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Sony PlayStation boss Jim Ryan is moving past console wars



Playstation’s competition goes far beyond its gaming rivals, Sony PlayStation chief Jim Ryan told Axios.

Why it matters: With entertainment converging on every screen imaginable, old differences between games, movies, streaming and even social media are becoming less relevant.

  • “We are an entertainment company with a community of more than 100 million players with truly extraordinary levels of commitment and dedication,” Ryan told Axios when asked how he defines PlayStation and its competition.
  • “I would say unequivocally that we are competing for leisure time and that any definition of competition must extend far beyond the boundaries of what is traditionally defined as gambling,”
    ; he said.

The big picture: Sony complemented its grand and largely successful launch of the PS5 in November with news this spring that it plans to expand its key franchises to at least 10 new movies and shows.

Sony’s PS5 console has started hot in the first seven months, but market leaders in previous video game console generations have struggled or outright failed in the subsequent ones, something Sony is doing its best to avoid.

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

Sony’s biggest PlayStation challenge does not seem to make games for PS5, but get consoles for customers.

  • The company says it sent a record 7.8 million PS5s by the end of March, but demand is high, production is under pressure from chip shortages and consoles are hard to find.
  • “This really frustrates me and upsets me, especially when dealers and bots manage to grab stock,” Ryan said.
  • Sony is “working incredibly hard” with retail partners to get PS5s in “the right hands”, he said, pointing to Sony’s own distribution service, “PlayStation Direct” as a way to help. This US program will be extended to Europe by the end of March 2022.

Sony is also targeting a mobile expansion, as it joins other console gaming power plants in need of the larger mobile market. It will soon have something to show there, teased Ryan.

  • “The idea here is that our IP portfolio is in such a strong state right now, it seems perverse to limit the enjoyment of it to our existing PlayStation community,” Ryan said.
  • Sony noted an opening for a PlayStation Mobile boss earlier this year. When asked about the state of this role and whether Sony would focus on acquiring studio or developing expertise internally to manufacture mobile games, Ryan said: “We are working on a range of models to open mobile. You will see the first fruits of this faster than you might think. ”

PlayStation got news in December last year for a game it decided not to sell. In December, it removed the much-anticipated but surprisingly buggy third-party game “Cyberpunk 2077.”

  • “This was a tough decision for us to make, but in the end we had to act in the interest of PlayStation Community and not deliberately sell a game that could result in a bad experience for them,” Ryan said.
  • Sales of the game have suffered, its studio, CD Project, has said. The studio is in ongoing discussion with Sony to bring it back.
  • Ryan offered no details on 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 the PlayStation has expanded overall.

  • Sony’s next, big promotional game, “Horizon Forbidden West” is officially a maybe for a 2021 release.
  • Of the many TV and video projects, the first major is probably an “Uncharted” film, expected to be released in February next year.

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