Sony has confirmed what SmartHouse told you three months ago. Sony technology found in the PS3 is set be moved into a set top PVR type device similar to a TiVo box.
Sony Computer Entertainment New Zealand boss Warwick Light let the cat out of the bag when he confirmed that the Playstation 3 console will be capable of being used as a digital video recorder – much like a MySky or TiVo box. Light said: “We’re also hoping next year – about the same time that Freeview launches its terrestrial broadcasting service (expected to be in March) – to release a digital tuner for the PS3, turning it into a programmable TV recorder.”
While the New Zealand media and the Countries largest newspaper the New Zealand Herald has gone “gaga” claiming That it’s the first time anyone, in the entire world no less, has heard of Sony’s plans to release a digital tuner for the PS3 and as such, the news has generated some heat in the tech blogosphere.
Back on the 3rd of May 2007 SmartHouse wrote ‘A new Playstation 4 could be less than 18 months away according to a Sony insider. See ( http://www.smarthouse.com.au/Media_Centres/Industry/R8W6V6L6 )The device will include the same chipset as the current PS3 but where it will differ from the current model is in the drive bay and in the attachment area. It will also include an extensive software suite for the managing of content being streamed to a TV or Hi Fi source”. What Smarthouse has been told since is that Sony will show the device at the CES show in Las Vegas in January 2008.
A big new development will be the operating system software which is new and has been developed from the ground up to take on the likes of the Microsoft Media Center without the complexity of application computing.
Sony has told me that the reason that the walkman failed was “poor software” used on the device to manage the content. Even Sony Boss Howard Stringer has admitted that Sony in the past were poor software developers up against the likes of Apple.
However the edict in Sony is that this will never happen again and as result of their past failures the Company has engaged both external and internal software developers to work on new content web sites that will interface with a new generation of hardware that is capable of delivering a gaming experience as well as quick access to movies, music and games.
A big asset for Sony has been the headroom in the cell processor currently found in the current PS3. This has allowed third party developers to develop new games and interactive applications that are set to be rolled out over the next 12 months. Among several new capabilities being developed by Sony are interactive games similar to the Nintendo Wii. However Sony is facing problems according to European sources with motion technology patents owned by Nintendo. And as such Sony has to develop new technology or work rounds that do infringe on patents either owned by Nintendo or third parties.
The new Sony box is bigger and wider than the current PS3 and is designed to sit next to a screen. It can also be networked into a home using Cat5 which also allows HD content to be streamed to a screen.
The primary objective for Sony is to have a box that allows for interactive gaming, quick and fast management of content and the ability to store content across a home network or back to a Sony storage farm. A key element of the new system will be live gaming as well as a Sony “Facebook” type structure that allow Sony product users to communicate with each other.
Ken Kutaragi, the retiring chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment said in one of his last interviews that he clearly understands how the PlayStation game consoles should evolve in the next three generations, or fifteen to twenty years from now. He also said that in future it will be possible to create fully Internet-based game consoles.
“As a matter of course, I have the vision of PlayStation 4, 5 and 6, which will merge into the network,” Mr. Kutaragi said. Earlier this year when Kazuo Hirai became the second president of SCEI and chief operating officer, some analysts said that Sony may not launch yet another game console and the PlayStation 3 may become the last one. On this Mr. Kutaragi, who is also known as “the father of PlayStation”, says that future consoles may be network-based, which automatically reduces the cost to build such machines.
“The design concept of the Cell processor is the network processor,” Mr. Kutaragi said. “When the PS3 was introduced last year, the network environment was not ready for a net-based game console. Now it has become possible, so why not enter?”