If PS4 Failed 'It Could've Been the End' for PlayStation, According to Former Exec - NewsWilliam D'Angelo , posted on 02 September 2020 / 1,626 Views
Sony achieved huge success in the gaming market with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, however, they struggled with the PlayStation 3 with it selling far less lifetime than the previous two consoles. Sony was able to turn things around with the PlayStation 4, which has been a huge success for the company.
Former Sony Interactive Entertainment executive Shahid Ahmad in the PlayStation documentary called The PlayStation Revolution discussed the struggles with the PS3 and how it changed the mind set at everyone working at PlayStation.
"PS3 was many things to many different people," he said. "It was definitely a difficult period, because a lot of work had to be done to turn around the technical deficit and the monetary deficit created by the launch of this extraordinary piece of hardware.
"Because it was an extraordinary piece of hardware, but it was also extraordinarily difficult to get the best out of. And people did, and it did eventually turn into a success. but my god was that a war of attrition."
"The PlayStation that emerged at the end of PS3 was a much more gritty, determined, focused entity – and I’m not saying this from a personal perspective, but from a corporate perspective – than the much more hubristic organisation at the beginning of the PS3 era," he added.
Ahmad did say that if the PS4 was a failure it could have meant the end for PlayStation.
"I think even we were surprised by just how rapturous the reception was for PS4, because it was a kind of redemption as well," he said. "We’d been through the fire with PS3 and now everything was on the line. We had to get this right and if we didn’t, it could’ve been the end.
"The strategy was set, the hardware was focused and all that remained was launch and reception. Partners were there, developers were involved – even independent developers were involved in the launch of PS4. The pricing had been set. Decisions about DRM and so on, which had been so controversial in other events, had also been made.
"What we didn’t expect was that it would be such an incredible success, beyond our wildest dreams. But it was the tone with which we communicated the whole thing: 'this is 4 the players.' The entire focus of launch was around players."
The success for the PS4 came down to the changed mind sets at PlayStation, according to Ahmad. At the start of the PS3 the company was arrogant.
"You remember the hubris from the PS3 years? Contrast that with the honesty and self-deprecation of the PS4 launch period, and you can see that the organisation had become transformed to people who were now humble, passionate and excited about this new thing. Battle-worn, but ready to serve again.
"That attitude and spirit all began with the first PlayStation."
A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TrunksWD.