Sony’s Yoshida; PS4’s Success Is “Ironic In A Sense”


According to Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida the success of the PS4 is “ironic in a sense”. The President of Sony Computer Entertainment stated this in an interview with Eurogamer.


Yesterday Sony celebrated the 20th anniversary of Playstation in Europe and the UK and to celebrate Yoshida made a trip to UK’s greatest gaming event, the EGX 2015.

It’s a known fact that Sony’s PS4 is selling like hotcakes. Almost 2 years after its release, the console has sold more than 25 million units – in comparison, it took the Playstation 2 more than 2.5 years to sell 20 million units. The success of the PS4 has even amazed Sony. Back in August last year, Yoshida talked with Eurogamer as well, and revealed to be a bit nervous.

It's just beyond our imagination. We are so happy. But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what's happening. You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right? It defied the conventional thinking. Lots of people thought the dedicated game hardware might not be needed going forward, but still lots of people are very excited. When you see the new games coming out and being announced this E3 and Gamescom, I think there's a good enough reason for a gamer to believe this is something worth investing in.

In comparison to last-gen, Sony seems to be making more deals with third-party developers. Good examples are recent deals with Activision for Blacks Ops III and Destiny. On top of that, they also seem to have scored the marketing deal with EA for the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront. Sony is doing well and the support from third-parties reflect this. Although Yoshida agrees that the PS4 is doing well, he does state that it depends on how you look at things. "Well, it depends on how you look at things. Typically - it's ironic in a sense, When a platform's doing really well, studio side kind of struggles. It probably has some relationship to these two things. When a platform's doing well, third-parties support it more. So from a pure software standpoint, there'll be more competition”, Yoshida said.

This statement seems to be on point as the PS4 is lacking fresh first-party titles this year. During Sony’s annual investor conference, Sony CEO Andre House said that the company is working hard to make sure that enough quality games will see the light on the PS4:

We are working very hard to continue very strong support from third-party publishers and developers. Our first-party lineup is a little sparse this year so I think this places an even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support.

In the recent Eurogamer interview Yoshida adds, that Sony’s own games become more prominent, when the platform is not doing so well:

When the platform's not doing so well, our games become more prominent, and we get larger market share within the same platform. Because we continue to support the PS3, in the launch year of the PS4 we had The Last of Us and Gran Turismo 6 and Beyond and so on, many games, we were still working hard. We're just head-down, focused on delivering the games for the near future. We're happy with how it's going, and we're excited about welcoming PlayStation VR. From a delivering games standpoint, we have work to do. People constantly ask us for the big exclusive triple-A games.

I guess Yoshida is on point right there. Success means a lot of third party support and thereby increased competition on their own platform. On the other hand, when a platform isn’t doing well, own games become more important.

Quite ironic indeed.