EA: Expect PlayStation 3.5 before PS4

Console manufacturers in no rush to establish new hardware due to changing markets, says COO

Chief creative officer of Electronic Arts, Rich Hilleman, has said that he expects format holders Sony and Microsoft will continue to work on incremental hardware updates before they reveal brand new home consoles.

Speaking at the Hot Chips conference in Stanford, Hilleman said that both company's have pushed all their resources to establish the current consoles on the market, and will not be in any rush to develop brand new hardware in a market that is rapidly changing.

"I expected we’ll see a PlayStation 3.5 before we see a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox 560 before we see an Xbox 720," said Hilleman, reports Venturebeat. "The biggest shift is how fast packaged goods games are changing and going away."

His comments echo those of EEDAR's Jesse Divnich, who said last week that Sony and Microsoft's race to win the home console wars this generations have left both company's financially exhausted.

Hilleman noted that portable hardware, such as the DS, iPhone and PSP now outnumber home consoles by 2-to-1, and the price of developing traditional console games has sky-rocketed, with marketing budgets up to three times more than the cost of developing a game.

According to the report, EA makes USD 35 on a USD 60 title, which means the game has to sell 1.1 million units just to break even. Due to piracy and second hand sales, the sales window for a new game is at most six weeks, with long-tail sales lost to a publisher. Burnout Paradise has twice as many users as it has units sold, due to piracy and second hand sales, said Hilleman.

Sony has always maintained the PlayStation 3 will have a 10 year lifecycle, while Microsoft has batted away any rumours of a new Xbox, with both currently focusing on varied motion control systems to re-energise the platforms from 2010 and beyond.

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