Analysts Believe PS3 Will Be Sony's Last Console

Nomura Securities analyst, Yuta Sakurai, says that the PS3 may be Sony’s last foray into manufacturing game consoles. The prediction was based upon the recent shakeups at Sony in which Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, was moved from his position to that of SCE chairman and group CEO. Kaz Hirai, boss of North American operations for SCEA, was promoted to take Kutaragi’s position.

Sakurai said to the Financial Times, "The appointment of Hirai could be the start of a shift from hardware to software. I cannot now imagine a PlayStation 4. Hirai’s new global portfolio puts a predominantly software-focused manager in charge of the company." Sega, which was a heavy player in game console manufacturing in the 90’s, later dropped this aspect of its business to concentrate solely on game software development. Sega was squeezed out of the game console end of things with strong competition for market share from rivals Sony and Nintendo.

David Karraker, communications director for SCEA responded to the predictions of doom and gloom by remarking to GameSpot, "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."

Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Morgan stated a much more aggressive disagreement to Sakurai’s comments. "It is embarrassing that an analyst could reach that conclusion so soon after launch. Sony cannot have made such a decision, and to draw such an inference is foolish."

The forecast by Sakurai may not be entirely without merit. Sony has fallen on hard times with its electronics division, which was once the dominating force in consumer products related to televisions, radios and other entertainment media. As for the PS3, it will put Sony in the red for over a billion dollars. If Sony is to maintain their leadership in the game console business, the PS3 will have to be a tremendous hit to offset the huge development costs and the losses incurred with the sale of each machine. If the PS3 fails to be a success, Sakurai’s prediction about Sony may be valid after all.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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