Just a few months ago, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) CEO and president Jack Tretton surprised the gaming world with the announcement that he’ll be stepping down from his post and leaving Sony entirely.
Now, in his first interview since his departure, Tretton talks about what his plans are after Sony, how he has tremendous respect for rivals Microsoft and Nintendo, and why he sees the PlayStation 4 as “such a great redemption.”
The high point was that it was great to be part of establishing the PlayStation brand and really going into a very competitive market with Nintendo and Sega really splitting the market, and Sony having zero shelf space and very limited heritage in gaming to ultimately establishing that brand and bringing them to a leadership position. The most challenging time I think was establishing PlayStation 3 and establishing Blu-ray technology and the financial challenges that went along with the PS3. But that’s where PlayStation 4 was such a great redemption. Figuring everything out and making that platform such a success quite frankly contributed to me being more comfortable with getting on to the rest of my career.
Elsewhere in the interview, Tretton states how he’s done with “company dedicated console experience,” so don’t expect him to wind up in Microsoft or Nintendo’s camp anytime soon.
I think I’ve done the big company dedicated console experience and I’ve enjoyed it. I have a lot of friends over at Microsoft but I really see myself more in a free agent role and really trying to branch out and smell the fresh air of being able to be platform agnostic and not just dedicated to console gaming; I’ve really been spending more of my time during the last couple months looking into mobile gaming and other forms of entertainment that I haven’t had the time or ability to focus on. I would tend to gravitate away from a traditional big console company and more towards independent gaming companies and other platforms.
In case you didn’t know, Tretton is now with Genotaur as part of its advisory board. Genotaur is a startup company that deals with artificial intelligence (AI) and human-computer interfaces, and is spearheaded by COO Doug Johnson.
Do you agree with Tretton’s sentiments regarding the PS4? Going a bit off topic here, but whom do you think will replace Tretton as this year’s PlayStation E3 press conference host?