When Sony launches the PlayStation 4 later this year, the company's big challenge will be shipping the hardware as fast as it sells. That's according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan, speaking with Metro at Gamescom last week. Ryan first broached the subject when asked if Sony would be launching its own promotion to counter Microsoft's deal with EA to give away copies of FIFA 14 with every Xbox One preorder in Europe.
"Why should we do that," Ryan asked. "Our problem is gonna be matching supply to demand. It's perfectly rational when a platform holder, or indeed a publisher, runs a pre-order campaign to engage in promotional behaviour to dial it up if you feel it's not where you need it to be. That's a rational thing for any businessman to do."
Ryan noted that Sony was happy with its current figures, adding that company has halted preorders for launch-day systems and consumers are now reserving hardware for subsequent shipments.
"So why would we go out and add something," Ryan asked. "Giving away stuff on day one of a new platform launch, in my mind it's kind of odd."
At the moment, Sony is just ramping up factory production on PS4 systems. The problem, if there's going to be one at all, would be "driven by demand being greater than we thought rather than inadequacy of supply," Ryan said.
Ryan also commented on Sony's public push to get indie games on the PS4. While such titles may not sell as well as their AAA counterparts, Ryan said the strategy should have some very clear benefits to the bottom line. He pointed to Thatgamecompany's trio of PS3 games, flOw, Flower, and Journey, saying they have been unquestionably "platform enhancing"
"They've certainly repaid whatever financial investment we made in them, those boxes are ticked," Ryan said. "But I would argue that those games have achieved breakout, and have really worked and worked well to improve the credibility and overall attractiveness of the PS3 platform. Indeed to the extent that we're sticking them on a Blu-ray disc and selling them in the stores. Not all of those other indie games are going to achieve that, and some will just go to establishing a critical mass of credible indie games. But you will get breakout with one or two, and they will do that."