Sony’s Layden on PS4: We’re Not Pressured by the Xbox One Price Cut, Our Games “Look Better & Play Better”

November 18, 2014Written by Jason Dunning


To help commemorate the PlayStation 4’s first year on the market, Sony Computer Entertainment America President and CEO Shawn Layden sat down with Games Beat to discuss a variety of topics.

Clarifying one of the PS4 first year stats revealed last week, Layden said that they’re well over the 100 million mark in terms of PlayStation Network accounts, “But we felt that it wasn’t a meaningful metric. I have five PlayStation Network accounts myself. I’m not the average user, but a lot of people will have two or more accounts.” So, for the 56 million unique active users they reported, it was based on accounts that were active in the last 30 days.

Additionally, “like 95 percent of PlayStation 4s” have connected to the PSN.

Looking at the PS4 vs Xbox One battle, the Xbox One is approaching 10 million shipped, while the PS4 has shipped 13.5 million. After saying how “the math seems to look like that” when it comes to the PS4 having a two-to-one advantage over Xbox One, Layden added that they don’t feel pressured by Microsoft’s price cut:

No, not at all. It’s going to be a very competitive holiday season. Everyone’s going to move their numbers the best way they can. We’re going to be fully engaged in that battle.

Interestingly, when looking at the PS4’s 10 month new-gen console winning streak in the United States, Layden said, “It would have been 12 months had we gotten enough product in the market in December 2013.”

As for this ever-important holiday season, although the exclusives may be scarce, Layden says the best games look and play better on PS4:

Well, obviously [LittleBigPlanet 3] is exclusive. We’re looking, early in the new year, at titles like Bloodborne and The Order. For the holiday season, the greatest games are the greatest games. I certainly understand when publishers wish to get their art in front of as many eyeballs as possible. But I like to think that the games look better and play better on PlayStation 4.

He continues by saying Sony would like to have good content on PS4 all year. “We don’t just want a cluster in the summer and a cluster at the holidays. We’d like to fill the whole year.”

Switching to the problematic rollout of firmware update 2.00, Layden revealed Sony is looking at releasing smaller updates, though you will still see the big ones:

Sometimes these updates get big because so many of the components are reliant on each other in some way. It naturally creates its own size effect. But I think we’ll look at the rollout going forward and see when we can get a discrete benefit or feature that can go out and go out now. You’ll still see some of the large ones, just because they’ll be packaged together.

He later said, “There are lots more features and benefits we can pull out of the PlayStation 4 hardware. It’s pretty well feature-proved to allow us to do that. We’ll continue to execute on that.” As well, Layden confirmed that PlayStation Now “should be coming to larger-scale rollout soon.”

Looking ahead to the PlayStation Experience event next month in Las Vegas, Layden teased, “It’s good market for a lot of the game developers to come out and have something new to say, some secrets to reveal, some announcements to make.” They’ll also be talking about tournaments activities “and things like that” at PS Experience.

Finally, when asked about GamerGate, Layden said, “I’ll be very clear about my view of harassment or bullying. It’s completely unacceptable. Completely unacceptable. I will not be vague or equivocate about that.”

Also in his response about GamerGate, Layden slipped that Sony Santa Monica is working on a new big franchise:

The question about women in the gaming industry, that’s something we all take on board as individual corporations. We are best in class — or close to it, certainly – in this industry. In the development group we have Shannon Studstill, who runs our whole Santa Monica operation. She’s going to bring the next big franchise out from there.

What do you think Sony Santa Monica is working on right now?

[Source: Games Beat]