when it was clear that there was no further innovation in terms of what could happen on the system. Most of the games were sequels, or had a similar gameplay mechanic to an existing title. That's clearly not the case with the PS3.

And then there's PSP2. Sony would not want its limelight to be shared with a new console. I think we will see at least 2-3 years of PSP2 enjoying the market as a flagship product before the PS4 takes charge.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
9 years ago

I feel good with the ps3 right now. I'm not expecting a PS4 just yet. It is way too soon considering the ps3 is picking up steam.

Off topic have you guys heard that the ps3 has sold 47 million?

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Have to say Sweedie… I am a bit of a tech whore as well. Whilst I feel that we are only seeing what the PS3 can really do now, we have already gotten close to its limits. Teams at Guerilla, Santa Monica and Naughty Dog are already stretching its legs very wide indeed.

3D is a good example of where Sony are trying to use clever programming tricks to try and "bolt" on this effect on aging hardware, reality is we need a PS4 with x4 to x6 graphic horse power and at least x4 processing power to have a generation of hardware that will last the next 10 years. The PS3 is not doing a bad job, but I think developers who already know the architecture are being squeezed somewhat.

From a visualisation perspective, the two that stand out the most for me are engines that run at sub 720p, this shouldn't be the case, however we have seen with many multi-plats that developers have been forced to do this in order to get engines to run at a frame rate they feel happy with. Let's not mention the further downgrading of resolution when considering real stereoscopic 3D itself.

The second pet peeve are the terribly rendered shadow casting that effects consoles more than the PC. If you notice, many engines just cannot render decent shadows without them being blocky or low res. This is a trick they use to keep frame rates stable, by rendering shadows as a shadow map rather than actual shadows cast per light ray.

There is still a little more the PS3 can give, but I think the limits are close now. We should see the pinnacle of the console at work when Unchartered 3 is released. It will be mighty impressive, but for me that is peak…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Ray tracing FTW.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

PS4 with the equivalent of a quad CellBE incorporating all the design enhancements to the SPU's floating point hardware that have happened in the last 5 years. Pair that with a modern nVidia GPU and throw in a couple of GB of system RAM and a couple of GB of Video RAM. Stick to the current model of game progeamming and GPU use….

Or…

Alternately two quad CellBE equivalent's with the additional enhancements to the floating point units, add a basic 1080p capable GPU with 4GBof system RAM and 1GB of video RAM, and do everything using ray tracing.

Either way, stick to an architecture that existing PS3 developers are familiar with.

But even if Nintendo does a refresh, they won't exceed the capability of the current PS3, and whatever Microsoft does with their next console, the only major improvement will be sufficient hardware to render all games at 1080p without scaling. However for most people 1080p is still a goal to be reached on their TV at home, and although there is a difference from 720p, the difference going from 720p to 1080p is not the same as the difference going from SDTV to HDTV modes.

As long as there is still life left in the PS3's hardware, I don't think we'll see a possible PS4. When it eventually becomes generally accepted that the PS3 hardware is tapped out, and we see only the very best dev teams still capable of making improvements, that's when we'll see the PS4 being discussed. Frankly, I don't expect that will happen until 2012, because developers are still saying that they are making major improvements in the upcoming wave of games. Once that wave is complete, let's hear what they have to say, but until devs start running into the wall on improving PS3 games, Sony will sit tight.

Vitron
Vitron
9 years ago

Really, I don't want it yet.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Fair enough!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

I'm not jonesing yet, though I do think newer tech will allow game engines to improve significantly. The PS3 is powerful and still has room for improvement, but a generational leap allows for things which are now possible to become routine and things which are now essentially impossible to become possible.

For instance, all PS4 games should render in native 1080p at 60 fps (or at least 30 if in 3D), rather than sacrificing pixel count for effects.

I would guess we'll get our first look at the PS4 next year, with a fall 2013 / spring 2014 launch (if the world doesn't end, of course).

The only reason I'd want it sooner rather than later is that I'd rather buy a PS4 instead of another PS3 should my 60 gigger go tits-up again.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Oh and maybe Sony will finally fix the effing browser for the PS4.

NonProphet
NonProphet
9 years ago

One of the things that I love about video games is that I can basically see the full scope of the medium's evolution within my lifetime. You can't say that about too many entertainment mediums. So I'm always excited to see what the future will bring. After watching the recent Battlefield 3 video that was rendered with a highend PC, I'm starting to get excited for the next generation of Sony's state of the art console.

Its been almost five years since the PS3's release, which is an eternity in technology, so whenever the PS4 drops, its going to be incredible, and yes, I'm very excited.

xnonsuchx
xnonsuchx
9 years ago

If PS4 development would be similar enough to PS3 (if it is multi-core Power-based w/ upgraded SPEs, as some rumors say), then it wouldn't be too much of a change for developers…mainly just a new GPU would, but that wouldn't necessarily make things harder. Similar architecture, but higher performance also wouldn't necessarily increase manufacturing costs much and a PS4 could be introduced for only $400 or so. I wouldn't expect to hear much about a PS4 from Sony until mid-2012 or so, though.


Last edited by xnonsuchx on 3/7/2011 12:33:39 AM

DazeOfWar
DazeOfWar
9 years ago

I'm happy with my PS3 right now and for quite a while longer. I have so many games I'm still trying to get through. When the NGP comes out that'll tide me over for a new console.

A2K78
A2K78
9 years ago

"Sony has only recently started to look at the PS3 as a profit-turner."

The PS3 still have a good way to go before it can actually break even and turn profit. Other than that only reason why Sony turned was due to shrinking manufacturing cost and the bulk of sofware which was sold to cushion the loss they've.

In the end Sony is still taking a hit from from PS3, but lesser one due to the shrinking cost of manufacturing the PS3.

As for the PS3 or next Xbox, it doesn't make any sense economically for Microsoft or Sony release a new console anytime because 1)both still are taking hit from the current console and 2) for developers its getting more and more expensive for them to make games, this when games are moving in $70-80 million dollar production area.

Right on the benefactor is PC gaming given the fact it has now moved 5 years ahead due to shader model 5 and DX11 technologies.


Last edited by A2K78 on 3/7/2011 12:30:56 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

So, it doesn't matter how many times people show up to prove you wrong…you just keep saying the exact same thing.

Amazing.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Never before have I encountered someone who has so much to say but says nothing at all. Do you ever get tired of being wrong? I know we sure get tired of pointing it out.

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

"The PS3 still have a good way to go before it can actually break even and turn profit."

So do you enjoy making crap up to try and get attention or are you really just that delusional?

Eld
Eld
9 years ago

I'm happy with ps3 and I can wait, but the main question here is do we want a repeat of ps3 launch?

I can wait for ps4, but I would like it to be released around the same time as xbox so ps4 software development doesn't lag behind. Even when ps4 gets released we'll likely wait ~2 years before we see some really great games. Also I agree ps4 will likely be very different. Consoles are more like entertainment centers these days.

I still think crumbling RPG genre, especially JRPGs have a lot to thank to ps3 delay and early failures of ps3, but I'm not sure I can blame Sony. It was just a bad timing.