The vice president of SCEE, the European branch of Sony, was interviewed by 3DJuagos (translated with Google Translate) at their site.
When asked about the Vita, Armstrong said that the Vita will likely be enjoyed mostly by gamers in the age 14-30, which is a massive number of their target audience. He also said that the PSP still had some releases planned despite the PS Vita coming out soon to supersede the aging portable console.
The discussion on the PS Vita was very brief and they quickly moved onto the PS3. James stated that the PS3 is likely to last for a long time, even though it has been on the market now for a full five years. Comparing the prices to the previous Sony consoles, he said that at the end of their life, the consoles reached between 99-149 euros. The PS3 is currently at 300 euros throughout Europe. This confirms an earlier statement that the PS3 is likely to have a console lifespan of ten years, which is nearly double the life of the preceding consoles.
To scale it, the Genesis (released 1989 in NA) lasted nine years before being discontinued in 1997. The Playstation 1 was available from 1995 to 2000, and the XBox lasted from 2001 to 2006. The PS2 has not been officially discontinued, likely due to the lack of backwards compatibility to the PS3.
Not surprisingly, James also said that it’s unlikely that Sony will have a console with better graphics than what the PS3 is capable of. This is unsurprising because of the massive step-up from the already-stellar graphics of the PS2, and anything beyond that would be a waste of time. He said that the game industry’s future is in better gaming experiences and more accessible, and perhaps focusing on the female demographic for games.
Even though women make up a roughly equal amount of male gamers, statistics have often shown that females are more likely to play casual and puzzle games. There is honestly very little that can be done to improve current consoles outside of how they can be interacted with. Within a decade or two, we might end up releasing the final gaming consoles in terms of their hardware capabilities.
Hardly surprising, the cost for the return on improving graphics must be diminishing rapidly, there is still some room to “pretty up” the graphics a bit, but not jaw-droppingly so. Good to see Sony pushing into other markets and Nintendo pushing into “hardcore”, both moves can only be good for gamers.