PS4: Sony went for “cheaper hardware” for fear of smaller install base – Cousins

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PS4 is made up of cheaper hardware than its predecessor because Sony fears it will see a smaller install base in next-gen, ex-Battlefield producer and EA exec Ben Cousins has suggested.


Former EA exec Cousins is now heading up development of The Drowning at Scattered Entertainment, a game that promises to push boundaries in the tablet space. It’s a corner of the industry he clearly feels strongly about, along with the notion of triple-a free-to-play titles.

Speaking with GI.biz Cousins suggested that his team would be targeting gamers who buy into a console cycle mid-way through and buy games like FIFA and Call of Duty, rather than dabbling in far-reaching titles. He argued that tablets are going to become a more attractive prospect for this particular brand of gamer.

“We kind of feel that particularly tablets are becoming, will become, a solution for that problem or for that need”, he said. “Soon it will be like actually, I’m getting everything I need here, do I really need to buy a console? These are the sort of guys who buy a console halfway through the cycle rather than right at the start.

“I think the problem with the console model and certainly with the previous generation was that it needed the ultra-hardcore, the kids, and those kind of mid-core or whatever you it call it, mainstream gamers, to a buy a console in order to make a profit because it just needed massive volume.”

Cousins suggested that Sony has realised that this shift in player-base is changing when developing PS4 and explained why this may have prompted them to go for cheaper hardware than it did with PS3.

“It was interesting to see PS4 clearly go for what looks like cheaper hardware than last time around,” he continued, “so maybe that’s a kind of defensive move against their expectation that they’re not going to have the same install base, or maybe they just want to hit profitability quicker because of Sony’s less stable financial state at the moment.”

When asked if this was also because of Sony’s lesser financial situation than this time ahead of the PS3′s launch, Cousins replied, “Exactly, so that was interesting. That feels like they’re kind of acknowledging the threat and they’re kind of doing the best they can to kind of defend against it.

“But I do still feel like…and maybe it’s a selection bias, but most of the people I talk to and whose work I read are kind of in agreement…that this time around console install bases will be smaller. And probably will be focused more on that core audience. It’s certainly not going to be kids and casual gamers buying consoles any more I don’t think, they’re going to be all on mobile.”

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It's like upgrading from business class laptop to consumer grade laptop?

The went cheaper because they lost tons of money last generation even with a really high price, it is just being far more sensible this time

That's basically is what the fans were screaming for. they literally said I WANT A CHEAP CONSOLE. 599 again? dooooomed.

must-have-list for platforms i don't own yet:

WiiU: Donkey Kong

XBone: Dead Rising 3, Ryse

Makes sense, but if its true it will likely disappoint a few here.


Here lies the dearly departed Nintendomination Thread.

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I don't think anyone expected them to go for a $599 console again. But thanks, Former EA exec.

Conegamer said:
Makes sense, but if its true it will likely disappoint a few here.

How do you figure that? Unless Sony goes and gimps the specs they've already announced most people here know all the important info on what Sony has under the hood for the PS4. I don't see Sony having officially announced 8GB GDDR5 RAM then deciding just before they start up the production line to downgrade to 4GB DDR3 RAM.

I think they'll gimp on some of the flashy stuff they had on the PS3 phate, like the touch sensitive buttons, but they did that with Slim and Super Slim already, so no one's going to be all grumpy face because the box isn't as shiney. It'll still be the sexiest looking console of the new generation, but maybe not supermodel hot.

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smart move from sony, now let's see how cheap the PS4 looks XD

This is just obvious. We have the examples: the 3Ds, the Vita, the WiiU. Consoles must be cheap if manufacturers want to see people buying it. Sony must make the PS4 cheap. But considering all that we know so far, I´d say that they won´t be able to launch it for less than $ 400. And that is not cheap.

Well, cheaper doesn't mean worse. It couldn't possibly be more expensive than a Cell processor and BD player in 2006.

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