Andrew House Talks on the Future of PS4, PS Vita and PS3, and Redefining the Added Value of Consoles
With the release of the PS4 getting nearer by the day, Sony Computer Entertainment President Andrew House is gradually showing his cards for the future of the PlayStation Brand. Recently he added more pieces to the puzzle during an interview on the Japanese Tech Site AV Watch.
Here’s a summary of the most relevant points he made:
- Sony Computer Entertainment’s Current aim is “redefining the added value of dedicated game consoles”
- Reviewing the reactions of the users from North American and Europe during E3 House thinks there’s a possibility to expand consoles not only as devices for core games, but also as a wider form of entertainment.
- As shown during the presentation at Tokyo Game Show, the future House envisions isn’t one in which consoles are pitched against smartphones, but one where there’s a “fusion” between the two.
- When the PS3 was introduced, it was an excellent gaming console plus a Blu-ray player. Sony has been working hard on the PlayStation Network towards having a console that is an entertainment device with purposes wider than games. In particular, video delivery services are being established in the west, while Japan is still a bit behind there.
- In the US live sport broadcasting has become very important, while in Europe consoles have changed from devices one uses alone, to devices one can enjoy with the family in the living room watching TV shows.
- Sony wants to be one of the players delivering video contents, according to the “One Sony” philosophy, and thanks to the content offered by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
- A visible shift in business models has appeared in the market: increasing profits by selling additional content and providing added value with membership services. Sony plans to work earnestly on the latter starting with the PS4.
- The future hardware platform strategy of Sony Computer Entertainment is considering the PlayStation Platforms as one.
- Within that strategy differences between countries and cultures will be considered in order to present the the strongest platform as possible in each region.
- That’s why for instance the New PCH-2000 PS Vita is being introduced only in Japan for the moment. The point is introducing each hardware at the best time and in the best way to suit each region.
- Having further different models based on the PS Vita’s hardware and operating system (like the Vita TV), is not to be excluded, but the Vita TV needs to be successful first.
- Considering future business, the PSN is to be seen as the center hub that links everything. While Hardware is still important, rather than sell hardware alone, it’s crucial to increase the points of contact through the PSN itself.
- It’s also good to have a different range of products linked with each other through the PSN with different price points to serve different user segments: if one wants a state-of-the-art gaming experience, he’ll choose the PS4. If one doesn’t want to spend a lot of money but is also interested in video services, he can get the PS Vita TV.The customers in the middle have the chance to get a PS3.
- Sony is striving to offer a similar experience across different platforms, including mobile, with the Sony Entertainment Network. Being able to enjoy the same data with the same account is a large progress even in the looks of the user interface. House thinks that things were too disconnected in the past but now they’re coming together.
- House thinks that PlayStation Mobile needs to be strengthened as a platform to introduce indie developers to working on PS Vita, PS3 and PS4 content. In addition to that, the challenge is to evolve it so that it capitalizes on the strength of the PSN community.
It’s important to mention that AV Watch is a site that bases most of its coverage on Audio/Video content and devices, so it’s normal for the interview to focus a lot on that. That said, considering the various PlayStation devices as one platform centered around the PSN and connected through it is probably a good move, as it gives users different levels of involvement with the brand, and compels them to expand in time.