PS4: Sony went for “cheaper hardware” for fear of smaller install base - Cousins

PS4 is made up of cheaper hardware than its predecessor because Sony fears it will see a smaller install base in next-gen, ex-Battlefield producer and EA exec Ben Cousins has suggested.

lnvisibleMan3711d ago

With the ps4, Sony has created a great ecosystem for game developers. But at the end of the day it is up to developers to inovate. Hear me EA.

MikeMyers3711d ago

Sony needs to innovate as well and I believe they will. One of the jobs of anyone who releases a platform is to lead the charge and show what it has to offer. Sony knows the PS3 had a negative image in the beginning due to its high price. I don't think they will make the same mistake. A game console needs to also be affordable, otherwise you might as well build a PC.

Sony also knows they have to attract the mainstream public and that the gaming world around them has changed. The developers so far seem pleased with the hardware which is always a good sign and Sony went knocking on their door to see what it was they wanted.

The thing is we all need to just accept gamers of all stripes. Those who play casual games, those who enjoy motion type games, those who like hardcore games and the indie scene. We often want to label people out of ignorance or because we feel threatened by their existence without realizing gaming can expand. There just has to be a good balance of the software you provide.

aCasualGamer3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

There is no doubt in my mind Sony will come out as the winner of nextgen if they keep up the good work. By good work i mean focus on games ofcourse and not "TV channel services for gaming consoles".

darthv723711d ago

sony went against the grain of the industry. They didnt build easy systems to program for, they built systems to challenge the creativity within the developers.

so now they take a change of direction and build a system the devs are interested in. Now they could have done that because of developer pressure to have a platform with a quick turnaround on investment OR they could have done it because they know the cost of specialized programming tools adds to the development cost and some companies just dont have that kind of $$ to spend.

For whatever their reason, sony made a change to their strategy. We will know by the quality of the titles released if that change was good or bad.

will developers take the easy route and turn out games that arent up to the quality sony is synonymous for? or will they try and push their creative side to use the more familiar platform design in unique ways nobody thought of?

Proof is in the pudding.

Denethor_II3710d ago

"For whatever their reason, sony made a change to their strategy. We will know by the quality of the titles released if that change was good or bad."

You have absolutely no reason to doubt the quality of games released for the next Sony console. Look at the legacy they have created.

Sony taking this route is the only way forward after last gen. It's a positive thing.

gaffyh3710d ago

They didn't use cheaper hardware because of a fear of a small install base. They went for cheaper hardware because the company as a whole is struggling and needs to be able to make as much money as possible, but at the same time, they wanted to offer gamers a serious upgrade from their current consoles.

darthv723710d ago

I don't doubt "Sony" or their 1st/2nd party divisions. I know they will deliver above and beyond the rest.

It's "the rest" that i have doubt with. Taking the easy route generally results in quick and dirty cash in type of games that feel unfinished and/or incomplete. thus resulting in the DLC routine and patches up the whazoo.

We really can only expect nothing but the finest work from sony and if Sony has some sort of clause that there be no cheap shovelware released for the PS4 then we will likely see games released for it that have no place.

They may have a higher standard for their own IP's but unless they hold the same standard to all other 3rd parties then a platform that is cheap and easy will result in similar titles from 3rd parties just trying to make a fast buck.

The hardware may exceed the previous generation but if the games do not then what's the use? Sony needs to hold every developer accountable for their software if it is to be released on the PS4. Quality control needs to be enforced. But with costs at an all time high, they probably cant be picky about every detail and we will get unfavorable releases like we have seen in every generation before.

@gaffy...if sony is struggling then i fear we will get quantity over quality this time around. Sony making a system easy to develop for opens the flood gate to any/every kind of game developer that wants to release their game.

I dont have a problem with the ones that show a legitimate passion for creating something fun but at the same time there will be those with the quick and easy way of thinking that will flood the market with crap that buries the good stuff like what we see on ios and droid devices.

yeah, i just compared the PS4 to the mobility market. If there is no quality control....that is where things are headed.

Denethor_II3710d ago

tbh It seems to me that you're kind of stating a business practice that Sony have been excising for nearly twenty years, and that's quality control. Sony are for the core gamers, and with their multitude of studios there's no worry there. In regards to multiplats I don't think Sony can direly dictate the standard there anyway.

AntoineDcoolette3710d ago (Edited 3710d ago )

Kudos to Sony for learning from their PS3 [email protected]# up fiasco.

1) Working closely with studios to get insight into how to make developer friendly hardware instead of some BS unnecessarily complicated cell processor 2.0

2) 8 gigs of RAM so that developers will once again not get knee capped

3) Less expensive hardware that will hopefully draw in a larger audience; perhaps a lot of the people who were put off by the initial high price point of the PS3

PopRocks3593710d ago

Any company needs to innovate to stay relevant. I think Sony's social network ideas are pretty solid. I honestly don't mind it using lower than expected specs if it 1) helps the system be more affordable and more competitive in the market and 2) helps keep Sony in the black more so than the PS3 did in its initial years.

The graphics for the upcoming exclusives look just under the par of CGI movies, so honestly do not mind what they're doing right now and I'm surprised that it's received as much criticism as it has (no console?! DERPY DOO!).

Gaming1013710d ago

This has confirmed what I've been saying all along. Sony saw the backlash after they charged a measly $100 extra for the PS3's top end model, so now they have to make it cheaper. They can't include a better shader modeler since it would be too costly. I think Sony should have beefed up the PS4 and sold it for a couple extra hundred bucks, or at least have the option to sell it for more, with a cheaper $500 option like last time, at least we would be getting a better console!

Dee_913710d ago

flamebait titles

full quote.
"so maybe that’s a kind of defensive move against their expectation that they’re not going to have the same install base, or maybe they just want to hit profitability quicker because of Sony’s less stable financial state at the moment.”

Just saying the 1st part makes no sense and makes it a dumb suggestion without explanation (which cousins did explain but that explanation is still just his assumption)

The latter makes much more sense.So that shouldve been the title instead.

gaffyh3710d ago

@Darth - Quality depends on the developer not the console itself. Sony's first and second party developers will continue to make amazing games that will still be more optimized than the majority of third party titles.

Hayabusa 1173710d ago


So...developer friendly hardware=lazy developers? Give me some examples. As far as I can tell, crap games are crap games. The original Playstation was easy to develop for, yet the original Playstation out performed the N64 and Saturn in terms of quality? Well, do you reckon the N64 and saturn had better games then PS1? PS1 certainly had it's fair share of "quality games", and these games didn't seem to have much trouble standing out from crowd of common dross.

Sony do have a set of technical standards that every game must meet before shipping (it's called a TRC) whether or not they reach YOUR pius standards, I don't know. And I don't see the need in filtering out the rubbish games either. You have to take the good with bad, that's life. It's up to you to decide which games you want to play and which ones you want to avoid. Who keeps the quality filter on all the music that gets made these days?

Sy_Wolf3710d ago

As much as I love gaming on a PC, Sony has a fantastic lineup of exclusives which can motivate people to buy a PS4 as well.

Kevin ButIer3710d ago

Fear... come on... It wasn't fear it's part of their objectives, to have a big install base.

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thechosenone3711d ago

Sony is the global leader in console sales, so what do they have to be worried about exactly? Also MS went with even cheaper hardware than the PS4 so does that mean that they have twice the level of anxiety and fear of losing out market share?

Fear mongering article is just fear mongering.

Objective3711d ago

Seems like Sony is no longer so arrogant and has come to realize that it has lost a huge chunk of market share and projects itself as losing even more next gen. Sony must start making decisions that make financial sense if it wants to survive next gen.

N4g_null3710d ago

Sony should release a price then if it is cheaper then they can solidify preorder before ms even announces. This could be a good gen for them.

Freedomland3710d ago (Edited 3710d ago )


This is not suggested by EA but by some ex-employees. These websites always twist and tell, just to get more hits. Look at the title, writer has created a sensational title by mixing to statements in a different contexts. Shallow journalism, something is under the rug.

adorie3710d ago

I find it appalling how so many articles leeching off the same interview by the EA exec, twisting headlines to get the hits and kickstart the fanboy wars even more, make it past failed status.

If these mods and community on N4G were serious about cleaning this crap up, this place could begin to find a balance.

It's almost as annoying as the fanboys who derail threads to talk about fanboys. SMFH

Gamer19823710d ago

cheaper hardware does not always equal inferior hardware. Look at the 360 it always had the cheapest of hardware to stay cheaper than the ps3 and still make profit..

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TheLyonKing3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

Cheaper doesn't always mean worse, Sony quality is good quality.

Once the install base is established i wouldn't be surprised if they realesed a better spec one.

*by better spec I don't mean ram etc*

What mean is a bigger hard drive or built in functionality for something's or even just am extra USB slot. If they went for the cheap option then it's highly likely they would release a more expensive one. Seems business models are lost on some people

Utalkin2me3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

So they don't release ones with bigger HDD or in the 360 case add wifi and hdmi? They do this all the time.

Omar913711d ago

@Utalkin2me: yes they do do this all the time, however if you noticed for example the ps3 had hardware removed such as usb slots BC before they added the extra hard drives.

PS4isKing_823711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

@Thelyonking Since when has that ever happened? No console maker ever released a system and updated its specs midway thru its life cycle. That's not how the console business works.

The specs of the ps4 are amazing as they are already. If a person wants any better, that's what pcs are for.

KrystofKage3711d ago

In terms of quality, sure they have.

Pretty sure the xbox 360s was a pretty big upgrade in regards to hardware. Infact, comparing the original 360 to the current one and you'll see a world of difference(most people don't even remember there was no HDMI port in the first release).

Baylex3711d ago

Did you read what he written? he talked about HDD, usb slots! And yes that happened before.. the first ps3 had 4 usb slots and the next ones had only 2. There are a lot of ps3 versions with differents hdd. You should read before writting...

Utalkin2me3711d ago

This is Learn to read people.

DOMination-3711d ago

To all guys above and below telling people that they should learn how to read: The original poster CLEARLY edited the post after the confusion over the point. The point about HDD and USB was clarified AFTER all the other posts were made.

insomnium23711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

Yeah I think MS is the only one to ever release a better version afterwards. I mean ofc better by HDMI (something fundamental). MS is also the only one to ever make the games require a HDD even when they sold a HDD-less version of their console and publicly said that HDD is not a mandatory purchase.

But hey I've come to learn that it's forbidden to talk about these things on this site. You get called a Sony nuthugger the minute you speak of these things. That's why I lost my bubbles. Broken system is broken. I can hear the angry typing right now so I'll make my escape before it happens.

DS363711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

@insomnium2 dont forget
XBOX 360 core package released in 2005
No Built-in Wifi
HD-DVD (failed)
No HD-DVD player
No wireless controller
All this was added later.
And the joke about it is that, if you added these missing features to the core or the arcade, at that time, it would have costed more than a high end PS3 at launch ($599).

PS3 in still pretty much the same minus 2 usb ports, dual shock and BC. People don't realize how much M$ nickled and dimed the xbox faithful at launch with their console.

That's why I'm going to wait and see to evaluate both consoles before making my final decision. But as of right now its leaning towards sony again.

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cayleee3711d ago

"Once the install base is established i wouldn't be surprised if they realesed a better spec one."

Depends on what you mean by "Better Spec", if a slimmer version is what you are thinking, then thats not a better Spec. Its just shrunk down.

The Spec will remain constant for the life of the console. Dont get your hopes up for a upgrade.

Hydrolex3711d ago

a better spec one ?

your source is legit, good stuff, don't smoke too much tho

Utalkin2me3711d ago

I like how most people just skimmed read your "better spec one" then just commented on that. But didn't finish to read you saying "bigger HDD" or "Extra USB slots", you said nothing of the sort of better GPU or CPU.

Classic selective reading, my wife has something similar, which is called selective hearing.

GiggMan3711d ago

His original post was edited. The *asterisks* and below was added after everyone assumed he was talking about RAM, GPU, or CPU.

There was no distinction between hardware and system specs.

wishingW3L3711d ago

people, you need to learn to read more than just the first sentence. lol

jcnba283710d ago

Sony products were brought from a 3 star down to a 2 star and labelled "junk status" in 2012.

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MasterCornholio3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

Cheaper isn't equal to inferior in this case because Sony has decided to outsource all their parts so they can reduce the fixed costs for their console which include research and development for example. In my opinion some of the technology in the PS3 WAS great but the cell processor and the split ram configuration made game development difficult for developers. I'm not lying here because even Sony admitted their mistakes with the PS3.

Motorola RAZR i

ProjectVulcan3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

The world economy is a very different place now, and Sony have a less than brilliant current financial situation.

These consoles are sons of austerity. Cost is now incredibly important and hugely critical, much more so then when PS3 launched.

Really an average consumer doesn't want to buy a console for $600/£400+ pounds in these times and nor do Sony want to lose hundreds of dollars on each machine they build and sell for years to come like they did on PS3.

It is unsustainable.

It is understandable and only sense that these consoles have reigned in their hardware ambitions and looked for the best bang for their buck shrewdly, instead of throwing too much at the development of them.

Sony's attitude with PS3 was quite clear, they expected people to go and spend all that money on launch even going so far as saying they should get another job to pay for it!

Obviously they have learnt from this mistake and come to the reality of most people's economical situation.

Until we know the exact cost of the machine at retail we can't say for certain how well they have managed it, but I believe they have been much more clever with where they spent their money this time out.

M-M3711d ago

Sony is playing it very smart this time around.

4lc4pon33711d ago

EA sucks. Who cares about what they have to say in any situation. I poo on your company

CommonSenseGamer3711d ago

So tell me, how is EA different to any large company that's in the business to make money?

Is Sony so giving that they always put people before profits or do they just better hide it through better PR?

HarryMasonHerpderp3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

EA are the parasites of the industry.
How can you even compare the two companys?
Sony has made plenty of mistakes but they've done a lot more for the gaming industry than EA, tell me what EA has done apart from close studios,dumb down franchises, rip off consumers and stagnate the market for the past 3 years?

CommonSenseGamer3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

So, tell me what Sony has done other than to use slave labourers to build its hardware, reduce the number of activated systems from 5 to 2, provide lackluster support for several developers that lead to their ultimate demise, introduce game passes, release inferior slim models with lesser build quality and features, block the use of some 3rd party controllers.

Just because what they do sits better with you does not make them a better company. I'm not anti-Sony but I don't think they are an better or worse than anyone else. They're in it to make money.

fermcr3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

Bubble up for CommonSenseGamer.

I agree, every company is in the business to make money, it's just that some company's have better PR departments then others.

"So, tell me what Sony has done other than to use slave labourers to build its hardware"

I agree with this too, and unfortunate there are many other companies that do the same thing beside Sony... Nike, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Nestlé (even them are accused of using child labour on their cocoa farms), etc...

R_aVe_N3711d ago (Edited 3711d ago )

"So, tell me what Sony has done other than to use slave labourers to build its hardware, reduce the number of activated systems from 5 to 2, provide lackluster support for several developers that lead to their ultimate demise, introduce game passes, release inferior slim models with lesser build quality and features, block the use of some 3rd party controllers"

What the hell are you smoking? Slave labor? If you are referring to pretty much everything being made in China well 80% of all products move through China at some point. I am not saying I agree with it, but if it was not done you would be paying twice as much for the same product. Still sucks either way. Your going to be pretty hard pressed to find any electronic product that doesnt have something made in China. Sony does not block 3rd party controllers never has. As far as slim models if you want cheaper systems you have to cut stuff out its that simple. The slim model not only is more stable that the launch consoles, but heck of a lot cheaper as well.

WeAreLegion3711d ago

Sony's PR department is terrible. They are a business, but they're a business run by people who actually like their customers. Have you guys never seen Kaz talk? The man loves gaming! He loves technology! Look at Mark Cerny. That's not good PR. He creeps everyone out! He's passionate about gaming and creating something that we'll enjoy. That's the difference. Sony isn't just in this for the money.

kenshiro1003710d ago

The fact that you received agrees for that is embarrassing. Almost every product made in China is based on child labor. Its sad that you chose to single out Sony of all companies.

adorie3710d ago

How are EA different from other companies?

Sim City
Dead Space Franchise
Lying and pulling the rug from under their customers
Spinning controversy on NEOGAF

Sounds like they are doing everything every other company with bad business practices in this industry is doing, all by themselves.

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