Sony PlayStation Chief Bets On VR Future, Dismisses Concept Of Upgradeable Consoles

It's always interesting to hear what the bigwigs behind major game consoles have to say about the future of gaming on their platforms. That's especially true now that both Sony and Microsoft have announced or released mid-cycle upgrades with faster hardware. In that respect, it appears that consoles are becoming more like PCs, but is that the future of consoles? Don't count on it, says Sony boss Andrew House.

Sony has begun taking pre-orders for its forthcoming PlayStation 4 Pro, essentially a beefed version of the PS4 that can deliver faster frame rates and better visuals (4K streaming and HDR). It's not a new generation console, but a peppier version of the original PS4 released in 2013. When asked if it's a viable strategy for consoles to try and keep up with PCs in a sort of hardware arms race, House said that's not the objective.

PlayStation 4 Pro

"I don't think that's the primary goal. PlayStation 4 Pro came out of a confluence of thinking about a few things. To a certain degree it came from our content partners who had suggested that the last console cycle had, if anything, been a little bit too long, and who also were asking us whether it was possible to innovate within the lifecycle in order for them to further innovate on content, which I think is great. I think it's healthy and it's good for everyone. So that was one of the thoughts," House explained to Digital Spy in an interview.

Beyond that, don't expect consoles—or at least the PlayStation platform, present or future—to sport upgradeable hardware like a PC. House shot down the notion as one that's "very tough for me to envisage that at this point."

PlayStation VR

So what does he envision as the future of PlayStation? Like practically everyone else in the gaming industry, House sees virtual reality playing an important role.

"I think it's very much a different medium than what we've seen before. It's certainly borne out for me by a number of the demos that I've played. It's a heightened level of excitement. It's a different sense of immersion and jokingly I'd say, if you can get that from a cynical person who's been in the industry for 20 years, then there's got to be something pretty exciting there!," House said.

That said, House acknowledges there's a lot of work to be done in VR, particularly around the controller interface and understanding what does and doesn't work in creating a true sense of presence.