PlayStation 3 may not be around in five years time, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has warned, despite the success the platform holder saw with PlayStation 2 long after the release of PS3.
Discussing how much life may be left in the PS3 following the arrival of PS4 next month, Yoshida told GamesIndustry.biz that the console would "definitely" last for another "couple of years", but remained cautious over its long-term prospects.
"With this generational transition, from PS3 to PS4, the publishers are smarter now - they're able to develop engines that support multi-generation platforms, not just multi-platform," he said. "Many games will come out this year on PS3 and PS4, and Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and PC, sometimes on Wii U as well. They're very flexible, and they'll be able to support PS3 as long as there's a market.
"We'll see. There's still a lot of price difference in terms of the hardware and the games, and PS3 has been doing great - but it's not like everyone owns a PS3 already. There's always a group of consumers who come late in the cycle, people who wait for the price to come down. We're expanding geographically as well. The demand from Latin America, for example, is really really strong for PS3.
"So we'll have a parallel strategy with PS3 and PS4, like we had between PS2 and PS3. PS3 was launched in 2006, in the sixth year of PS2, but PS2 lasted for another five years. I don't know if PS3 will last another five years - but definitely for the next couple of years, because of the price difference, the great library of games and the publisher side being able to support both."
Even though support for PS3 may be cut sooner than that of PS2 following the launch of the next console, PlayStation 3 may still have a similar overall life-cycle to Sony's previous hardware having launched in late 2006.
Assuming The Last Guardian is now a PS4 title, Sony still has two major AAA PS3-exclusives in the pipe before focussing development purely on its next-generation console, including next week's Beyond: Two Souls and this December's Gran Turismo 6.
Sony announced a price cut for PlayStation 3 in August, cutting the price of a 12GB PS3 to 199 Euros.
PlayStation 4 launches in the UK on November 29.