For years Sony believed in the myth that the instinct to develop proprietary technologies or formats is deeply ingrained in the company's DNA.
Brian Dipert, founder and
principal at Sierra Media, said, “The price tag of the PS3, combined
with the dearth of compelling gaming content, not only at intro but also
for a long time afterward were a one-two knockdown punch.” He believes
the migration to x86 “addresses both of these concerns.”
to success for any gaming platform is game developers. Sony clearly
listened to them, and took to heart what they had to say.
Doherty, research director at Envisioneering Group, recalled when he saw
Kutaragi after Sony’s PS3 roll-out. “I had to tell Kutaragi that he
needs to become a ‘professor’ of PS3,” because learning how to program
on PS3 was like going back to college. Nobody in the development world
really understood how to program on that platform.
All the talk about Sony’s PS4 announcement this week, however, doesn’t
necessarily prove that Sony has solved all its challenges. One sticking
point is how Sony plans to maintain backward compatibility for all the
classic games developed on PS2 and PS3.
By using the cloud and
PS4’s streaming capabilities, the emulation of PlayStation’s library of
games is a possibility; and yet, we don’t know when that will become a
Competing with other X86 architecture systems
More important, Sony’s already hearing the footsteps of
Microsoft, which plans soon to launch the next-generation Xbox 360.
Rumor has it that Microsoft (its current system is on Power PC
architecture) might be also opting for X86.
If true, we’re in for an interesting battle.
here’s the killer question posed by Dipert. If we see PS4 as
essentially one of today’s mid-range to high-end PCs with a dedicated
GPU from a hardware standpoint, “how will PS4 be able to compete with
PCs in a year or a few years down the road, with inevitably better
Playing nice with the ecosystem is one thing,
but competing with others armed with similar hardware specs becomes a
much tougher task than ever before.
“Content exclusivity is the only answer,” said Dipert. But that won't come either cheap or easy in my opinion. The real answer may be in designing a simple and elegant system (and software) that connects intuitively with others.