Sony expects to continue selling the PS3 until 2015, sees a lifespan of at least five years for the PS4 and doesn't think of the Steam Box as a threat.
Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, has done an extensive Q&A with Forbes, answering a number of questions about the PS4 — first and foremost on why we didn't see the actual console.
According to Tretton, it will all be revealed soon enough, and not showing it was just one of those things: "shame on me that I didn't see that as a big issue", he said.
I was so focused on the content that when I think of the console, I think of what comes through the screen, not the device that it emanates from. I just think there's a lot of natural curiosity: what's the controller gonna look like? What's the box gonna look like? We made a conscious decision that wasn't going to be a part of the first reveal, but I would look for E3 as a time when you'll get a good look at it. Or sooner.
Toward the end, Tretton also made some interesting comments about the projected lifespan of the PS4 and the PS3. He noted that Sony doesn't expect PS3 owners to run out and buy a PS4. In fact, Sony hopes "to be selling them [the PS3] to people until 2015". He also said he sees a scenario where people may not "become a PlayStation 4 consumer for five years", suggesting that Sony has a long-term lifespan in mind for the new console.
In regards to PC gaming — specifically Steam's Big Picture and the Steam Box — Tretton remained bullish, saying that he doesn't see PC gaming as a threat:
If people are driven to gaming, then that creates more opportunity for PlayStation. If people are all of the sudden drifting away from gaming in any way, shape or form, that's a bigger threat than a dedicated system coming from another manufacturer.
Tretton also sort of answered one of the questions that we had on the PS4: the availability of its much-vaunted cloud services out of the box: "I think it'll absolutely be there for the device, but I don't know whether it will be there for day one on the device.