updated 05:50 pm EST, Thu February 21, 2013
Brief interview addressed price, form factor, future of new console
After a Sony press event yesterday leaving more questions than answers about the Playstation 4, Sony Computer Entertainment of America Chief Executive Officer Jack Tretton fielded some questions from AllThingsD following the event. Topics covered -- and mostly avoided -- included the pricing of the console, Sony's "living room and beyond" strategy, and the lack of a physical console shown at the presser.
Tretton was asked about the future of the console, and he called the PlayStation the "nerve center of the experience," and added that "it doesn't end there." He believes that gaming "extends out into the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on smartphones and tablets and dedicated devices like Vita."
When directly questioned if the console would be similar to the PlayStation 3 release, and priced at $599, he mostly dodged the question by saying in response that "I certainly hope not" without laying out a price range. He deflected the question by pointing out that a current-generation PlayStation is now $249, despite being many years since its release. He claimed that "our goal with this is to debut at a more consumer-friendly price. But we haven't made any final decisions about what the price will be at launch."
The absence of the console itself at the press event was noteworthy, and the source of some concern by analysts afterwards. Tretton also dodged this question, saying that "I guess when I think about the console, you open it up, you look at it, you certainly look at it when you insert a disc, but for most people, it's behind a cabinet or on a shelf somewhere and you spend all your time looking at the screen. And we wanted to show people the screen."
Tretton did say that the mass-production box that the internals would be housed in wasn't ready, but there would be many opportunities before the holiday launch to share the look of the console. He noted that both the console design and specifications are "still in development in terms of final specs and design" reminiscent of the PlayStation 3 announcement which promised dual-HDMI ports and an abundance of other connectivity which never materialized in the final product.
Specifications released by Sony include a single-chip custom processor with eight x86-64 AMD Jaguar CPU cores with integral Radeon graphics processor, 8GB of GDDR5 memory for both system operations and graphic utilization, a built-in hard drive, a 6x Blu-Ray drive capable of 8x DVD speeds, USB 3.0 and other auxiliary ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1. Audio/visual outputs are a single HDMI port, analog AV-out, and an optical S/PDIF audio output.