Do We Really Need a New PlayStation Video Game Console?

Last week was pretty significant for PlayStation 4 rumours as Kotaku posted up a bunch of stuff they apparently learned from some guy. But it got me thinking; is it really time for a new PlayStation?

PlayStation 3 was arguably way ahead of it’s time when it first launched back in 2006. Blu-Ray was a new format and has proved to be a superior choice for home theatre lovers (compared to DVD or digital download). Likewise, PlayStation 3′s “Cell” processor has proven to be as expandable as Sony promised all those years ago.

But for all it’s technological leaps ahead of the competition, the feeling that developers are slow to adopt and exploit that power is ever prevalent. Games such as Uncharted 3 and Gran Turismo 5 show off what PlayStation 3 should be, but for the vast majority of games, the console seems to have become an expensive Xbox 360.

PlayStation 3 has been on the market for 6 years, though. Despite it’s slow start, the console is going well and has become a legitimate console platform for both consumers and developers alike. It’s currently lacking most in big blockbuster exclusive titles that can only take advantage of the console’s features, so perhaps Sony should focus on that before dipping into a new generation.

Of course, it’s silly to discount a new console without it being announced. The problem is, though, that the new console will have to be radically different; and sadly innovation isn’t Sony’s strong suit. Their main focus in other generations has been brute power, but there’s an issue with upping the PlayStation 3′s power today.

It’s no secret that PC hardware has come a long way since 2006. Nvidia’s GTX 680 is proof alone. But consoles aren’t PC’s – they belong in the living room, hooked up to a TV and a kick arse sound system. There are certain limitations and other factors need to be considered.

Lots of people today own high definition TV’s – but the PlayStation 3 already does HD gaming. Is upping the graphical capabilities enough to get people to buy a PlayStation 4? Probably not – it would be a hard sell. There are emerging technologies like Quad Full High Definition which is 4x the resolution as 1080p, but those TV’s wont see market penetration until the end of 2013 and even then they will be probably too expensive and much too large in size (the smallest is looking to be 55 inches) to be a huge runaway success at first. 3D gaming should take off as more and more TV’s get the capability, but again, PlayStation 3 already has that functionality.

Sony need to really make a splash with PlayStation 4 to remain relevant. Nintendo’s Wii U’s extra screen will probably prove to be popular, much like the Nintendo DS which used a similar tactic. Simply beefing up graphics might look great on paper, but it doesn’t add anything in terms of entertainment. And Kotaku’s rumour mongering has done nothing to suggest that Sony is preparing a super innovative console.

Do we really need a new PlayStation right now? Does Sony need to beef up the graphics, or should they be focusing on getting the most out of the current console? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

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