Head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House spoke to The Guardian today concerning their business model for the PS4 console cycle. In the run up to yesterday’s PS4 Pro and Slim release, console fans were concerned about both Microsoft and Sony’s product cycles since both are releasing mid-cycle upgrades. However House’s words today have dispelled fears concerning an ‘Apple-like’ business model whereby the latest upgrades are released on a yearly basis resulting in constant consumer chase-spending.
House told The Guardian that “we think that for a really substantial period of time [the PS4, Slim, and Pro] are the PlayStation 4 lineup”. It seems then that we’re safe for now. While House didn’t say there weren’t going to be any specific upgrades to the PS4 hardware in the future, there isn’t one round the corner. It’s a small win in the long run but this information may sway some consumers on the fence over a PS4 Pro purchase. A “really substantial period of time” is a highly subjective notion, however House’s assertion that “Our declared goal is to be a further 20m units above [their current 40m units] by the end of next year. At that point we’ve got a pretty good sense of where the momentum of the lifecycle is” suggests they have another waypoint already set for 2018.
In the same interview, House presented some justification concerning the PS4 Pro’s existence. Citing the mid-cycle lull in a console’s ability to compete with PC graphically, House argued that the hardware upgrades were aimed at retaining those graphic hungry customers who would otherwise migrate.