The Senior VP of Sony Worldwide Studios, Michael Denny, recently spoke to Edge about a multitude of different topics, with Michael revealing that they “know our launch date” for the PlayStation 4. As for why Sony decided to unveil the PS4 when they did, he said that “we feel the time is right. The gaming community is ready for a new, deeper, richer, more connected experience, so with that in mind you can understand we were chomping at the bit.”
Denny was then asked when work on the PlayStation 4 actually began, and he gave an answer that sends us back five years:
You’re really going to test my recollection and memory on this… as Mark Cerny pointed out, when you go back five years we were still really just getting PlayStation 3 off and running after obviously some early challenges in the birth of PlayStation 3. At that point, developers were really getting their teeth into it and really starting to produce some great software, but already we could see the challenges that PlayStation 3 was presenting.
Some of our creators and some of our development teams, while the end results were fantastic, the end results to get there has been well-regaled by all, it took an awful lot of effort and took an awful lot of concentration away from the pure creative process. So even at that point we were mindful that in starting the conversation with all the magnificent game creators we work with, we absolutely wanted to talk with them about a system that could really unleash their creativity and the technical basis for the platform – as Mark talked [about] – it was an informed system architecture that could really lend itself to help all our creators. So from that early point on, those conversations – and again at that point in time it wasn’t overt conversations as they were – we were just talking to developers about the future.
We were in the heartland of PlayStation 3 so we couldn’t really turn around and say ‘hey, we’re planning PlayStation 4 now’. We just wanted to get early feedback on the views of current-gen consoles and current-gen console development and some thoughts for the future. So that’s where we were five years ago, it was more implied talks and just listening and learning from what people were going through.
After saying that they “have gone for a PC architecture but super-charged for games” and dodging a couple of questions asking about the price, Denny was asked how essential the PlayStation 4 was for Sony as a company:
I think the starting point is you go back to when we launched PlayStation 3 and I think it’s fair to say that the landscape in terms of gaming has totally changed since those days. It’s so much more competitive but it’s so much more proliferated in terms of the amount of people who are gaming and the amount of devices they are gaming on. And in a way we have to see that as an opportunity. I think as we’ve said we’re going to be very focused on gamers and gaming and offer an experience that is differentiated, that is high-end, but in doing that we have to embrace where gaming’s gone. And that’s why we have to embrace lots of ideas such as integration, that we are integrating into many other areas of gamer’s lives, casual gamers and gaming-on-the-go as well.
With “4” meaning “death” in Japanese, it was speculated that Sony might name the new console something other than the PlayStation 4, something Michael addressed:
PlayStation was always going to be part of the title. I think PlayStation is synonymous with home video gaming and we’ve got a proud and rich history and a large fanbase and strong brand. That means a lot to everybody. Clearly the next one along, it makes complete sense just to continue and go from strength to strength.
He then elaborated when asked if they considered any other names:
I think we’re getting into an area of internal discussions that probably wouldn’t be that useful to go into too much depth and share with you. All I can say is that PlayStation 4 is the clear winner in all our eyes.
Finally, Michael said that the PS4 development “cut across all divisions of the company early on in terms of thinking about what this console should be” and “certainly from those early consultations and just talking about ideas there’s been a gradual shift – and in the last two years – a very keen focus for everybody in Worldwide Studios of what we’re concentrating on now for the future.”
When do you think the PlayStation 4 will release? Let us know in the comments below.