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PS3 will be Sony's last hardware offering, predicts analyst

Just weeks after the PlayStation 3 launched in North America and Japan, analysts are already predicting a move out of the console hardware market for Sony.

Just weeks after the PlayStation 3 launched in North America and Japan, analysts are already predicting a move out of the console hardware market for Sony.

Yesterday, the company announced a major executive reshuffle, with former SCEA boss Kaz Hirai becoming president of SCEI and Ken Kutaragi taking on the role of group chairman.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Nomura analyst Yuta Sakurai said, "The appointment of Hirai could be the start of a shift from hardware to software," adding, "I cannot now imagine a PlayStation 4."

According to Sakurai, Hirai has been focused on software throughout his management career, and his relationship with SCE Worldwide Studios boss Phil Harrison will be crucial to determining which path the company goes down in the future.

However, the FT report also quotes other analysts who don't believe the executive reshuffle is highly significant - arguing that Kutaragi will still play an important role in the day-to-day running of the business.

KBC analyst Hiroshi Kamide said he believes Kutaragi will be responsible for managing SCE's dealings with third-party publishers, and rebuilding relationships that have been damaged following PS3 delays and stock shortages.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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