As expected, there is more than meets the eye behind yesterday's top-level reshuffles among Sony's management team. But I don't think that any of us was so bold as to expect that these changes would ultimately lead to the death of Sony's hardware division, and that a PlayStation 4 would never be released as a consequence. Well, maybe we didn't, but some sake-soaked (or plain paranoid) analysts from Japan sure did.
In the aftermath of Sony's announcement, the Financial Times published an article in which they quote Nomura Securities' Yuta Sakurai analyst as saying:
"The appointment of [Kaz] Hirai [as president of SCE] could be the start of a shift from hardware to software. I cannot now imagine a PlayStation4."
Well that makes the two of us, Yuta-san. But then again, I can't even imagine a PlayStation 3, until next March. So I'll let the "experts" do the talking. According to the same article, "analysts said that Mr Hirai's promotion to a global role at SCE could mark a critical shift in management thinking, with Sony changing its emphasis so that the current generation of games console will be its last as a hardware manufacturer".
Other analysts are more reserved to put such weight on Sony's executive reshuffle, arguing that former president Ken Kutaragi will still keep a firm grip on the business, from his new position as SCE chairman. But politics aside, no matter how you look at it, it's still highly unlikely (to say the least) for Sony to stop making PlayStation consoles anytime soon. Addressing GameSpot's enquiry, SCEA publicity chief Dave Karraker issued a polite - if not sarcastic - statement, in response to Yuta-san's nonsense:
"Following the launch of the PlayStation 3 just a few weeks ago, and witnessing the huge consumer demand for the product, I think it would be rather short-sighted for anyone to predict there might not be a next generation of PlayStation product."
The real question isn't whether there will be a PlayStation 4 or not (that's a no-brainer). But will it have any kind of disk drive, or will digital distribution have take over the gaming world by the time PS4 comes out?
they'll always be media and blu-ray would of won the battle by then. Maybe digital distribution as a secondary method.
↓↓ what?? 400k wii consoles overnight?
edit: oright Jap launch.