Sony PlayStation boss Jim Ryan ignores the console wars

PlayStation’s competition goes way beyond its gaming rivals, Sony’s PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told Axios.

Why it matters: As entertainment converges on every imaginable screen, old distinctions between the gaming, movie, streaming, and even social media businesses become less important.

  • “We’re an entertainment company with a community of more than 100 million players with really exceptional dedication and dedication,” Ryan told Axios when asked how he defines PlayStation and its competition.
  • “I would say in no uncertain terms that we are competing for leisure and that any definition of competition must go well beyond what has traditionally been defined as gambling,” he said.

The big picture: Sony added to its zippy and largely successful November launch of the PS5 with news that it plans to add at least 10 new films and shows to its main franchises.

Sony’s PS5 console is off to a hot start in the first seven months, but the leaders of earlier generations of video game consoles struggled or failed completely in the following, which Sony is doing its best to avoid.

  • Sony is learning early on from one of the PS4’s few shortcomings, its lack of hot games.
  • “Yes, performance during the PS4 cycle was excellent,” Ryan said, referring to a number of critically acclaimed blockbuster games that were exclusive to Sony’s previous console, “but the vast majority of those games came in the second Half of the cycle. ”
  • Sony ramped up game production for PS5 early on, with several exclusive games at the start, followed by “Returnal” in April and “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart” in June.

Sony’s greatest PlayStation challenge doesn’t seem to make games for the PS5, but rather to bring consoles to customers.

  • The company says it shipped a record 7.8 million PS5s by the end of March, but demand is high, production is being pushed by chip shortages, and consoles are hard to find.
  • “This really frustrates and annoys me, especially when resellers and bots manage to get hold of stock,” said Ryan.
  • Sony is working “incredibly hard” with retail partners to get PS5s in “the right hands,” he said, referring to Sony’s own sales service “PlayStation Direct” to support this. This US program will be expanded to Europe before the end of March 2022.

Sony is also aiming for an expansion to mobile devicesas it joins other console game powerhouses to enter the larger mobile market. It’s going to have something to show there soon, teased Ryan.

  • “The idea here is that our IP portfolio is in such a strong state right now that it seems perverse to limit enjoyment to our existing PlayStation community,” said Ryan.
  • Sony announced a position as a leader of PlayStation Mobile earlier this year. When asked about the status of this role and whether Sony would focus on acquiring studios or developing in-house expertise to develop mobile games, Ryan said, “We are working on a number of models to open the cell phone. You will see the first fruits of it sooner than you might think. “

PlayStation made news last December for a game it chose not to sell it. In December, the eagerly anticipated but surprisingly buggy third-party game “Cyberpunk 2077” was removed from the list.

  • “This was a tough decision for us, but in the end we had to act in the interests of the PlayStation community and not knowingly sell a game that could lead to a bad experience for them,” said Ryan.
  • Sales of the game have suffered, said his studio CD project. The studio is in ongoing talks with Sony to bring it back.
  • Ryan didn’t reveal any details about what it will take for the game to return.

What’s next: After “Ratchet & Clank”, the future of the PS5 is a little less clear, but PlayStation will expand strongly overall.

  • Sony’s next major advertised game, Horizon Forbidden West, is officially a game that may be out in 2021.
  • Of these multiple TV and video projects, the first big one is likely to be an “Uncharted” film, slated for release next February.

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