Sony says next-gen isn't about being cheapest or first

Sony's Jack Tretton says the company's approach to building its next console will be remain the same as this generation, in that it may come out later or at a higher price point than its competitors.

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This year was likely the last gasp of the current generation before Microsoft and Sony roll out new console plans next year. Sony plans to take a measured approach, and recent comments from CEO Jack Tretton imply that the company's next-generation console won't be too different strategically than the PlayStation 3.

Asked if Sony would try to beat Microsoft to the market, Tretton seemed unconcerned. "You look back at history, we've never been first, we've never been cheapest. It's about being the best," Tretton told GameTrailers. "If you can build a better machine and it's going to come out a little bit later, that's better than rushing something to market that's going to run out of gas for the long term. Ideally, in a perfect world, you want the best machine that ships first that's cheapest. But the number one goal is to be the best machine, and that's what we're always focused on."

These are far from official plans, but it confirms that Sony is coming at the next generation with the same attitude it did this one. It may hit later than Microsoft's next console, and it may be more expensive. That may have hurt the PlayStation 3, so we'll have to see how repeating history impacts Sony in the next generation.

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  • reply
    June 6, 2012 11:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Sony says next-gen isn't about being cheapest or first.

    Sony's Jack Tretton says the company's approach to building its next console will be remain the same as this generation, in that it may come out later or at a higher price point than its competitors.

    • reply
      June 6, 2012 11:33 AM

      No, but it certainly plays a factor.

      Nintendo beat Sega during the 16-bit era for having a product that is significantly stronger and technologically far more advanced than its competitor. It cost significantly more but you definitely got what you paid for.

      If Sony is making a product that is relatively on the same level as its chief competition, then it's all about being first and cheaper. If they have something in mind that has significant product differentiation, then they are correct in this statement (see Nintendo Wii, last gen).

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        June 6, 2012 12:22 PM

        Except that the Wii was tied for last to market, but it was significantly cheaper. The Sega CPU was way more powerful than the SNES one too, it just wasn't capable of rendering as many colors (probably its biggest downfall outside of not having Nintendo IPs) and had lesser sound.

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          June 6, 2012 12:49 PM

          Who cares if the technology was better in the genesis, you're talking to front pagers.

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            June 6, 2012 1:32 PM

            I wouldn't say that the Genesis tech was better than the SNES. Some parts of it were and some parts of it were terrible in comparison. As a whole, I think the SNES was a better console, even with the weaker CPU.

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              June 7, 2012 4:09 AM

              The SNES was nearly a generation above the Genesis, much stronger processor at a lower clock speed.

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      June 6, 2012 11:40 AM

      PSX was second and cheapest. PS2 was first and reasonably priced. PS3 was late and over priced. The first two were market leaders, the third performed disappointingly. From this statement it doesn't sound like Sony learned their lesson.

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        June 6, 2012 12:34 PM

        I think it could be said that Sony is very terrible at learning lessons.

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        June 6, 2012 1:00 PM

        You forgot another major point.

        -PSX Was cheap and easiest to develop for.
        -PS2 Was reasonably priced but complex to develop for.
        -PS3 Was over priced and even more complex to develop for.
        -PS4 ???????

        If Sony doesn't learn it's lesson the PS4 will be the Sega Saturn of modern day consoles.

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        June 6, 2012 3:07 PM

        PS2 was very second, and such a glorious thing the Dreamcast was.

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      June 6, 2012 12:05 PM

      599.

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      June 6, 2012 12:19 PM

      so they didn't learn a single thing from $599 dollars/giant enemy crabs

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        June 6, 2012 12:36 PM

        i'd say they did, since a the poor start they had this gen, rhye've clawed back with a better library of exclusives and proved the ps3 was in technical terms "the better console"

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          June 6, 2012 12:41 PM

          ok rather, I"VE learned from their $599/giantcrab thing, that I'll just wait 2-3 years before supporting a Sony product.

        • Zek
          reply
          June 6, 2012 1:41 PM

          No, they clawed back by substantially cutting the price of the PS3 almost immediately after it launched. It could never have succeeded at $599.

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          June 7, 2012 4:02 AM

          I don't think they've proved the technical aspect at all. They've had a few standout graphically, but only in situations where you can't directly compare to the 360.

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      June 6, 2012 12:22 PM

      It will be very interesting to see if the PS4 is significantly more powerful than its competitors how it will fair.

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        June 6, 2012 3:13 PM

        racist

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        June 6, 2012 3:38 PM

        With xbox 360's rumored GPU specs, it woudln't take much.

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          June 6, 2012 3:47 PM

          A $50 price difference would pay for vastly superior video card and additional ram. If they launch 6 months or a year after the next xbox I hope they make the wait worth it. 12 months can make a really big difference in bang-for-your-buck processing power, but the PS3 squandered that.

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      June 6, 2012 12:29 PM

      Whom will take more of a bath on the up front costs: Sony or Microsoft?

      With all the hardware speculation going on, it would seem both of their new systems will be more similar to each other. The power to push 1080p, 60fps, 3D and a ton of things at the same time is "practically" here, but by the time they start fabbing their stuff, what will be available in volume?

      Microsoft understands the power of their development tools helped bring them a lot of developers and titles. MS will definitely not stray from this development mantra, but how will Sony react? Will the system be difficult to develop for (as it usually is)? Or will they make it far easier (which potential bare metal dev)?

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        June 6, 2012 12:31 PM

        I'd be extremely surprised if any company will do a loss-leader console ever again. It's no fun to spend three years losing money.

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        June 6, 2012 12:32 PM

        I think MS will eat more of it simply because they're not hurting nearly as badly as Sony is, power wise I have no idea at this point. Development wise will probably, sadly, be the same as this gen.

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          June 6, 2012 2:18 PM

          Both consoles will be relatively similar, its in their interests to do so, developers want a relatively even playing field to aim for.

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        June 6, 2012 4:06 PM

        that's not when to use "whom"

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      June 6, 2012 12:33 PM

      myfreePS4.com ! those things still work, right?

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      June 6, 2012 12:46 PM

      I'm pretty sure this is a jab at nintendo lol.....

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      June 6, 2012 12:49 PM

      Cool I was scared they might skimp out and not go hardcore on the next round, this makes me very happy.

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      June 6, 2012 12:49 PM

      for all of the PS3s technical specs and prowess, did it even end up making much of a difference?

      i have one and enjoy it. good games. good exclusives. but they didn't win market or mindshare. and i'd be hard-pressed to really say, on average, PS3 games look strikingly better than 360 ones. a few look decently better, but nothing where you just sit back, amazed. certainly not better enough to justify the initiall $600 price tag.

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        June 6, 2012 12:59 PM

        The initial price tag stunk, for sure. What it did show off was a bit of forward thinking about the console itself: built in wifi, hard drive and free "online" experience. PSN was so vastly inferior to the Live experience and it was much later (streaming, additional apps, etc) than what Microsoft did with their live.

        While Microsoft has done some hardware upgrades, the initial lack of hard drive and wifi on all models is really a poor decision. Next time, I'm hoping they won't make the same mistakes.

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        June 6, 2012 1:00 PM

        I'd say it's a better built piece of hardware, compared to suxxbox three-shitty. If that's where some of the extra cost went, I'm good with it.

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          June 6, 2012 1:00 PM

          but did it matter in the long run? doesn't seem so.

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            June 6, 2012 1:10 PM

            It mattered to me. I've had to go through multiple 360s, with the most current iteration refusing to run in 1080p (known issue, software related it seems - AKA I'm boned unless I buy a new TV), while my one and only PS3 is 100% going strong.

            The PS3's got better audio reproduction than any of my 360s as well, plus it's a matter of taste, but I prefer the way PS3 renders contrast and black saturation.

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            June 6, 2012 1:19 PM

            If they hadn't hampered themselves by going with separate CPU and GPU RAM they probably would've blown everyone else (technically) out of the water, hopefully they don't make a similar mistake next gen.

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            June 6, 2012 4:08 PM

            it did, maybe next time sony needs to make a shitty console that rrods so the consumer buys 3 more down the line to keep gaming.

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          June 6, 2012 1:05 PM

          Might be better built, but I doubt sony gave anyone 5 free ps3s.

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            June 6, 2012 3:47 PM

            Or that poor shacker that had to replace his 360 something like 11 times.

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          June 6, 2012 2:46 PM

          wow, we're still seeing things like "suxxbox" and "three-shitty?' Cool.

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            June 6, 2012 3:13 PM

            I'm being facetious, but the comparable hardware failure rate isn't exactly up for debate. I'm platform agnostic in all respects other than this one.

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              June 6, 2012 3:13 PM

              The first gen xboxs failed a lot, the first gen ps3's were overpriced. Both were fixed.

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                June 6, 2012 3:34 PM

                it wasn't only the first gens, sorry to say.

                I spent years in QA and then MS tech. requirements at a couple of major publishers and I saw whole labs' worth of 360 failures multiple times over while I could count the number of PS3 failures on my hands. It was just a basic ongoing issue. And, like I was saying, now the latest crop has issues with 1080p that are being swept under the rug, which is a pain in the ass for the consumer.

                I use my 360 for titles where it's the lead platform, have control schemes where I'd prefer the controller or have MP I want to play. I use my PS3 for the rest, plus for multimedia. MS made a calculated decision to keep costs down in design and manufacture and continuing hardware support with the 360 and it's the least consumer friendly aspect of the console.

                I waited a while before getting a PS3, but still paid more for it than I did for my first 360 (which wasn't a first gen, but still failed after much attentive care, while I've got consoles sitting around from the olden days that still work just fine). What's the upshot of all of this? Well, I'm going to be more inclined to get a PS4 first and a next gen Xbox much later in the cycle than this time around. 'Still gonna get 'em both to be sure.

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            June 6, 2012 3:19 PM

            Obviously we are grown ups here.

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        June 6, 2012 1:24 PM

        The thing is the PS3 looked great on paper, it wasn't practical at all. Hell the PS3 had a weaker GPU too. Sony hyped up the Cell CPU soo much people thought it could do anything!!

        The pixel shader performance on the RSX GPU is a bit slower. Developers have to find tricks to use the Cell CPU to make up the slack.

        PS3 RSX
        Peak Shader Performance: 74.8 billion shader operations per second

        Xbox Xenos
        Peak Shader Performance: 96 billion shader operations per second

    • reply
      June 6, 2012 12:57 PM

      They're in no rush, 2013 is the year of the PS 3 after all

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      June 6, 2012 1:49 PM

      There's only 3 reasons I would pay 600$ for a PS4. They are: Dark Cloud 3, FFTactics 2, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night 2 (or some other 2d / 2.5d CV Sidescroller).

      Barring one of those titles, I won't buy one till it's 350$ or less.

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        June 6, 2012 2:13 PM

        I'd do it also for a sequel to SotC, or the real Kingdom Hearts III.

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        June 6, 2012 2:23 PM

        I would pay that for one as long as the cost was going toward a better game platform rather than a bunch of shit tacked onto it so it can serve as a media hub. If they were like "world it's either $400 for a 1GB memory machine or $600 a 4GB memory machine" I'd pick the $600 version.

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      June 6, 2012 2:35 PM

      I'd normally scoff at the idea and laugh at their apparent mistake in repeating themselves, but I've got to say that the pa3 is by far my favorite console this generation and perhaps ever. But I bought it at 250 with 2 good games included though.

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        June 6, 2012 3:11 PM

        You must love sitting and staring at update screens and using 1ft usb cords to charge your controllers while playing?

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      June 6, 2012 3:14 PM

      i'm more reluctant to pay a high price again. Blu ray was a draw for the PS3 .Not this time around.

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        June 6, 2012 3:16 PM

        are you ready for Blu-ray II ???

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          June 6, 2012 3:22 PM

          i dont collect movies so i'd be just fine with a new high def format.

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      June 6, 2012 3:45 PM

      Awesome news, I'm very happy with my PS3 and don't plan to replace it for a long while.

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      June 6, 2012 4:01 PM

      Can we take bets on how many SKUs of each there will be?
      I'm betting for Sony: 4
      and MS: 2

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        June 7, 2012 2:24 PM

        I'm betting one of the Microsoft SKUs will be on a contract. At least here in the States.

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        June 12, 2012 4:40 PM

        We're all taking a guess but I'm intrigued by your logic. 4 for Sony? They've only ever offered 2 PS3 variants at once haven't they? Microsoft have never offered less than 3 360s. PS3 is a complete package. 360 is like free-to-play - the arcade was good value but hdd, wifi, rechargable controllers, online all cost extra. And it worked in US so they'll do it again.
        Sony: 2, MS: 5

    • reply
      June 6, 2012 6:22 PM

      i still want dreamcast 2

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        June 6, 2012 6:23 PM

        original Xbox was about as close to this as we're ever gonna get, methinks.

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      June 6, 2012 9:11 PM

      I like Sony's approach here. If they are going to go for better hardware and if that equates to a better gaming experience then I'm all for waiting. With the PS3 the only thing that I hated about it was having to use a bluetooth headset. I liked the Microsoft solution better where you plugged right into the controller and it came with the console.

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        June 7, 2012 4:08 AM

        I'm exactly the opposite; I love that the PS3 lets you use a bluetooth headset. Although, giving you the option to do either a plug-in like the 360 or a bluetooth would be awesome.

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      June 7, 2012 4:06 AM

      How did Sony go from the PS2 awesomeness to being completely and utterly out of touch with mainstream gamers? Not that the PS3 isn't a good system, but if they're planning on releasing another $500-$600 system then they are completely insane.

    • reply
      June 7, 2012 4:51 AM

      late and expensive it is!

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