PlayStation 4 isn't last console, says Sony CEO

By Steve Watts, Nov 15, 2013 6:30am PST

The PlayStation 4 launches today, marking the first salvo in what some believe may be the last generation of consoles. Sony CEO Jack Tretton recently waved off such speculation, though, saying that consoles exist for a reason and aren't going anywhere soon.

"It's funny, I've heard about the 'last console' since 1986, and only because that's when I entered the business," Tretton told All Things Digital. "I've managed to ride the 'last console' wave for the last, what is that... 27 years or so? There's a reason the console came about: Sitting in front of a big-screen TV on a couch with your friends.

"To get the immersive depth in gaming and to get the social experience of sitting around the living room, we're not going to huddle around a tablet. We're not going to huddle around a smartphone. I think the technology will come a long way, but you’re still trying to build a console, ultimately. You're trying to get it closer to a console."

He noted that the threat in the 80s was the PC but it never took over the whole industry. Now more emphasis is placed on smartphones and tablet, which he says can be "additive" to the console games with extra functionality, but he doesn't think they'll ever replace console games.

"We can't take Gran Turismo 6 and put it on a smartphone or a tablet. It's just gonna be a lousy experience," he said. "It's not going to be what it is. Conversely, you can go out today and play Angry Birds on your PlayStation 3 and have a great time. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, but you could. You can't go playing Grand Theft Auto V on your smartphone or tablet. It's easier to migrate up."

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