PS4 Boss Talks Console's Success, Competition With Microsoft, and Importance of New IP
"People were saying that consoles were dead, and that mobiles and tablets were the only gaming platforms around."
With more than 30 million systems sold worldwide, the PlayStation 4 is a huge success; it's also the cumulative sales leader for new-generation consoles at this point. Now, PlayStation president Andrew House has talked more about the PS4's success and what it means for the industry overall, competition with Microsoft, and the importance of new IP.
"With this generation, we launched against a background of considerable media skepticism about the role of consoles overall," House told The Guardian. "People were saying that consoles were dead, and that mobiles and tablets were the only gaming platforms around. But what I see in the developer and publisher community is a sense of returned confidence.
"That translates into something great for the gamer, because if developers are feeling confident that there’s a fan-base that wants their content, then they will tend to take more creative risks. They will feel more comfortable about launching brand-new IP, which I think is the life-blood of the industry."
"We remain well ahead of the PlayStation 2 at the same point in its lifecycle" -- Andrew House
On the subject of competition with Microsoft, House described Sony's battle with Microsoft as "healthy competition" in part because he believes the PS4's success is good for the industry overall.
"We remain well ahead of the PlayStation 2 at the same point in its lifecycle," House said. "That, to me, is almost more important than market share and rivalry with Microsoft. The question is whether you're growing the category overall, and whether it is vibrant."
Also in the interview, House praised the job that Xbox boss Phil Spencer is doing in his role as head of Xbox at Microsoft. But at the same time, he pointed out that Microsoft and Sony are going in somewhat different directions (but with mostly the same goal) with their headsets, HoloLens and PlayStation VR.
"I think since Phil Spencer took on leadership of [Microsoft's Xbox division], he has been very honest about their approach," House said. "He's been, in a very gentlemanly way, complimentary about us in the past. But if you look at something like augmented reality for them or virtual reality for us, w'’re both trying to build a category overall. At the end of the day, there is a shared goal of great experiences for gamers."
It hasn't been totally smooth sailing for Sony, however. Just recently, the company acknowledged that its first-party games lineup for 2015 was "not as strong." In other Sony news, the company has announced a partnership with Hideo Kojima to have the veteran designer's next game debut on PS4.
Spencer was promoted to head of Xbox in March 2014. At the time, he said Microsoft would be entering into an "incredible new chapter for Xbox."
The executive said in October 2015 that the PS4 had a "huge lead" against the Xbox One. The gap is so large that Microsoft may not be able to catch up. "We're not motivated by beating Sony, we're motivated by gaining as many customers as we can," he said at the time.
For more, be sure to read the full Guardian interview.
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