I’m often asked when Sony will launch its next PlayStation. Just about everyone is interested in finding out if the next console the consumer electronics giant offers up can be as appealing and popular as its predecessors. The push for Sony to launch a new PlayStation is also born out of the fact that Nintendo is launching a new console this year, called the Wii U. And if history is to be our guide for the future, most console makers launch their new devices around the same time.
[Image credit: Tai Chiem]
Therefore, many people reason, Sony will be offering up its console within the next 24 months.
I hate to be the guy who comes in and gives those hopeful folks the bad news, but I just don’t see that happening. Sure, Nintendo is launching the Wii U this year and there’s a good chance it’ll appeal to many consumers, but that device is far more of a catch-up product to match the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, rather than a console that can set a new standard in gameplay.
What’s more, if we examine Sony’s sales over the last several years, it becomes abundantly clear that the company’s claim that the console really is a ten-year device might just hold up.
Sony has seen console sales grow year-over-year since the PlayStation 3 first launched. What’s more, with nearly 60 million consoles sold worldwide, there’s a strong possibility that Sony’s device could surpass the Xbox 360 in total sales within the next year.
Those that have been watching NPD release their sales figures each month with Microsoft’s hardware in the lead might find that surprising. However, it’s important to note that NPD’s figures are U.S.-only, making them a sub-par barometer of how all gamers actually feel about the consoles. Elsewhere around the world, especially in Japan, the PlayStation 3 is dominating the Xbox 360.
But that’s just sales. The fact is, the PlayStation 3 is still one of the best Blu-ray players on the market, and its graphical prowess is top-notch. As always, gamers would like to see even better graphics, but at this point, I’m not quite sure how much of an improvement we could actually get if Sony launches a new console this year or next.
So, I think it’s time we acknowledge that the PlayStation 3, while not perfect by any means, doesn’t need to be replaced anytime soon. The console is still commercially viable, it’s still delivering high-quality experiences, and it’s priced right for consumers. Stunting its growth now would be a mistake of epic proportions.
Don’t even think about launching a new PlayStation this year or next, Sony. You have something solid already in place — and you shouldn’t want to mess that up.