Sony’s boss didn’t expect the Scorpio to be announced so early.
There is a general sense that Microsoft really surprised everyone when they went ahead and announced the Xbox One Scorpio when they did- a year and a half out from release is a long time, after all. Why did Microsoft announce the Scorpio now? They had their reasons, which, according to them, are mostly predicated on them being transparent with their development partners and customers.
But these reasons weren’t known to Sony, naturally- and so, they were taken aback by Microsoft announcing the Scorpio as early as they did. Sony’s Andrew House confirmed as much in an interview with The Guardian.
“I was surprised by the step of announcing something over a year ahead of time,” House said, talking to The Guardian about Scorpio’s reveal. “The dynamics of the tech industry are such that there’s a much heavier emphasis on immediate gratification than there was. A lot of that is to do with how Apple has very cleverly and elegantly managed the ‘available now’ approach. So yes, that was a slight surprise to me.”
He noted that Sony had had a somewhat similar experience in 2013, back when they first announced the PS4.
“We experienced this ourselves,” he continued, “when, in 2013, very much in line with our previous strategies, we announced a concept and a name for PlayStation 4, and everyone said ‘where’s the box? How dare you?!’ That was the point we realized, well, we hadn’t changed but the world around us had.”
He also shared why Sony confirmed the Neo as early as they did- especially when they weren’t planning on talking about their new console at E3.
“The point of confirming the existence of PlayStation 4 Neo and the bare bones of the plan last week was about not disappointing the fan base who would obviously come to E3 with high expectations of all kinds of announcements,” House said. “And from past experience, the worst thing you can do is disappoint and pull the rug away from people. That’s why we went out last week and said, yes, it does exist but don’t expect to see it at E3. I think it was the right thing to do.”
Definitely good on them for being transparent ahead of time, too- it works well to manage expectations, after all. Nintendo did something similar when they announced ahead of time that the NX wouldn’t be at E3 this year.
The PS4 Neo, Xbox One Scorpio, and NX are all slated for release by the end of 2017.