Sony is one of the largest electronic consumer device manufacturing companies worldwide. It is the fifth largest television manufacturer in the world, but it produces a diversified range of products including consumer electronics, mobile devices, portable music devices, headphones, projectors, and more. However gamers only associate Sony with the Playstation, its gaming console series.
Gaming enthusiasts across the world wait with bated breath in anticipation for months and queue up in long lines at stores when Sony releases a newer version of its PlayStation gaming console. Such is the cult following it have generated over the course of years. Sony may have strong competition from Nintendo’s Wii or Microsoft’s Xbox, but its fan base and users stay fiercely committed to Playstation.
Sony had released its first Playstation two decades ago in 1994 and released 4 generations of its gaming console over the years, with the PS4 releasing in 2013 and the PS4 Pro releasing last year. Sony had also released a hand held version of the console called the PSP – Playstation Portable. However, some doubt and debates have happened over the past few years on the future of gaming consoles.
Future Of Gaming Consoles Is Bright, Claims Andrew House
One of the key figures in establishing the Playstation as the bestselling and the most popular gaming consoles in Andrew House, the former Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). At the recent GamesBeat 2018 conference, that was held on Tuesday, Andrew House was interviewed by the well-know tech analyst Mike Vorhaus as he shared his opinions on the future of the Playstation franchise and other gaming consoles.
Andrew House was a key figure in marketing the Playstation range of devices across the globe. The Welshman has been at SIE since 1990 and has overseen the release of all Sony’s gaming consoles till date. He was appointed as the CEO of SIE in 2013 and had later that year released the PS4.
However, an organisational reshuffle has seen Andrew step down as the CEO of Playstation’s Global Operations and this was considered to be his first public encounter since his departure from Sony. While global market experts had predicted bearishness on gaming consoles ever since the advent & development that the mobile gaming industry has seen, Andrew is very bullish on the long term future of gaming consoles and don’t see them being ousted by mobile gaming completely.
Mobile Gaming vs. Gaming Consoles: Who will win?
He also expects the life cycle for the hardware in the gaming console industry to be longer than in the past. This is owed partly to technological advances and also due to the fact that upgrades to software can be made by users in-house through downloads & updates. Andrew also sees the gaming console market as under-represented and lack of penetration in many markets such as China and tapping such markets will ensure a viable future & longevity to the gaming console industry.
Gaming Consoles: What’s The Future?
Longer hardware cycles will ensure user and fan retention, which is exactly what Sony expects to do. Andrew was, as expected, quizzed about the Playstation 5. However, he deflected majority of the questions regarding the specifications and the release date. He was only able to add that the device was at an advanced stage of design in the labs. The PS3 released six years after PS2 and the PS4 followed it up after a gap of seven years. Released in 2013, the PS4 is nearing 5 years since its release and by following this trend, the market expects the PS5 to release by the late 2020 or early 2021.
Andrew also believes that the gaming console will see the disk operating in tandem, at least for a while, to streaming and downloads. The traditional physical purchase model will permit for growth in developing markets. He also sees the content and game streaming functionalities as an inflection point that could lead to better adoption of consoles on a large scale.