Last week, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment and Group CEO Kazuo Hirai, told Japanese website PC Watch that the company will not be deliberating on a PS4 or a next generation machine as the PS3 is apparently a console that has a ten year lifecycle.
This means that it should last at least until 2016; Hirai says that the company is instead focusing on its next handheld gaming device, the NGP and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, AKA the Playstation Phone.
The truth is that the PS4 may never see the light simply because the whole concept of a single lounge-bound gaming device may become obsolete by then.
It is not surprising that Sony prefers to invest in mobile gaming platforms either a closed one (like the NGP) or one which can be built with third parties (like the Xperia Play).
The latter is the perfect example of what can be achieved using widely available components; unlike the PS3 which used a custom-made Cell CPU and GPU, the Xperia Play is based on mainstream components (Qualcomm CPU & GPU) which reduces the time to market, slashes the initial investment and allows more developers to join in.
More importantly, enlisting more partners allows Sony to share the huge financial risk, something that Microsoft is trying to do with Windows Phone 7 as a gaming platform.
Back in November 2010, I wrote that the heir to the Xbox 360 might well be a Windows Phone 7 handset. The forthcoming generation of System-On-Chip from vendors like Ti, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, Nvidia or Qualcomm will likely surpass the PS3, in raw performance in 2011.
Now that the Xperia Play has launched, who would bet against a gaming handset that can dynamically change its clock speed and connects to your television set wirelessly, outputting in 3D? Not me.