Geek Revolt

Misunderstanding The PS3’s 10 Year Life Cycle

Sometimes the obvious needs an explanation, because sadly, there are a lot of people who lack common sense. Lately, there’s been some confusion about Sony’s goal of giving the PS3 a “10 year life cycle”. This is for everyone saying the PS4 won’t come out until 2015-16. Here’s what would happen if the PS3 was Sony’s “only” console for a decade.

The Cell is powerful—but Sony couldn’t stay competitive with it for 10 years. In a couple of years, we’ll have smartphones that are stronger than it. Everything in this world has limits (except numbers), and the Cell will hit one in the near future. Look at the gameplay demos for Uncharted 3; it’s not a major graphical leap like it was from the first to the second game. Sure developers could squeeze more juice out of it, but they won’t because the law of diminishing returns would be in place, it wouldn’t be worth it. They’d just pour money into other more powerful consoles.

For some reason, core gamers love to bash the Wii—it’s like a sport. They call it a “last gen” console, and a waste of space, etc. I bring this up because if the PS3 lasted 10 years this is the place it would be in. It would be weak in comparison to the other consoles on the market. Sure it would still sell, but it wouldn’t get a lot respect, à la the Wii.

If the PS3 was still Sony’s “only” console for a few years after the Next Xbox is in stores, even hardcore Sony fans would break down and “switch teams” once they see all the amazing next-gen games the competition is getting. I’m sure we all know someone who hated the original Xbox, but picked up the Xbox 360 because it was first to market, and the hype got to them. Loyalty when it comes to consoles is a joke, gamers want to experience the best, and when they can’t, they’ll seek other alternatives.

Sony is a business, and they can’t survive without innovation, no company can. It’s absurd to believe that a tech giant would rely on one static product to carry a whole division for a decade. Doing that would be like playing Russian roulette with six bullets—that’s pure suicide.

Hopefully these misunderstandings come to an end, and honestly most of the people online arguing about consoles, and using the 10 year thing to get their point across won’t even benefit from it. If you’re that engrossed into gaming (yes, I’m talking to you), there’s a good chance you’re going to upgrade as soon as possible. The way I see it, the 10 year support is more for people that’s going to pick the PS3 up on a budget. Parents buying one for their kids at Christmas, or someone who can’t afford to dump tons of cash into gaming.

This has been an exercise in the obvious, I’m aware (first sentence). If you already knew all these things, this piece wasn’t for you, so please don’t waste your time complaining. Okay, let’s pretend that everyone misunderstanding is correct, could the PS3 compete for a decade if it was Sony’s one and only?

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I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "26-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."
  • http://www.facebook.com/xlangham Xavier Lerome Langham

    these articles are always fun to read

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Thanks Xavier!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonah-Falcon/525044162 Jonah Falcon

    Look at the PS2. It had a “10 year lifespan”, but the PS3 came during its 6th year (and unfortunately, Sony’s loyalty to the PS2 killed the PS3. Had they wanted the PS3 to sell, they should have axed PS2 production since they had PS2 compatibility. Had the PS3 been $300-400, then no, but since it was $500-600, they HAD to force PS2 gamers to upgrade.)

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      That’s an interesting way to look at things, but I don’t think gamers would have necessarily went to the PS3 once the PS2 was discontinued.

    • tiffac

      Your forgetting that not all market around the world is the same, when the PS3 was rolling out in major markets the PS2 was just rolling out on markets that hasn’t even seen a gaming console and not everyone around the world can buy a new console like most of us can. Sony is looking at this as a world wide perspective this is the only thing they’ve done pretty well this generation, of course it doesn’t help their NA market but that means they have more of a fall back option once the PS3 stop selling in major market since they can divert it to other markers who’s appetite for gaming may just be starting or has been slowed because of the state of their local economy.

  • godzilla1200

      Why does everyone complain about the price of the PS3 being $600 at launch, but everybody runs to an Apple store to buy an iPad at $629 with 3G? When the PS3 launch, everyone was complaining about the price, yet everyone went to buy an iPhone at $499.

    I think the PS3 had the value to be at $600. People complained about the price because the press wanted something to hate on Sony. Next gen is going to be tough, because I don’t see a big leap forward on technology for any console, if the stay at the $300-$400 range. Just look at the PS Vita, a handheld console is at $250. Would you expect a home console with supposedly (as it should be though) much more power to be $50 to $100 more? I don’t think so, unless it is underpowered. I even think that Microsoft and Sony will launch their consoles at $550 to $650 next gen (again, if it is not underpowered)

    • tiffac

      Well Apple’s customers are mostly between the eldery and the middle age people. They got money to burn because they’ve work or worked for it while most console gamers age averages from young adults to tweeners with most of them still begging their parents to buy them a console and no parent is going to buy their kids $600 worth gaming machine unless they are rich. ^^

      It was a misstep by Ken Kutaragi the father of Playstation who created the PS3 when less specs and less expensive to develop for a good value was their key to success. Sony suddenly went a complete turn around and it proved to be nearly fatal to them this generation.

  • doa766

    so let’s explain this again: when Sony said that the PS3 would have 10 life cycle they actually meant that they were not going to release another console for that period, whether they are sticking to that plan or not is another matter PS1 and PS2 had a ten year cycle, so it was nothing worth annoucing that PS3 would have the same, it was a given and they said “life cycle” for lack of a better term, what they meant is that PS3 was going to be Sony’s flagship console for ten years

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      I don’t really agree…

      • Josh T

        Nor do I. The only reason they said that was, just like the PS2, they are supporting the PS3 for a minimum of 10 years. The new PS4 will be at E3 2013 and released in 2014

  • Representj

    when sony had previously launched their ps2 in 2000, sony had never said that the ps2 was a 10yr investment , with the ps3 sony had stated that that they will support the ps3 for mimimum of 10yrs, while i think the ps4 will def  come out before the 10yr lifespan of the ps3, i still think it isn’t smart for sony to rush out and release an ps4 during the next year as it will be slap in the face of those who jus brought a ps3. I think perhaps releasing the ps4 during 2014 or even 2015 would be smarter idea because the ps3 still has a lot untapped power and the fact that ps3 is jus starting to gain momentum with some many great games coming out for the platform. If you look at the first two years of the ps3, there wasn’t many exclusives that came out for platfrom so i think sony needs to take their sweet time making great titles for ps3 as you can clearly see that the ps3 is much more advance than the 360 and sadly we still see many third party developers are still trying to figure out the playstation 3.

    • http://twitter.com/ItsMaEc Its Ma Ec

      There will also be people who just bought a PS3 in 2014.
      Sony will repeat what they did with the PS3. They launched the PS3 6 years into the PS2s life cycle and continued support of the PS2 for years.

      • Representj

        that is true but i higly doubt that they will release a ps4 in 2012, thats way too soon for a console like the ps3 especailly when most third parties have a hard time developing for the ps3 because of the cell processor

      • Zohaib Khan

        couldnt have eplained it better myself

  • Pvogt7

    Funny you had to explain this! Hard to believe that people don’t notice the PS2 on store shelves! For at least five years you will see two Sony consoles on store shelves. Hell I wouldn’t be surprised if the PS2 is still being sold in 2014-2015!

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      I was looking at some PS2s at Best Buy the other day. It’s actually incredible they’re still on sell. 

      • Rushfreak

        Not really, if something is well made and has great content on it it doesn’t matter how old it is. I find it extremely unlikely that “even hardcore Sony fans would break down and “switch teams”…” 
        As long as there is quality content on the platform people will still play the games and use the system. I would also have to disagree about Uncharted 3 (though no one has played the full game yet and thus opinions on what it looks like are invalid), it may not be as huge an aesthetic leap, but from a standpoint of physics and rendering, the game is far superior to Uncharted 2, water, sand and fire are all being rendered better, particle effects are better, environmental destruction is better, motion blue is better, animations and facial rendering is better, hair is better etc. etc. etc. A leap in a games quality doesn’t always come in the form of huge differences in visual quality.

      • Rushfreak

        Not really, if something is well made and has great content on it it doesn’t matter how old it is. I find it extremely unlikely that “even hardcore Sony fans would break down and “switch teams”…” 
        As long as there is quality content on the platform people will still play the games and use the system. I would also have to disagree about Uncharted 3 (though no one has played the full game yet and thus opinions on what it looks like are invalid), it may not be as huge an aesthetic leap, but from a standpoint of physics and rendering, the game is far superior to Uncharted 2, water, sand and fire are all being rendered better, particle effects are better, environmental destruction is better, motion blue is better, animations and facial rendering is better, hair is better etc. etc. etc. A leap in a games quality doesn’t always come in the form of huge differences in visual quality.

      • wiz0191

        It needs to be since the PS3 isnt backwards compatible -_____-

        • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

          Ha-ha, fair enough!

  • Anonymous

    10 years support, not 10 years before next console.

  • Anonymous

    Early comments by Sony when the PS3 first came out indicated it would be the only desktop console Sony would invest in and it had a 10-year lifecycle.  However, they never came out and explicitly said they wouldn’t develop or come out with another console sometime during that 10-year cycle.  People didn’t know what to believe because that is exactly what Sony wanted – confusion so people would talk about it.  Only someone who has a lack of understanding of the video gaming industry could think Sony arrogant enough they could control the market even when others come out with new products.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EEOTERFR3DPUJ2GDNRIKDSW2AQ BrianC

    All you have to do is look at the PS2. It lasted over ten years but the PS3 came out way before the PS2 turned ten. Sony just says they plan to support their consoles for ten years.

  • Yo2

    Sony has invested way too much in the PS3 Cell and would like to push the PS3 as long as it can before launching a new gen console. Also now that developers have been able to harness PS3 power, they can make better games. Microsoft too have released the Kinect to add on Xbox’s lifespan. Having a ‘newer’ console early would just make it hard on the developers to design games on the even newer consoles. Even if they do have a similar architecture it will still be need some investments. Until and unless Xbox’s go on sale for $100  and PS3′s for $150 , with games selling for $40. No new console will be out. I see new consoles coming out only after 2012. 2013 May be for Xbox and 2014 for Sony.

  • Poop

    Somehow I doubt we will have smart phones with 7-core processors, that is a great exaggeration, but I do agree with your overall contention. 

  • Aussious

    I totally agree PS3 fans amaze me in the sense that they act like PS3 in the most powerful piece of hardware ever created, and its only real advantage over the 360 is Blu Ray were as the original was about 3x more powerful than the PS2.

    • Zohaib Khan

      ps2 was 10 times more powerful than the ps1, ps3 was 10 times more powerful than the ps2, and i bet the ps4 will have 10 times more processing power than the ps3

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000123754846 Patrick Tschaffon

        If you wanted it to be 10x als fast youre right, BUT:

        ps3 is nearly: 100x times as fast als ps2! – 6 gflops vs. 200 gflops 

        - youll have to wait till 2014 if you want to get the ps3 that fast

        -x360 – 100 gflops
        - ps3 – 200 gflps

        double it every year (nvidia is now (2011) at  3800 gflops – (20x as fast as ps3 but very expensive)

        in 2014 youll get 20000 gflops.
        :-)

        but i agree… its time for ps4 next year with ps-move being integrated form the start!

      • Aussious

        Dude I ment The original Xbox was 3x time more powerful than the PS2 hence I don’t why they fuss about the PS3 being fractionally more powerful than the 360.

    • Representj

      you my friend don’t know anything, first of all the ps3 is not 3 time faster than the ps2, it is actually 40 times faster than the orginal ps2 and second of all what seperates the ps3 from the 360 is the power of the cell, yes the 360 actually has the better gpu than the rsx chip in the ps3, but however what most of the idiots out there don’t know is that you are not jus comparing the gpu of the ps3 toward the the gpu of the ps3, its practically a combination of the RSX/CELL which puts the ps3 in another level above the 360, when you start seeing 360 games  and multiplatform that can at least output better graphics than killzone which came in 2009 lol, THEN CALL ME LOL WE CAN TALK
      and i’m sick of all the pc fan boys who talk crap about the consoles, well ya there is no question that pc always have the cutting edge technology over consoles but at least ps3 can hold its own against most pcs and we can clearly see that consoles  have a clear edge when it come to exclusives, your crappy exclusives can’t compare to what console exclusives have especailly in this current gen, trust me Diablo, World of Warcraft , and Crysis are really good games but the exclusives for the current gen are a lot better lol

  • Zohaib Khan

    I fail to understand as to why people do not undertsand the common sense…………… Ps3 came out even when the ps2 was said that it would have a ten year cycle………the fact is that the ps4 will come out sooner rather than later……………………and they do not want to miss out on the first mover advantage that microsoft used with the 360…………………if sony is smart they will get a new console ready soon enough……………..

  • mmart

    about apple Ipad vs ps3.

    you have to remember that the ipad is much more portable and convenient than the ps3. you need a tv
    and a console.  Ipad you cAN BRING ANYWHERE  WITH YOU WIRELESS, VERY , VERY LIGHT!!!

    REMEMBER CONVENIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    VERY BIG SELLER, EXTREMELY SLIM!!!!!

    • Javierpinga

      No, the difference between Ipad and PS3 is that we Sony or MS supporters are not blind, apple usually sells underpowered products that are friendly, that makes people that is not very tech savy feel like they can program so they will buy it. We complain about our companies because we know what we are talking about, apple users don’t… few exceptions of course.

  • voop

    If you ask me, Sony will HAVE TO release the PS4 at the same time as XBOX 720. In the next year or so I think people will start to get hungry for next-gen; especially considering the unusually long console cycle of this generation. If the 720 comes out first, not very many people will be patient to wait a year to see if they want a PS4 instead. I think Sony realizes now that they actually need to compete! Evidence of this is their pricing for the PS Vita.

  • Nada Nuff

    Ehhhh…..if PS4 came out tomorrow and it appealed to me, I’d buy one.

    I don’t care about how long Sony supports it’s consoles.  As long as there are quality games there, I’ll buy it.