Sony’s Fergal Gara Says U.S. “Best Suited” For Testing and Evolving PS4

Sony’s Fergal Gara Says U.S. “Best Suited” For Testing and Evolving PS4

During an interview with Eurogamer, Sony’s UK boss Fergal Gara was questioned on why PS3-streaming via Gaikai on the PS4 will be U.S.-only next year (at least for the time being). Gara responded:

It’s exciting and embryonic technology, and we expect it to play an important part in our future, but it’s early days. So to say, right, here we go, bang, at global launch it’s perfect, we know we got it right, would be pretty presumptuous at this stage with such nascent technology.

So if you’re going to bring something to market, slowly test it, evolve it, change it, pick the market where the technology and infrastructure is best suited. The US ticks those boxes. That’s where the guys are and that’s where the broadband is most consistent and most ready and willing.

But we know and expect it will be exciting and revolutionary. So the time to mature the product and take it global will follow. We’ll see what the pace of adoption is. We’ll see what the feedback we get is, and therefore how much work needs to be done.

I take great assurance that it’s on the radar. It shows how PlayStation is becoming more of a brand and a service than just a box. In 1995 we were a box. In 2013 we’re a set of boxes that connect together in interesting ways. In 2015 we’ll be with and without boxes and on many more multiple devices. That’s appropriate to the brand and exciting.

So I don’t think we should feel offended or put out. It’ll grow and evolve from that launch. I expect it to be a relatively soft-ish launch, experimental, and we’ll evolve it, and then think wider.

When asked whether he thinks Sony could come out on top in the UK, where Xbox 360’s outsold PS3’s an estimated 4:1 ratio, Gara had this to say:

This format war, if you want to call it that, is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re coming out of the blocks in a strong position, but we’re conscious that is no-where close to job done, and we have to continually improve the proposition, proving what PS4 represents.

We’ve got a bit of history of doing that. To have a 16 month disadvantage and actually get any market share in the current generation, which is a very connected generation where friends get friends, took a lot of hard graft. Winning Europe and winning Japan despite that big disadvantage… globally we might even be ahead. They’re both big numbers with different regional polarisations, but you’re right, we are behind in the UK and that is not acceptable.

You’ve got to start good and keep on your toes. PS4 is a platform that can and will evolve. It will be great on day one but it will be far better in year two and year three as expectations rise and ideas are generated and these new tools are executed. That’s the way to win. And obviously the gameplay and the core experiences are hugely pivotal to that. They are going to start really strong, but they have to continue to grow and continue to improve.

For more on Gara’s thoughts on the PS4, read the full interview on Eurogamer.