Sony’s Next-generation Game Console, Coming on 2013

Source: Sony PlayStation 3/ Sony

Also known as Orbis, the rumored PlayStation 4 hasn’t been announced or acknowledge by Sony yet. However, there were reports suggesting that the company is eyeing a 2013 release for their next-generation console.

Other than that, there were also indications that Sony considered a “download-only plan” for PS4 at one point. The company’s decision to drop the optical drive goes in line with the rising importance of online networks in the videogame industry. The download-only model would enable gamers to download games, television shows and music without using disks or cartridges. This could also add pressure to brick-and-mortar and online merchants that sell game disks.

But the company decided otherwise and opted to include an optical disc. As reported by Ian Sherr and Daisuke Wakabayashi of Wall Street Journal:

“Sony decided against a download-only model largely because the Internet connections are too inconsistent around the world. Because game files are large, customers in countries where Internet connections are relatively slow would be hobbled by a requirement to download games.”

Despite the growing speculation about its rumored PlayStation 4, Sony declined to give a comment about it. Nevertheless, many gamers are definitely happy with the inclusion of optical drive in the next-generation game console.

New Game Console for Sony’s Bright Future

It has been a while since the console maker updated its hardware, which is integral to the gaming industry’s increasing demand. New game consoles are a hot topic at this year’s E3 that will kick off next week in Los Angeles. However, the only formal announcement expected in the event is Nintendo Wii U.

Whether Orbis is hitting the market next year or not, the success of a new game console is important for Sony and its CEO Kazuo Hirai. The company is trying its best to alleviate its financial crisis in other electronics operations. On a positive note, the demand in the gaming industry is the console maker’s primary example on how they should deliver their content through online network. In fact, Sony’s games unit reported profit in the past two years.

Inevitable Transition to Download-only Model

Only few retailers were successful at using the download-only model. Known video game retailer GameStop, for instance, has started branching into direct sales of products delivered online. They sell codes for games that players can plug into their computer or console to download a title.

This move could be attributed to the fact that the game retailer believes that a transition would be inevitable. GameStop CEO Paul Raines pointed out: “If we all agree that technology is inevitable—which I think is because it’s like death and taxes—it’s still going to take longer to happen than it did for music and movies.”

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