Neo Won't Shorten PS4 Lifecycle, Sony Boss Says
"The lifecycle is not going to be shorter."
The release of Sony's more-powerful PlayStation 4, codenamed Neo, doesn't mean the lifecycle for the existing console is going to end earlier than expected. PlayStation Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said in a new interview that the Neo is not expected to replace the PS4.
He was responding to a question about if console generations were getting shorter as companies like Sony (and Microsoft with Project Scorpio) release hardware upgrades before a console cycle has ended.
From the way Yoshida answered the question, it seems like he wants to stress that Neo and PS4 will complement each other. Neo will be the more high-end (and thus more expensive) model, while the standard version will be more affordable and still capable of hosting great-looking games such as Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.
Yoshida's comments match up with what PlayStation president Andrew House said this month when he announced Neo. "It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4," he said at the time. "We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle."
As for why Sony is introducing new hardware in this way to begin with, House said it comes down to how the company is responding to consumer behavior.
"The consumer is attuned to a different cadence of innovation in technology thanks in great part for the upgrades cadence on mobile phones or PCs," House said of this new strategy to offer a more powerful version of the same system.
Nothing like Neo or Scorpio happened in the last console cycle. The PlayStation 3 launched in 2006, with the PS4 arriving seven years later in 2013. On the other side of the fence, the Xbox 360 debuted in 2005, and the Xbox One came out in 2013.
Neo is currently without a release date, but a report said it would arrive this year, while Scorpio is scheduled to launch in holiday 2017. There is no word yet on pricing for either system. In terms of specs, it sounds like Microsoft believes it has the stronger system, as it describes Scorpio as the "most powerful console ever made."
Looking further out, Sony is reportedly unsure if there will ever be a PlayStation 5.