Perhaps the PS3 was a bit too ahead of its time. The console was almost absurdly expensive when it launched -- and not just for consumers. In spite of an initial $600 price tag, Sony lost hundreds of dollars on every system manufactured. The combination of Blu-ray drive and Cell processor made the PS3 a bit too
bleeding edge, perhaps. A report from respectable Japanese site PC Watch
suggests that Sony may be considering a cheaper alternative for the next-generation PS4.
Nintendo found great success (and profitability) with Wii by releasing hardware that was only marginally more powerful than the Gamecube. Sony may mimic that trend by having PS4 hardware based on the same Cell architecture as the PS3. Keeping the same architecture will help developers, many which have only recently come to grips with the complex processes of Sony's proprietary system.
However, one particular note in the report has us quite worried: according to PC Watch, the Sony wants to launch a new system, before the competition -- eyeing a 2011 release. With the PS3 still so relatively young, we'd hate to see Sony raise a white flag and move on to something new, especially when they've harped about the "10 year life cycle" so often. Too soon of a hardware release could be seen as a betrayal by many, and could result in a serious backlash. For us, we'd love to get more time out of the significant investments we've made in our PS3 hardware.