Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (commonly abbreviated to SIE Worldwide Studios) has seen some restructuring as of recently. With Andrew House stepping down as president and global CEO of SIE after nearly three decades with the company, and Kaz Hirai passing the touch of president and CEO of Sony to Kenichiro Yoshida (who’s been with the company for longer than House has, at 30+ years), Sony’s clearly preparing itself for some hopefully fresh ideas. Although PlayStation (and Sony as an entire entity) has gone through some reshuffling of staff, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America (SIE America), Shawn Layden, has pumped the company’s ego up in a recent interview.
In a series of quotes from an interview with technology-focused website VentureBeat, Layden straight up said, “PlayStation 4 is a story of redemption. I think we came back” when talking about the company’s Icarus moment, the PlayStation 3. When the PlayStation 3 launched in 2006, the system’s starting price was $499 USD for the base 20GB model, with the larger 60GB model stacking an extra $100 more on top, bringing the price up to $599 USD. This made the base PlayStation 3 model $100 more than the “premium” Xbox 360 model (which included a 20GB hard drive and cost $399 USD), and $200 more than the base Xbox 360 model (which didn’t include a hard drive and cost $299 USD).
This effectively slowed Sony’s PlayStation 2 successor – a system that is still considered the best-selling system of all time, shipping approximately 155 million units to date – down at the gate, and Layden’s very aware of this fact, saying, “We took a bit of a dip in the business, to say the least, during the PlayStation 3 era. Only finally fighting it out to parity with Xbox 360 by the end of the life cycle.” However, Layden is confident that the PlayStation 4 is doing very well for the company, stating, “I think we got back to our basis of PlayStation being a people’s platform. It’s there to provide something for our third-party partners to succeed with and reach out to their fans. We just try to keep an understanding, keep an appreciation of — we get here with our fans, at the same time. We succeed in our business with our partners, at the same time.”
He isn’t wrong. According to sales figures, the Playstation 4 has shipped an estimated total of 79 million units as of March 2018, putting it just behind the PlayStation 3, which is at an approximate total of 84 million units shipped to date – a number that should be easy for the PlayStation 4 to eclipse if Sony continues to deliver experiences like God of War, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and NieR: Automata. Shawn Layden does touch on more topics, like the death of the PlayStation Vita – “The Vita business was very successful in Japan.” – and storytelling in games – “We like the big story. We like the narrative.” – but Sony’s inability or unwillingness to participate in Fortnite cross-play did come up. And what Layden has to say is probably not what you want to hear (though we’ve heard it before):
I’ve got one short statement on that. We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident that we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, and at the same time supporting our business.
It seems Sony is capable of only hearing requests, not actively addressing them. Check out the quotes on VentureBeat, and be sure to listen to or read the full interview when it appears.
SIE President Shawn Layden Pumps Playstation Ego Up