Update: please see this post.
Big news if this turns out to be accurate. A report has gone up on a Japanese website which seems to state that Sony have shelved their plans for their next generation of home consoles. Following a translation offered on the Beyond3D forums we’re led to believe that the development of a new console will be deferred for a period of time so that Sony can focus on keeping the PlayStation 3 as up to date and relevant as possible.
This will probably be welcome news to developers who, as the translation points out, can barely afford more than a few high quality franchises in development on current hardware, never mind trying to upscale everything for a more advanced and powerful (we would assume) machine.
The most concise quote from the translation is possibly this one, which seems to indicate that the report shows a stunning confidence in the NGP:
Hiroshige Goto says SCEI suspended PS4 development. They were working on a PowerPC based system at IBM Rochester after the Larrabee fall out, then shelved it. They are betting the farm on PSP2 as they expect handhelds to displace consoles.
Of course, Sony haven’t officially announced their next home console yet but it is safe to assume that research and development work was well underway and this report seems to back up that assumption.
What does this mean for the future of home consoles? We’ll have to wait and see when more information comes to light. It’s conceivable that this is just one track of research being sidelined and there will be other routes in the future but for the time being, if this translation can be trusted, it seems that Sony might be tuning the PlayStation 3 and putting their faith in their handhelds rather than producing a PlayStation 4.
Of course, we’re trusting some rough translation for this one so we strongly advise a healthy pinch of salt. This might all stem from a stock Sony response that they know nothing of a “PS4”, which is healthy business practice. We’re trying to dig a little deeper and see what we can find out.