Sony has indicated its priority with PlayStation 4 is to have it be the "best" next generation console - not the cheapest or out before Microsoft's next Xbox.
Speaking on Gametrailers, Sony Computer Entertainment US boss Jack Tretton said the Japanese company would prefer to build a better machine and have it launch after its rivals than rush it out.
"We've never been first. We've never been cheapest. It's about being the best," he said. "If you can build a better machine and it's going to come out a little bit later, that's better than rushing something to market that's going to run out of gas for the long term.
"Ideally, in a perfect world, you want the best machine that ships first that's cheapest. But the number one goal is to be the best machine and that's what we're always focused on."
In November 2011 PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan told Eurogamer it would be "undesirable" for PS4 to repeat the PlayStation 3's mistake of giving Microsoft a year's head start in the current generation.
"I think we would consider it undesirable to be significantly later than the competition [with the next PlayStation]," he said.
Have things changed?
Tretton's "we've never been cheapest" quote is no doubt a reference to the perception that Sony hardware is relatively expensive. Back in 2005, ahead of the launch of the PS3, then Sony Computer Entertainment chief Ken Kutaragi said he wanted gamers to feel that they had to work overtime to afford one.
Now, some six years into the PS3's lifecycle, more information is coming to light on its successor, codenamed PlayStation Orbis. It is thought to be due out late next year, and a number of first party Sony developers are said to be making games for it right now.
But Tretton echoed comments made by Sony executives over the last year and a half, saying PS3 has plenty of life left. He said now, as the PS3 inches towards the end of its lifecycle, is the best time for gamers because games such as Beyond and The Last of Us realise its potential.
"We've talked about the 10 year product lifecycle back to the original PlayStation, and you have to climb that technology curve if you're a developer, and the consumer invests their money," he said.
"This is the time when the value is the best. It's my favourite part of the console lifecycle. We tend to have very long peaks. This is when you can just focus on building great games and let the consumer reap that investment they made by having great gaming experiences.
"In every platform we do, long-term lifecycles, diversity and coming up with those key franchises that are going to keep people interested in our platform, that's been really the focus through three consoles and two portables, and it will clearly be our focus going forward in the next generation."
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