Is A PlayStation 3.5 In Our Future?
There has been some talk recently concerning the PlayStation 4; early whispers have begun to permeate the far corners of the Internet. But in looking at the evidence, we've started to wonder if something a little different isn't headed our way...
Since the inception of the PlayStation 3, Sony has said they expect the machine to have a 10-year lifespan. Given the amount of time and money they've dumped into that machine in the past, we have no doubt they'll be loyal to the console for quite a while. This is why a we believe true-blue PlayStation 4 is still a long ways off, but what about the possibility of a PlayStation 3.5? You know, an updated, moderately overhauled, cheaper, slimmer, PS3? Some will simply argue that Sony has been quietly producing something along those lines with all the different models they've released over the past couple of years, and that's legitimate. But if they keep it up and the newer PS3s begin to make the old models look archaic in comparison, Sony might do something intriguing. Say they're four years or so into the PS3's lifespan, and things are nice and steady. But a lot of the hype has died down and they're kinda just coasting along.
Then, something happens that many analysts believe may happen: Microsoft releases a new Xbox right at that time, long before Sony is prepared to issue a new PlayStation. Well, considering the rumors that Sony is planning to use the PS3's Cell processor as the foundation for their next machine, how hard would it be to hold a launch for a "new" system? The hype would return, developers would be happy to know the same basic architecture is there, and the machine would be even more effective overall. It'd be cheaper for consumers, drain less electricity (the PS3 is still a beast in that respect), and might help to further the empire. Of course, this might annoy everyone who already owns a PS3, but not if the PS3.5 is essentially the same deal...it's just a marketing ploy - for all intents and purposes - that re-cultivates consumer interest.
Of course, this is just a theory, but what about cool new names for such a machine? Obviously, PlayStation 3.5 is no good, so how about the PlayStation Revolution? Or the PlayStation Millenium? PlayStation Infinity? Who knows? But to compete with a new system launch from Microsoft and to keep the momentum, especially given all the continual changes Sony makes to their machine, it's not entirely illogical.
10/5/2008 Ben Dutka