Sony may be looking at moving away from the monolithic, all proprietary-approach that has worked well for the Playstation 2 and 3, towards a less resource hungry, leaner design and manufacturing process.
Ars Technica explains how the PS3 carried higher manufacturing costs and price compared to the competition and this was one of the main reasons why initial sales of the gaming console were well below expectations.
The fact that the PS3 came with cutting edge technology such as a Blu-ray Drive and the Cell Processor made it not only far more expensive than the Wii for example, but also more prone to failure.
It is likely that Sony will be looking at using existing architectures rather than gambling by investing massively in new ones. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and the forthcoming Sony Next Generation portable gaming console are two examples that illustrate this new approach.
In the case of the Xperia Play, the Playstation Suite and the slide out gamepad are the unique selling points of the smartphone, while the NGP will be betting on a combination of hardware and software to fend off competition; could the successor of the NGP, which runs on ARM, be the PS4?
We believe that ARM technology will be pivotal to any future gaming platform be it mobile or lounge-based, since the upper limit has already been set by the screen resolution - 1920x1080 pixels - of the viewing product. It is very unlikely that full HD will be retried in the foreseeable future because content has yet to catch up and higher res screens would be way too expensive to produce.
The iPhone 6 is set to follow the trend of the iPhone 5, with a doubling of processing and graphics cores to four. At this stage, the A6 which will integrate technology from the PowerVR Series 6 may well be as powerful as the PS3 but cheaper to produce, more environmentally friendly and above all, more flexible.