SCE America boss Jack Tretton has said the Wii U isn’t a threat to the PlayStation 3, and commented on the unlikelihood of a PlayStation 4 any time soon.
“PlayStation 3 is really just hitting its stride. And technologically, I don’t think it’s possible to provide any advancement beyond what we have,” the executive told Forbes.
“What we’ve seen from the competition is trying to add features that already exist in PlayStation 3. … I wouldn’t look for any discussion of a next generation PlayStation for quite some time.”
Tretton doesn’t feel threatened by the new kid on the block, either, dismissing the Wii U.
“I didn’t see anything about Nintendo’s announcement that said ‘Oh, we’d better get working on rolling out a new PlayStation here pretty soon,'” he said
“Our attitude is kind of ‘welcome to the party.’ If you’re looking at being a multimedia entertainment device, if you’re looking at high def gaming, that was 2006 for us.”
But Sony does have a new bit of kit in the works with PlayStation Vita, and Tretton is adamant the handheld will appeal to the core gamer – because that’s who buys games.
“We want to go after the core gamer, the person that’s the uber user, that’s really going to intuitively know what they want when they first pick it up. And the key will be whether we can scale to a very casual entry level consumer.
“I’d like both of you, but if I had to get one, I’d rather get the gamer, because the mom may not buy the same amount of games.
“… We’ll always lead with the gaming message. … Gaming is our core strength and we’re going to play to our core. But I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons from the PSP in terms of mass non-gaming audiences, and we’re going to try to tap into some of that with Vita.”
Tretton commented that the PlayStation 3 is a “Trojan horse” for gaming, luring in family members with media features like video streaming, and then getting them on board the gaming bandwagon.
“That’s kind of the way I look at the whole advent of casual and social gaming. People are always asking ‘Do you see it as a threat?’ I see it as an opportunity, because your mother may have said ten years ago, ‘I wouldn’t touch a game for all the money in the world,’ but now she may be playing something on a smartphone. There’s a much better chance to introduce her to Vita today than five years ago,” he explained.
Sony hopes to make Vita essential gear, grabbed out of habit.
“When you walk out the door, you say ‘I gotta have this, I gotta have that’… it’s wallet, car keys, money, and phone, right? We want, if you’re thinking about entertainment at all, for the Vita to go in there,” Tretton said.
“… I don’t carry a laptop anymore. Something like a Blackberry’s perfect for the vast majority of what I need a laptop for. And then I think when it comes to entertainment, you’ll find that Vita will do everything, and maybe do things better, than any other device that you’re using.”
Vita is expected to launch by the holiday period.