After Ryan said they’ve moved an “awful lot more hardware” than ever before just 16 months in, he revealed that consumers continue to buy the PS4 “in numbers that are unparalleled for February, at any point over the last 20 years.” After Metro pointed out that some console owners may be disappointed with broken games or PlayStation Network issues, Ryan replied:
You would think that if all of these 18 and a half million people were having such a terrible time they would be telling their mates, they would be telling their children, ‘This is a horrible experience, don’t buy into this!’ But that’s not happening.
The conversation then turned broken third party games at launch and Sony’s QA regarding those titles. After saying, “It is very hard for us to QA the online experience of a third party game,” Ryan was asked specifically about Assassin’s Creed Unity, to which he replied, “When a third party multiplayer game runs on the servers of that third party publishers, you’ll understand it’s virtually impossible for us to QA that online experience.”
All in all though, Ryan says that, because games these days are so big and complex, “if we were to test absolutely everything, it could take months.”
One way developers are lessening launch issues is with day one patches. When it’s used to address last minute bugs, Ryan thinks it “has a reasonable role to play.” But when it’s used as a safety for a proper QA process, he agrees that “things are maybe swinging too far in that direction.” So, at least for first-party games, they’re “gonna tighten up” on that (The Order: 1886’s day one patch was 30MB).
You’ve got to be clear minded about the responsibilities of the publisher and the responsibilities of the platform holder. This is not some sort of nanny state and I don’t think anybody would want that to be the case. And if publisher X chooses to go down a road of persistent, massive day one patches then ultimately publisher X will reap the consequences of that.
On the subject of the PSN downtime during the end of December, Ryan reminded that it was “the victim of a malicious criminal attack.” Understanding how people could be disappointed by this, he added, “It was fixed as quickly as possible. We’re very sorry that it occurred, in an ideal world it shouldn’t have occurred but it was a malicious criminal attack and for those, that you’ve rightly pointed out, that have paid money for that service that they didn’t get we’ve extended five free days.”
Asked outright if he thinks the PSN is as reliable as Xbox Live, Ryan said, “I’d say we’re constantly working to make it better, we’re introducing new features, such as Share Play… do you see anything else like that elsewhere?”
At the end of the interview, Ryan hinted that there will be some good announcements at E3 and gamescom this year.