Sony Says No to PS3 Upgrade but Will Deploy New Games, Accessories & Feature Updates

  @ibtimesau on

The gaming world remains in suspended mode this year and the next few years to come, hardware-wise, as Sony confirmed on Monday that no upgrade of the PlayStation 3 game console will be unleashed in the remaining months of 2012.

The move places the PS3 in the same league with Microsoft's Xbox 360, both of which have yet to release a new gaming machine following their product launches more than five years ago.

According to Jack Tretton, head of Sony Computer Entertainment America, there was no compelling reason to replace its ageing but still highly functional PlayStation console, the machine's third edition so far.

Speaking at the E3 game expo in Los Angeles, California, Mr Tretton disclosed that the PS3 has kept its reputation as one of Sony's viable money-maker six years after it was introduced to the world.

In short, the product still sells big time, the Sony official said.

Mr Tretton told The Associated Press (AP) that "we always thought in 10-year product life cycles," for each version of the PlayStation machine, which along with the Xbox, have remained the choice platforms of hardcore games despite the growing prevalence of game apps being played on tablet computers and smartphones.

"I think you're seeing those generations (old PlayStation units) will (stay) longer and longer because the technology is so great, it's difficult to surpass it," AP quoted Mr Tretton as saying during a side interview at the E3 gaming conference.

He hinted that since the PS3 still delivers beyond Sony's projections, a few more years could pass before the gaming world will get to see another incarnation of the machine.

Yet while the development of the PlayStation, which Mr Tretton described as "the industry's most powerful palate," both for gamers and game developers, would be largely placed by Sony in 'limbo', upcoming games and accessories should keep loyal gamers glued to machine well beyond the holiday season this year.

Sony is working on PS3's full integration with the PlayStation Vita, which the struggling company unveiled this year.

Vita's touch screen capability will be extended to manipulate specific manoeuvres on the PS3 and users of the platforms can actually fight it out via the two separate machines, with the handheld serving as the PS3's second screen, according to Sony's news release.

Sony has also convinced J.K. Rowling, creator of the hit Harry Potter franchise, to lend her name and ideas in the development of a game titled 'Wonderbook: Book of Spells', which the British author called in a statement as "the closest a Muggle can come to a real spellbook."

Sony did not disclose the financial details of its deal with Ms Rowling, allowing only that the game will be launched within the timeframe of other new games such as the 'PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale' and 'Beyond'.

The company's latest moves were seen by analysts as cautionary ventures that seek to capitalise on existing product lines, which eliminates unnecessary expenditures, while at the same time protects the firm from further losses.

Sony's parent company has reported earlier this year huge revenue losses as sales of consumer electronic products outside of the smartphone and tablet segments consistently declined in the past years.

Competitors of the Japanese firm have also surpassed the once mighty Sony, with Apple now the dominant seller of portable music players that Sony has practically invented in the 1980s while South Korea's Samsung has snatched the company's crown as the world's biggest manufacturer of flat panel television sets.

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