This is one of those rare times in the history of the gaming industry where three viable platforms exist, and each of them has carved their own path. Sony has the PlayStation 4, a console that sells on the back of having an amazing lineup of multiplatform games and exclusives alike, and being the ultimate realization of the traditional view of the console.
Nintendo has the Switch, a hybrid handheld and console platform that sells off the back of great indie games, Japanese games, mid budget games, and Nintendo’s own exclusives. Microsoft has the Xbox One, which sells off the back of their amazing services and initiatives, as well as the Xbox One X’s sheer power.
At this point, then, in a sense, everyone is doing well and everyone is winning. And that’s the view that Sony’s Shawn Layden, who heads Sony Worldwide Studios, holds as well. In an interview with Business Insider, Layden noted the achievements of Microsoft and Nintendo in expanding the gaming market, pointing out that all three companies are in the business of expanding the reach of the medium together, and that he hopes that the console war, zero sum rhetoric of fans will come to an end.
“I’m hoping that we’ve changed the conversation from ‘competing platforms’ or, you know, which console won the holiday, or which platform won E3 and just look at what we’re all bringing to the video game industry from our different perspectives,” Layden said.
“I think Nintendo’s doing wonderful things with Switch, and the platform. And it’s sort of blurring the lines between what’s at home gaming, what’s on-the-go gaming.
“But also I think Xbox has really raced with us on how we’re pushing the bar out on technology and quality. And what they’ve done recently with their introduction of an adaptive controller, to increase accessibility in gaming, is a wonderful innovation. I hope to see more across the industry in support of that.
”We’ve been working with accessibility issues quite heavily for quite some time, particularly with Naughty Dog Studios and what they’ve done with giving gamers a variety of settings changes you can put into their games, depending on what your particular abilities are.
“So I think as an industry, we all move forward. And, I for one, am gonna stop talking about using phrases like competitive platform, because I think we’re all supporting and leading an entertainment revolution of gaming. You know, all hands to the till. We’re all in this together.”
It’s good to hear that Layden recognizes the importance of having all three platforms in the industry. In the end, we are all human, and have our own personal preferences for what we like and dislike—but if any one of the three were to bow out, the gaming industry would be poorer.
Now if only Layden could also follow through on this sentiment and actually allow full, unified cross-platform play…