Late last month, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America (SIEA) Shawn Layden attended the Gamelab event in Barcelona, where he talked at length about how the company is doing. During the talk, Layden suggested that the PlayStation 3 was the company’s Icarus moment.
“And then PlayStation 3, sometimes you can go back and look at it and say that was our Icarus moment. We flew too close to the sun. 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.” Unsurprisingly, Sony Interactive Entertainment WorldWide Studios (SIE Worldwide Studios) President Shuhei Yoshida corroborates this statement, saying the PlayStation 3 price reveal and launch was a “horrifying moment” for the company.
According to GearNuke, Mr. Yoshida was at Develop: Brighton, where he talked about his work at PlayStation and shared views on the current gaming generation. In this talk, he mentions some interesting facts about the company’s history.
- He praised the work of Ken Kutaragi: “He’s always at least five years ahead of time… we would wish he was a little closer to our time!”
- He considers himself lucky for having his first two producer credits on Crash Bandicoot and Gran Turismo.
- He said that The Matrix DVD was the biggest launch title on PS2.
- He talked about how The Last Guardian used to run at just 10-15 fps on PS3.
- He’s happy with the success of single player games citing God of War and Horizon as brilliant but says that he wishes they had more success on the multiplayer side.
- He was proud to see ThatGameCompany make Journey for the PS3 and seeing it sweep all the industry awards.
- He considers remasters/remakes as great but says that they don’t speak much for how games have progressed. “I’d really like to see interactivity become more and more complex… I’m interested in the advancement of AI, to make characters more complex, to improve interactions with players.”
As for Yoshida’s comments on the price reveal being “horrifying,” no further explanation was provided, but it doesn’t take much research to understand Yoshida’s point of view. 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).