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PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan is committed to making PS5 more successful than PS4



Over the past few weeks, PlayStation Director Jim Ryan has received more emails than usual.

From the moment the PS5 is sold out (within a few minutes), someone has clamored to buy one on the launch day, and who can help them get one better than the person in charge? This is not surprising. Ryan has always been committed to releasing all PlayStations, and he is used to it.

But what surprised the PlayStation CEO was the type of people who sent the email.

Ryan said: “Since the booking started, I will open my inbox every day to receive a very exciting and heart-wrenching email from many people.” “But many people come from the mid-1

950s, They said they have been PlayStation gamers since 1995 and they asked us to help them master PS5.

“With PS4, we stand out from a very boring PS3 platform… Now, we start with 100 million gamers”

“It’s amazing to me that so many people write to me. It really makes me back. It shows that the demographic age distribution is rapidly expanding in every generation. At the same time, I received E-mails from the younger generation. Gamers who often write beautifully… better than 53-year-old gamers. Their enthusiasm, interest and excitement for PlayStation is like older people becoming fathers or even grandfathers same.”

It’s not that Ryan is proud of the huge popularity of the PlayStation brand; in fact, this is part of the discussion about how PlayStation 5 can beat PlayStation 4, which has now sold nearly 114 million consoles worldwide. Sony’s Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said on the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call that the company is “committed” to surpassing what the PS4 has achieved. This is not an easy task.

Ryan’s anecdote about the inbox highlights the opportunities he sees for different age groups to play on PlayStation. But I still use my own words to refute his story. I’m in my 30s. All my friends who played Metal Gear Solid and Crash Bandicoot in my youth are now busy with careers and kids. As a result, few people even consider using PlayStation 5.

Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation

Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation

The phenomenon of people “aging” on game consoles is a very real phenomenon in my world. This may be one of the reasons why the game console industry has not had a large audience growth in the past 20 years.

“First of all, I think-this is hypothetical-but maybe some people in their 50s [who emailed me] It is true that we have been trained for a few years in the children and growing up, and then come back to us when they have more time and money,” Ryan suggested, “Many of these reasons are due to their stickiness and tribal nature. The community we created. This sense of community may not have the same degree. It does exist, but to allow more two partners to sit on the sofa and play FIFA together, by definition, this requires physical proximity and therefore more difficult to organize.

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PS5 will be released next month

“We have data to support this-today, the networked nature of entertainment makes the community more viscous and homogeneous. The concept of viscosity is that once it is stuck, it is difficult to unravel. This may Let us have the opportunity to retain those who may not have been in the past.”

We have been talking about how PS5 surpasses PS4, but the installation base is actually an outdated method of judging console performance. If we only measure success by installation volume, then PlayStation’s PS2 reached its peak ten years ago.

“It has become more subtle,” Ryan agreed. “For example, at a reference point, we sold a lot of PS2s, but many of them are priced at $99, and the format is very pirated. The current indicator is the degree of interaction, which can obviously be judged from two aspects: the number of people interacting with you, And the amount of time everyone interacts with you.

“In terms of the number of people we think might be in contact with PS5, we are getting more and more optimistic. First of all, because we did not stand firm from the beginning like PS4, when we came out of a very boring PS3 platform, the community The level of network connectivity between them is very low. Now we are starting with 100 million gamers, and we hope they can transition to PS5 very, very quickly. We hope PlayStation 5 can start very early.

“The work we did with female protagonists, we found that the presence of female population in the PlayStation community has increased”

“The second point is that PS5 has been built as a network device, and its functions come from the past six or seven years of experience, aiming to provide online game players with better, richer, deeper, faster, and more seamless online games. Experience. I’m sure you have seen [PS5] UX unveiling-it’s difficult to do it remotely, but I think they did a good job. All the adjectives I used earlier were kept in mind when designing UX. “

The installed base is not the only measure of PlayStation 5 success, but it is obviously important. The goal of PS5 is still to surpass PS4, which will be a challenge. PS4 may have been launched with the support of the disappointing PS3, but it was launched at the same time as the direct competitors of Microsoft and Nintendo were in trouble.

Ryan said the expanding demographics and the “stickiness” of the PlayStation experience are one way to attract more customers. But there are other opportunities.

He said: “We have done a lot of work with the female protagonist in the game, we will definitely see this resonance, and lead to an increase in the female population in the PlayStation community.” “Then the obvious geographical environment. PS4 generation. People see that we have made great progress in Germany and the Middle East, and I think there will be further progress in both areas. But again, I think Asia (outside Japan)-has great potential for us. And Latin America for us Has great potential.”

The geographic scope of PlayStation has been very strong. The brand occupies an important position in markets (including parts of Eastern Europe) that its competitors have hardly encountered. This is an advantage to be fully utilized in the business plan.

Ryan continued: “When I was in charge of European affairs, we had a clear template to open up the market.” “Some markets opened faster than others. Germany took some time, but we got there. The Middle East, Some of these areas are very difficult, but we got there. Having a very capable field team, their business is simple but concentrated, and proper investment in the brand and proper marketing can quickly generate considerable benefits.

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Sony announced that it will acquire Insomniac last year

“Especially Latin America can be very difficult. Currency, import tariffs…very complicated geopolitical situations in many countries. I won’t pretend it’s going to be easy, but when you look at statistics, its mathematical principles, absolutely It is an opportunity we should seek to take advantage of.”

With the release of PS5 only a few weeks away, many discussions have focused on the future of the platform. This will be a huge launch. Ryan reiterated the fact that the number of PS5 released will be more than PS4. “Considering all the issues we have to deal with, this is a huge achievement,” he was referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But PS4 will still become an important platform for some time. There are more than 100 million customers on the device, and recent hits (such as “Our Last Moments: Part Two”) show the audience’s appeal. In fact, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the PS4 installation base is as fascinating as ever. No wonder Sony plans to play several of its upcoming games on both PS4 and PS5.

Ryan said: “Obviously, based on our observations over the past six months, our sights and horizons have been raised for the possibility of the PS4 community.” Ryan said that due to COVID-19, the number of players has increased and locked. “This may be very powerful, because in 2021, 2022… the PS4 community we talked about, during that time, they will become the vast majority of people on PlayStations. It is crucial to keep them involved and I am happy. The last six months have shown that we can do this, so much so that we made up our minds before COVID.”

“I invite anyone to check the launch window lineup of PS4 or PS3 and compare it with the PS5 we will launch. There is no comparison.”

If launching a new console during the pandemic is not difficult enough, then another challenge for PlayStation is competition. Nintendo is currently in a good position, and Xbox has been rapidly buying new studios to ensure that its Game Pass subscription service can attract more customers.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda for $7.5 billion has attracted some attention, but this is actually just headlines for an industry that has been integrated for a while. More and more game companies are beginning to go public and use these funds for acquisitions, while giants such as Microsoft and Tencent have been actively seeking to buy teams. Sony has also been acquiring Spider-Man developer Insomniac for $229 million.

Ryan said it is possible to make more acquisitions, but he eagerly reminds us that Sony’s existing recording studios have grown significantly in the previous generation.

He said: “During the development of this generation, the extent to which we have naturally developed our own game development capabilities may not have been widely appreciated or understood.” “Obviously, acquiring Insomniac’s acquisition is helpful. , It’s great to make them a member of the family. I just want to invite anyone to look at the PS4 generation or PS3 generation’s release window lineup and compare them. There is nothing comparable to what we are about to enter the PS5 equivalent stage Sex.

“This is not the result of spending big money, but the result of very, very steadily and carefully planned organic growth. This is perhaps the best example I have given… I can obviously talk about naughty dogs, but they have been creating outstanding Games. But let’s talk about the Ghost of Tsushima, which is a very pleasant thing in a range that we never thought, and it is certainly a business pleasure, which fully illustrates Sucker Punch Work done on the basis of his previous experience. Work.

“We are lucky to have five or six studios in this category. But this is not lucky because we have been working on this work for many years. Very quietly, in a way that suits PlayStation very well, our studios You are creating something very special. You can make crazy acquisitions, or make planned acquisitions, or you can do it organically.”

With the changes in the industry, the activeness of competitors, the global pandemic, and the worrying economic situation, the arrival of PS5 is a strange moment for the world and the video game business. However, due to the encouraging lineup for the next 12 months and the participation of a group of PS4 players, Ryan remains optimistic about the products that Sony’s new machine will deliver.

He concluded: “It’s really exciting now.” “We are on the verge of collapse. It’s been four to five years for everyone, and it’s great to be so far away from this important moment. You. Knowing that I have done all of this, and this can easily be any of the most unusual moments. Among them.”




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