‘The PS4 is the culmination of many hard lessons we learned.’
A long time ago, Sony and PlayStation were unassailable- the original PlayStation had been a trailblazing console, and the PlayStation 2 might go down in history as one of the most successful products in any industry, of all time.
But then something changed- maybe the success got to Sony, maybe Sony misread the market, no one knows. But Sony stumbled, and the PlayStation 3 launched and sunk, thanks to Sony’s ineptness in handling it. Sony spent the next seven years trying to recover, and with the PlayStation 4, they seem to be back on track.
Jack Tretton was SCEA’s leading man for over a decade. He no longer works there, but he did reflect on his time there in a recent interview with Polygon. Here is what he especially had to say about the PS3 and PS4 launches:
“PlayStation 3 was the biggest and boldest leap in technology and may have been too aggressive initially,” Tretton said. “The production challenges and costs proved to be a major challenge.”
“Microsoft executed a great generation of hardware,” Tretton said. “The Nintendo Wii ushered in millions of new gamers and caught everyone by surprise.”
He did say that all three systems were successful in the end- which is probably right, and holds more true for the last generation than any other generation yet.
“Ultimately, all three platforms enjoyed success and gamers had more choice and innovation than any previous generation had offered,” Tretton said.
Having said all of that, he also believes that all the hard learned lessons with the PS3 are what led to the PS4’s successful launch.
“PlayStation 4 was the culmination of many hard lessons learned,” Tretton said. “Lots of consumer insights were applied. The software development community was brought in early and the production and distribution strategy was aggressive.”
It helps when a company learns from its mistakes. Here is hoping Sony don’t make any more, and that Microsoft and Nintendo both learn from theirs- this industry is the best when all three consoles are thriving.