With cloud-based gaming systems such as OnLive setting up shop, it looked like we might have seen the last of the traditional games consoles, but Sony has revealed it is indeed working on a future console, and that it wants games developers to help out with the design.
Games dev site Develop recently questioned Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (WWS) big cheese Shuhei Yoshida about the company's next console. "Yes, we are undergoing many activities that we haven't yet been talking about in public," said Yoshida, adding: "some future platform related activities."
According to Yoshida, work on the next PlayStation will continue Sony's current strategy of getting games developers involved with the hardware design. The WWS boss says the new president of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), Kaz Harai, specifically stated that he wanted to "get World Wide Studios in on hardware development" as soon as he took over from previous SCE boss Ken Kutaragi.
Yoshida says this specifically meant getting Sony's games developers "in meetings at the very beginning of concepting new hardware."
SCE Worldwide Studios is an umbrella group containing many games studios around the world, including Evolution in the UK and Naughty Dog in the US, as well as its all of its own SCE game studios in Asia, Europe and the US.
It's hoped that getting games developers involved at the early stages of hardware development will avoid the delays of potential launch titles.
Although the PlayStation 3 had a standard Nvidia GeForce 7-series GPU design, it introduced a brand new CPU architecture in the form of the multi-core Cell chip, co-designed with IBM and Toshiba. Some developers had trouble getting the most ouf of the new hardware, which Sony later tried to spin as a positive factor.
However, acording to Develop, Yoshida's comments are a part of a longer interview in which he "candidly explained how Sony has learnt from past mistakes and is now building tech that developers can get the most out of."
Twelve launch titles were available when the PlayStation 3 launched in the US in 2006, with some key third-party games such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Sonic the Hedgehog and F.E.A.R. missing the deadline and being delayed until 2007.