Sony's Shuhei Yoshida: Gamers and Developers will Guide PS4 To The Right Place; "Humbled" by Feedback
Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida holds consumers and developers in high consideration, and feels that they’ll provide guidance to evolve the PlayStation 4 platform to a successful future, as he explained during an extremely interesting chat with the console’s Lead Architect Mark Cerny held recently at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
Cerny Asked Yoshida-san what he thinks of the strategy put in action with the PS4, that placed developers and gamers front and center.
We were working with the belief that we wanted to make PS4 really easy for developers to work on. We wanted to change a lot of things from the PS3 days, because we are consumers as well.
It was really when we prepared for the announcement event in February, that we got together and really looked at ourselves and thought “this is what we’ve been doing” in terms of the five principles that we used. So we didn’t…
Cerny then stepped in, mentioning that they went on instinct for five years, and didn’t codify the principles behind the PS4 until they had to actually explain them to the world.
Yoshida-san added in turn that it made sense to them because that was they were doing, and luckily it resonated very well with the consumers.
At the same time I found myself in the position to be the one on the forefront to the consumers and every day I get great feedback from consumers. Every morning is a humbling experience.
All the features that they want on PS4… they believe that all the features that existed on PS3 should be there on day one on PS4, even though the architecture is very different and the system software guys have to make all the features one by one, so we still have a lot of work to do, but as long as we continue to talk with the consumers, I think… because there are lots of consumers, there are many people, and we can find great ideas… so as long as we continue to talk with developers including our own teams and third party developers, I think they will guide us to the right place.
Considering how much time we see Yoshida-san spending on Twitter to respond to our complaints and receive our feedback, his words definitely ring true, and it’s definitely refreshing to see an executive of his level keeping such an open and grounded channel of communication with his customers.
As an added bonus, the panel also included a funny and interesting detail: in order to get his first PlayStation devkit, Mark Cerny actually went ahead and broke the rules. He signed the papers for the application on behalf of Crystal Dynamics, but he actually didn’t have signing approval, so he took a personal risk in doing so. That’s definitely a history-defining moment. Had Cerny decided not to sign these papers, the history of the PlayStation brand could have been very different.