PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan on PlayStation 5 pricing, launch titles, and strategy

“We want to make it clear to the players, we want to give them certainty,” said Ryan. “We want to prove it in the future so that they know that the controller they buy will be relevant in several years. It’s a big capital outlay, and we want to make sure people know they’re buying a real next-generation console.”

This is in stark contrast to the Xbox S and X series, which offer more subtle differences (4K versus 1440p resolution is one example), with a larger price difference of $ 299 and $ 499 respectively. While the Xbox Series S will be the cheapest next-generation gaming console, Microsoft has come under some disenfranchisement due to the brand’s confusing strategy.

Ryan also claims that the PlayStation 5 hardware pricing has been set “too early this year,” and that Sony always intends to offer a version of PlayStation 5 at the same price as the PlayStation 4 of 2013. However, new issues around distribution have emerged. The cancellation of the E3 event in June caused the entire industry to reconsider its plans.

For now, Ryan said Sony will have more PlayStation 5 units ready for sale compared to PlayStation 4 units in 2013. About 2.1 million PlayStation 4 units were sold worldwide two weeks after its launch in 2013, with 1 million units on the first day. Alone.

“For some time, in the early part of Covid, that picture was far from clear,” Ryan said. “Just as the display things were unclear, would there be any market? Will anyone be allowed out? Will any stores be opened? This year has been unparalleled. But all of this strengthened our resolve, and the path we set at the beginning of the year was absolutely correct. “.

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Ryan said he heard a lot of discussion about the PlayStation’s more outdated approach to games, as he bet on the group of first-party developer studios to offer exclusive titles on a generational basis.

“We’re not saying it’s perfect, but it’s our approach,” Ryan said. “We just want to be more precise.”

No one can argue against the success of this approach. PlayStation 4, which sold more than 112 million consoles over the course of seven years, has seen an impressive year with exclusive titles like “The Last of Us Part II”, “Ghost of Tsushima” and “Final Fantasy VII: Remake” three centers. The top five best-selling titles of 2020 so far.

“We have invested very quietly but surely in those studios,” Ryan said. “We now have, in all modesty, four or five of the best studios in the world.”

Although this was not mentioned in the official Sony advertisement, the developers of some games later confirmed that PS5 exclusive games such as “Horizon: Forbidden West” and “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” are not exclusive at all. Both are releasing PS4 releases, which may anger a few Sony fans who have taken on Sony’s commitment to developing the “next generation”. The common belief is that developing games across generations stifles creativity, and impedes the game’s technological ambitions, as it should cater to the audience with less powerful machines.

No one should be disappointed, Ryan said. “The PS5 versions of these games were designed from the ground up to take advantage of the PS5’s feature set, and we have an upgrade path for PS4 users to get the PS5 releases for free. It’s about people who have the choice. I’m really happy with this mode.”

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Ryan also said that of the thousands of games that have been tested for backward compatibility with PS4 versions, “99 percent” can play on the next console. Sony has also announced a new service called PS Plus Collection, which will provide 18 first-party PS4 titles for download to PlayStation online service subscribers. It’s a great freebie for anyone playing PlayStation online, and a good entry point for anyone new to Sony features like “The Last of Us.”

Ryan said he expects up to four years of life expectancy for the PlayStation 4, which makes sense given the console’s large footing base. The PlayStation 2 was around 13 years old, and developers continued to support it several years after the PlayStation 3 approached its middle age.

“The PS4 community will be very important to us for three or four years,” Ryan said. “A lot of people will move to PS5, and hopefully if we do our job well, tens of millions will still be subscribers to PS4.”

Sony has also expressed an increased interest in bringing games to the PC, as we saw earlier this year in “Death Stranding” and “Horizon: Zero Dawn” releases. Sony is also pushing its brands and personalities into movies and TV shows, with Tom Holland’s “Uncharted” car and HBO’s “The Last of Us” show.

“The vision is that while we deeply respect PlayStation’s primacy as the primary resting place for the great intellectual property of the games we own, we believe it is time to explore IP expansion,” said Ryan. “We think both steps are quite logical and rational for us to take. We must make the IP work even more difficult as an acquisition tool for the PlayStation community.”

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