Sony has finally started talking about the PlayStation 5 publicly. With the spec reveal by Mark Cerny and the reveal of the DualSense controller, the PS5 is being revealed slowly. And soon, we’ll finally get our first real taste of what games on PS5 look and play like. But before next week’s announcement, Sony Interactive Ent. President Jim Ryan had a lot to say about the highly anticipated announcement.
“The numbers are quite straightforward. If you say in broad-brush figures that we have a community of 100 million PS4 owners right now, and in the first couple of years… I don’t know, somewhere between 15 and 25 million might migrate to PS5, that still leaves a huge number of people with PS4s. And that community is demonstrating an amazing stickiness, and willingness to stay engaged that, I think, the events of the past few months have just reinforced what we knew already.”
With an already large player base on PS4, Sony would do well with going the Microsoft route for supporting both new and old players on the current and next-gen consoles. However, Ryan said that they’re taking a more conventional approach in order to truly tap into the next-gen’s potential.
“We have always said that we believe in generations. We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.”
A lot of that will come from the work by PlayStation Studios, a worldwide umbrella under which new PlayStation exclusives will be made. In fact, Sony has already started talking to developers about making all upcoming PS4 games be compatible with PS5.
We also saw the potential power of the PS5 with the Unreal Engine 5 demo, on which Ryan had the following to say:
“I think, to the extent that the technology enables the graphics side of it to become more interesting and life-like, [the games] will become slightly more human intensive and capital intensive to produce,” Ryan notes. “So yes, we think there probably will be an increase in development budgets. We don’t see it as being a massive increase, and that’s why we want to do more faster than we have ever done before, to provide a fertile install base for people who make games to be able to monetize against. If we can keep pace with a likely increase in development costs, then the industry can continue to prosper.”
Jim Ryan also touched on the value proposition that the PS5 will bring. Although we still don’t know how much it will cost, Ryan maintains that delivering quality games will be the main priority.
“I think the best way that we can address this is by providing the best possible value proposition that we can. I don’t necessarily mean lowest price. Value is a combination of many things. In our area it means games, it means number of games, depth of games, breadth of games, quality of games, price of games… all of these things and how they avail themselves of the feature set of the platform.”
For more information and context regarding the SIE head’s quotes, you can read the full interview over at GamesIndustry. Suffice it to say that the wait for PS5’s reveal will be worth it, or so we hope. Rumors have pointed to the event showcasing PS5 games running in real-time on the hardware, and I really hope Sony’s first party studios are up to the challenge of showing truly next-gen visuals.
The PlayStation 5 reveal event will take place on June 4th. Be sure to check back on this space for more coverage regarding the next-gen games and the console itself.