While Sony's been touting the PS3's ten year life-span, Hiroshige Goto from Japanese site PC Watch is already talking PLAYSTATION 4. According to Goto, Sony is apparently moving forward with the PS4 and considering using the Cell Broadband Engine that powers the PS3 as the next console's architectural base. Sony, Goto points out, has invested heavily in the Cell so that it can be updated with new iterations and used for a long period of time — a point that does give strength to the rumour he floats.
What's more, using an upgraded Cell in the PS4 would obviously lower the cost of production with a smaller chip, too. That right there could be a key factor in why Sony could very well be investigating this possibility. What's more, it seems more in line with what Nintendo has successfully done with the GameCube and the Wii. Goto goes on to theorize if the next PlayStation will have 32 cores (compared to the current 8), but Goto doesn't have any concrete information about Sony's plans.
While the original Xbox had trouble trailing the PS2 (and all the PS2 developer kits that were sent out), Sony has been playing catch up against the Xbox 360. So, for example, if Sony wants to get the PS4 out in 2011 before the next Xbox, it will need a shortcut because actual chip development, Goto writes, takes 3 or 4 years.
PLAYSTATION 4は拡張版Cell搭載へ向かう [PC Watch]