When PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.00 launched in late October, not only did it bring along PS4 Rest Mode and YouTube app issues, the PlayStation Network also went down for an extended period of time – which was just one of multiple times when the PSN was experiencing downtime or problems during the month.
In an interview last week with VG247, Sony Computer Entertainment Australia Managing Director Michael Ephraim discussed some of the highs and lows of the PlayStation 4’s first year on the market, including the recent 2.00 firmware update and PSN issues:
Listen: we’re really, really apologetic. Dealing with network and digital – I’m not trying to spread or deflect anything, but dealing on such a robust network is a tricky experience. The good thing is we’ve launched 2.01 [Ed. note: and 2.02], which has fixed the Rest Mode, and has fixed the YouTube app.
It was very unfortunate. We hate that. The network was down during the 2.0 release. It’s very unfortunate. Those things are gonna happen over time. We’re not bulletproof on those things.
I think the good thing is, we reacted quickly and the fix is out, about two or three days after. So we apologize. Like I said, dealing with global network loads and concurrent users for a platform that is ever expanding because of our sales being so strong is tricky at times, and we’re not infallible.
Having been with PlayStation for 20 years since the launch of the PlayStation One, Ephraim says the PlayStation 4 “has a similar feel about it right now,” and they’re beginning to get the feeling “that we’ve delivered to consumers and gamers what they want.”
They aren’t stopping though, with Ephraim adding:
We’re still not gonna rest on our laurels. Very competitive market. We know consumers have choice. We wanna just deliver on our promises of what we said PlayStation 4 would be. But yeah, we’re definitely happy that it’s been accepted so well.
If you’re wondering why PlayStation’s holiday line-up includes titles like LittleBigPlanet 3 and SingStar, Ephraim explained that there’s “heavy-hitters” in the form of Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Far Cry 4, but “our focus this year is bringing in the mass market as well.”
He later added, “Watch Dogs, Destiny, inFamous – there’s been some great content for gamers and there’s gonna be more coming out, but we’ve gotta start appealing to the mass market as well.”
Specifically for Australia, SingStar has sold 1 million mic sets and 2.3 millions discs, with Ephraim saying, “Any time we present SingStar there are smiles and cheers because the brand is known.” Unfortunately, the latest SingStar is sitting at a 39 on Metacritic.