If PS4 Failed 'It Could've Been the End' for PlayStation, According to Former Exec

If PS4 Failed 'It Could've Been the End' for PlayStation, According to Former Exec - News

by William 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."

PS3 Phat

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."

Thanks VideoGameChronicles.


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 wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


More Articles

12 Comments

TallSilhouette (on 02 August 2020)

Thank God for Knack.


Signalstar (on 02 August 2020)

Yeah coming off the costly PS3 and the non-starter Vita, the PS4 had to be a home run for Sony or else...


Wman1996 (on 02 August 2020)

Yup. PS3 lost Sony billions. Vita was sold at a loss and expected to recoup costs in 3 years after its launch. The Vita never took off, especially in America.


  • +4
snyps (on 03 August 2020)

We gamers (even the non-Sony ones) knew the PlayStation was here to stay. Great story from the eyes of the people doing the battle. Definitely a humble approach at the launch of PS4 - and thank goodness for that. Microsoft (as much as I love em) got one hint of success and went wasay off the deep end. Got to give it to Sony on this one, I don't play their games but man they did it right. (I'm personally impressed with their safe and successful approach to VR) Can't wait to see what they do next.


Cerebralbore101 (on 03 August 2020)

PS3 is what happens when you waste your development and production budget on gimmicks or senseless add-ons. Wii U, PS3, and XB1 were all way too expensive for what they were. We can thank Tablet Controllers, Blu-Ray, and Kinect for that. Good consoles don't let gimmicks jack the price up to an unreasonable amount. Wii and Switch are both successful in part because they are affordable despite whatever gimmicks they may have.


DonFerrari (on 03 August 2020)

He didn't define what would be considered a failure, but it is very obvious that depending on how you call them failure would mean the end of it, as is for most products.


PAOerfulone (on 03 August 2020)

Sometimes you gotta fall flat on your ass and fail hard so it can be the prelude to far greater success.


Azzanation (on 03 August 2020)

Too many overesimated PS3s success based off Hardware sales ignoring the massive bleeding it caused for Sony.


siebensus4 (on 03 August 2020)

It's more like Microsoft and Nintendo completely messed things up with Xbox One and Wii U instead of Sony made everything right with PS4. Sony was a bit lucky this gen, or in other words they made fewer mistakes. Nintendo already learned from their Wii U mistakes and if Microsoft also have made their lessons (which I expect), Sony will have a hard competition with PS5, no matter how good their console is. The success of a console doesn't only depend on your own work. If your competitors mess things up you just can't lose.


Azzanation (on 03 August 2020)

This isnt a dig at Sony but they have played it safe with all but one console in the PS3. PS2 gained the same success similar to PS4 with competitors failing to impress. GC and Dreamcast were PS2s closest rivals and they couldn't even sell well let alone compete and i loved the GC.


  • -4
Signalstar (on 03 August 2020)

By the same token you could say the only reason the Wii and Xbox 360 performed so well was because of Sony's mistakes with the PS3.


  • +3
Azzanation (on 03 August 2020)

Exacty Signalstar


  • 0