Following their keynote at Develop earlier this week, Sony Computer Entertainment President Andrew House and PlayStation 4 Lead Architect Mark Cerny caught up with IGN to talk about the PS4’s future, where House reiterated that the system is already profitable, and they might be making money in every region:
The hardware is profitable eight months after launch in I think every single region where we’re selling it. That’s something we haven’t achieved since the PlayStation 2 days… and maybe not even then.
Helping to keep the momentum going over the next few months will be PlayStation Now, which enters open beta in the United States and Canada on July 31. Before the open beta even had a chance to start though, Sony received a lot of negative feedback regarding the high prices of rentals, which House believes was a miscommunication:
The next stage is to essentially get good consumer feedback about what is a viable business model around pricing. I think we’ve already had some learning in the last couple of weeks, where there was a little bit of negative feedback. What it really came down to, I think, was miscommunication on our part, that the rental pricing that was there was for full games but also with all the DLC associated with them. Once you’ve made that connection I think it’s a little bit fairer in terms of value.
Looking farther into the PlayStation 4’s future, Project Morpheus may not have a release window yet, but developers are very interested in virtual reality right now. When it comes to the types of VR games you can expect, House notes how shorter experiences like The Deep could be the norm:
What we’re seeing is that there are very interesting opportunities for not necessarily full-game multi-hour experiences, but a variety of short but intense and compelling, immersive experiences. I’m very intrigued what this could mean for what’s loosely been termed ‘location-based entertainment’. It’s not necessarily in the living room, but it’s around giving you a different window into a particular experience. We’ve had a lot of interest from movie studios who like the idea of pre-promoting movie content by giving you a sense of immersion into that world and what that could be. It’s exciting.
As time progresses through the PS4’s lifecycle, Cerny mentioned how the games will only look better and better:
I think anyone who saw Naughty Dog’s trailer for Uncharted 4 appreciates there’s going to be a lot of difference between the second and third year titles and first year titles. Yeah. I’ve been looking at this from a sheer numeric perspective so I went and did a post-mortem on Knack and another title or two. You can look at the individual components and how hard they’re working and we’re nowhere near 100% utilization of what’s in there right now.
Do you think VR is more suited for short but intense and compelling, immersive experiences?