Former PlayStation Boss Talks Current Console Climate and the PlayStation 5

Andrew House Shares His Views on the Console Industry

During Tuesday’s GamesBeat conference, Former Sony Interactive Entertainment chief, Andrew House, recently spoke about the current video game console industry and the inevitable PlayStation 5.

Andrew House Sony CEO

House, who was interviewed by Polygon, gave his musings on the current generation of consoles, their successors, and the gaming landscape as a whole. While House admits that he is in no position to talk about Sony’s future plans (he quit the company last October), he did at least speculate about where the console market was heading.

House says that he is “bullish” about the future of consoles and that their death continues to be greatly exaggerated. “In 2013, the vast majority of conventional wisdom was saying that consoles were dead,” House remarked. “The whole market was moving to mobile and there was no future for this. I remember saying to myself, to use a very English metaphor, ‘Am I going to be the last governor of Hong Kong, overseeing the end of consoles?’ Fortunately, all those impending doom-mongers were all very wrong.”

On the topic of the PlayStation 4, House believes there’s still a lot of life left in the five-year-old console. He also states that the market could grow even larger, citing regions like China as being largely untapped. There is a desire for hardware manufacturers to extend the current console generation and that mid-console upgrades like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are examples of doing that.

When speculating about the PlayStation 5, House believes that cloud-based gaming will play a big part in the next console generation. However, he also thinks that discs will still be around because certain markets still aren’t onboard with a digital-only future.

“I don’t have any firm knowledge on this, but my sense is that you will see the disc around in the industry for a while,” he said. “If you’re going to tap into some of these [developing] markets, then allowing for that more traditional physical purchase model as an option is probably no bad thing.”

“The evidence I draw on was the original launch of PlayStation. That wasn’t based on 3D graphics alone. The vision was to shift from expensive cartridges to more accessible and cheaper disks. Dropping that barrier allowed developers to take more risks. Streaming could be the next inflexion point. But the business model has to be thought through.”

Industry speculation pegs the PlayStation 5 as coming in 2020 or 2021.

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