Jim Ryan, the Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO, has spoken about his humble beginnings and his strategy for helping PlayStation titles reach a wider audience.
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In a 20 minute interview at GI Live London, Ryan spoke about his hopes for PlayStation in the future. Being with the company since before the original PlayStation was launched, Ryan hopes that as the PS5 pushes gaming further with the latest hardware, that it will eventually become more successful than the PS2, the best-selling console of all time.
“I really believe the PlayStation 5 will be Sony’s biggest and best and most loved PlayStation yet. I hope that will happen,” said Ryan.
He revealed that he thinks successful releases on current generation hardware will sell ten – 20 million copies, and compared these figures to that of the music or film industry, where almost everyone has access to the media.
“We’re talking about games stacking up against music, we’re talking about games stacking up against movies. Music and movies, they can be enjoyed by almost limitless audiences.
“I think some of the art that our studios are making is some of the finest entertainment that has been made anywhere in the world,” Ryan continued. “And to kind-of gate the audience for the wonderful art, wonderful entertainment that our studios are making… to gate the audience for that at 20 or 30 million frustrates me. I would love to see a world where hundreds of millions of people can enjoy those games.”
While Ryan neglected to discuss PlayStation’s strategy to reach this larger audience, he did reminisce on the strategies which made the PS2 so successful, with his territory, Europe, being the key to its achievement.
“We opened up markets that had never had any gaming culture ever. Middle East… people had never played games before PlayStation in the Middle East. Russia had a tiny gaming industry before PlayStation. Spain had a very small gaming industry before PlayStation. So we really pushed the envelope geographically.”
While competitor Microsoft has been heavy in promoting streaming with Xbox Game Pass to create an affordable way for players to access games even without a Microsoft console, PlayStation is less eager to promote its PlayStation Now service.
Instead the Sony franchise has been focusing on acquiring studios to develop more AAA titles. It currently owns 17 studios including Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studios, with Ryan’s favourite game of the current-gen being Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
In other news, a YouTuber has shown footage of Metroid Dread running on a PC emulator one day before its official release. The emulator upgrades the graphics to 4K and runs the game at an uncapped framerate.