Sony expects ‘pent-up demand’ to boost PS4 sales


Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. President Andrew House anticipates a strong launch of the newly unveiled PlayStation 4, the first overhaul of the iconic gaming device since 2006.

“This has been a lot longer life cycle than we have previously seen,” House said Thursday. “There is a pent-up demand and enthusiasm for a new console and a new gaming experience.”

Recognizing that gaming has evolved in the seven years since the release of the PlayStation 3, the new PS4 will emphasize social interaction and connectivity between mobile devices, including the PlayStation Vita and smartphones.

“People’s lifestyles have fundamentally changed,” House said, “We expect to be connected all the time.”

Sony will integrate cloud technology from Gaikai Inc., a company it bought last year, to make games available to play before purchase and to allow mobile devices to be used as a “second screen.”

House said Sony will take a “phased approach” to introducing these technologies to the PS4 as the company makes server investments and evaluates consumer needs.

While the new console’s hardware will continue to attract core gamers, House stressed that the “flexibility” of the PS4 due to its ability to go mobile should appeal to a new audience.

“We like to think that our platform is really just a hotbed of new creativity and that translates into being able to reach out and embrace new customers,” he said.

The PS4 was unveiled Wednesday in New York and is expected to go on sale at the end of the year, ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. The launch price was not revealed.