After numerous amounts of implausible PlayStation 4 rumors hitting the net earlier this year, video game enthusiasts appear to want Sony’s next-gen console prematurely. Will the PlayStation 4 be announced at this year’s E3? Is the PlayStation 4 releasing in 2013? What’s taking Sony so long? All these questions are far from valid if we follow Sony’s 10-year plan for the PS3. What you should really be looking forward to is what Sony will do to make the PS3 better. This is not about a next-gen console for Sony, it’s about enhancing the PlayStation 3 to make it last until 2016, like they have reiterated many a time.
Will the PlayStation 4 be announced this year? No. Here’s why: Sony’s current president, Andrew House, has reiterated the fact that Sony is sticking to their 10-year plan for the PS3. This means that the next-gen console Sony puts out won’t be until 2016. In addition, take a look at what Microsoft has done with the Xbox 360. Technically speaking, the Xbox 360 should have been finished after all of the red ring issues and after Blu-ray won the HD battle, but what did Microsoft do? They reinvented the Xbox 360 by updating its dashboard, releasing a red ring-less and updated Xbox 360 model, and to top it off, they reinvented motion gaming with Kinect.
I’m not saying that Sony will follow in Microsoft’s footsteps, nor am I saying that Sony needs to do what Microsoft did, but for a company that dominated the gaming industry during the PS1 and PS2 eras, Sony has no choice but to take notes, study what works nowadays, and reconstruct the PlayStation brand to what it once was. And how will they do this? Well, while most gamers may want the simple answer to be a “PlayStation 4,” the best solution is to give the PlayStation 3 an operating system/XMB update.
The PlayStation 3 has plenty of gas left in its tank, but the one thing that’s been missing since day one from the system has been a revolutionary operating system, the PS3’s aging XrossMediaBar is in dying need of a performance upgrade and a flashy makeover. It’s slow, and frankly, quite boring. This is where the PlayStation Vita comes into play. The Vita is sporting an updated and fresh looking XMB, in addition to features that many gamers have wanted on the PS3 since day one. Do I even have to mention cross-game chat? Well, I just did. Regardless on how well the Vita does in terms of popularity, I believe that the PS3 will one day (hopefully sooner than later) adopt the same look and features the PlayStation Vita currently has. Doesn’t that sound more believable than a PS4 announcement after only 6 years? It would be ridiculous to even think that Sony is ready to get rid of the old and usher in the new without showcasing the PS3’s full potential.
As far as I can tell, a PlayStation 3 with an updated OS/XMB, Vita support, and with Vita’s OS-like features implemented into the system will keep the PlayStation 4 talk at bay for at least 4 more years. You’ll see.