Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan has said he is frustrated by the way original PlayStation games are “closed” to their current audience of console models of tens of millions of gamers.
In a keynote address at GI Live: London, the PlayStation boss said that he aspired to reach hundreds of millions of gamers and compete with the reach of movies and music.
“I look forward to PlayStation 5, and I truly believe that the PlayStation 5 will be Sony’s biggest, best and most loved PlayStation yet. I hope that happens, ”Ryan said when asked about his hopes for the future.
“I’d also like to see a world where tens of millions of people can enjoy the games we create on PlayStation. Perhaps hundreds of millions of people. Right now, the success with the current console model, a huge PlayStation hit, is talking about ten to 20 million people being able to play that game. “
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He continued: “We are talking about games that are compared to music, we are talking about games that are compared to movies. Music and movies can be enjoyed by an almost unlimited audience. And I think that part of the art that our studios are doing is one of the best entertainment that has been made anywhere in the world.
“And catching the audience for the wonderful art, the wonderful entertainment that our studios are doing… catching 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. “
Ryan’s comments are surprising considering Sony’s publicly stated commitment to console exclusives. In the past year, it has softened its focus on PC, with some notable games already released on PC and more planned, but it is also strongly suggested that this will be limited to titles from the previous catalog.
PlayStation isn’t pushing streaming as much as its console competitor Microsoft, which allows its users to play Xbox games streamed to mobile devices, PCs, or older consoles via the cloud, either.
The company hasn’t released many mobile games either, though Ryan has said that PlayStation plans to bring some of its “iconic IP” to mobile devices during its current business year ending in March 2022.
Speaking to VGC after the GI Live: London session, journalist Christopher Dring, the man who interviewed Jim Ryan, said he was also intrigued by the executive’s comments and speculated that they could indicate an increase in PC launches in the future.
“Our talk with Jim Ryan this week was about his time working with Sony, to give an idea of who the person who runs PlayStation is. It was a different kind of interview, but there were some interesting ideas about what might come next, “he said.
“I was also interested in your comments at the end on how to turn a successful PlayStation game from a 20 or 30 million seller to something that could potentially go up to 100 million. His comments are actually not much different from what many game bosses are talking about today. Xbox is also eager to reach the next billion gamers.
“The question is how are they going to do it? With Microsoft, there is a lot of focus on subscriptions and streaming. PlayStation is doing those things too, but it’s more focused on selling consoles and entering new markets. Both are also releasing more PC games in an effort to reach more fans, and they are enjoying a lot of success through that.
“Making games more accessible and inclusive, in every sense of those words, may turn out to be something that defines this generation. That will probably mean different games, it could mean boosting PS Now or PS Plus. It could mean bringing more titles to PC.
“We will have to wait and see how that will play out, and I look forward to speaking with the Sony team again about how they plan to turn future games into something that can do the kind of numbers that Jim hopes one day.” paste.”
In an interview on the PlayStation Blog published in June, PlayStation Studios director Herman Hulst said that the platform’s owner was “still early in our planning for PC,” but that his PlayStation consoles would always be the priority for new releases.
For several years, Microsoft has released its Xbox Games Studios titles simultaneously on PC and console platforms.
This summer, Xbox boss Phil Spencer blasted the PlayStation PC launch strategy in a rare dig at the rival platform’s headline.
During a briefing for the media and analysts, the executive criticized “others” who bring console games to the PC, stating that they were releasing PC versions “years later” and “loading [players] for the second time”.