PS4 To Build Upon Existing PS3 Technology For Lower Costs?
Well, it was bound to happen at some point: "inside" whispers of the next PlayStation console, despite the fact that Sony repeatedly tells every media member they can find that the PS3 has a 10-year lifespan.
None of the following can be considered "official information," but it'll be super fun for all you tech geeks out there. Check out this massive article at GamingFront, and you will see how Sony supposedly intends to pursue the PS4 project. According to this, Sony plans to utilize the "Cell BE" (Cell Broadband Engine), and although the translation is broken, it seems that the PS4 won't be as crippling in terms of production costs. Basically, they've already secured the foundation with the PS3 and this will be built upon in the PS4; there would be no need to spend a gazillion more dollars on research and development, and they wouldn't have to produce an entirely new piece of technology designed from the ground up. On top of which, it seems Sony will reduce the chip size itself, which would again point towards lower costs. If all of this is to be believed, the PS4 will be the first PlayStation console that doesn't use a completely new hardware architecture. There are pluses and minuses to such an approach, but perhaps the former outweighs the latter...
First of all, if they're using the same base technology, developers won't be complaining (as they always do when a new PlayStation launches), because they'll be quite familiar. Secondly, the instantly lowered production costs means Sony won't have to operate in the red (or black) for so long; they could turn a profit much faster. Thirdly and finally, general improved reliability should come along with familiar hardware. Besides, it's not like the PS4 won't be a lot more powerful; it will be. Sony may just change their style a bit, that's all.
1/29/2009 Ben Dutka