PS4 challenge will be meeting demand, says Sony

Sony Europe head Jim Ryan questions "odd" Xbox One FIFA promotion, defends bottom line benefit of indie push

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."

More stories

Sony takes $400 million stake in Bilibili

PlayStation maker picks up almost 5% of Chinese video and mobile game company

By Brendan Sinclair

The Last of Us Part 2, Iron Man VR delayed "indefinitely"

Update: PlayStation issues automatic refunds for digital pre-orders of both games

By Rebekah Valentine

Latest comments (4)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 6 years ago
SEGA and Nintendo were nuts. Why They launched thir first system with two games each!! Insanity!
I seem to remember the PS2 launch, where, if Rumors at the time were to be believed, Sony forced a 1:1 purchase ratio of FantaVision, causing retailers to force its purchase with the console launch day.

FIFAs inclusion, and presumably Madden in the US (something that has to wait another month or so to announce) helps encouragepurchases in a traditionally softer Zone for Microsoft, blunts the $100 price difference (which be subsidized in the future). It has the secondary use of introducing a lot of people to the concept of buying download games. So there's lts of reasons to do this.

Sony's biggest concern is that in their zeal, they've overextended their ability to produce launch consoles. I'm not saying they have, but it seems to me that they let them go too long as it is, and that since we know they didn't start manufacturing in earnest till Mayish, that at best they'll squeak by providing launch systems to those who preorder them. And I hope they succeed

The big problem in my opinion , as Sipony seems well aware is that we're exiting tha fanboy phase of launch, and entering the mainstream. If I were them, I'd be very worried about how well Kinect and TV are going to play on the Today show, and the likelihood of Microsoft tying their launch to Black Friday and bundling systems with Samsung TVs and cable and internet subscriptions. Sony throwing their wallet at Viacom is definitely a preemptive strike, but no service will be ready in time to ake a difference this year, and like with online gaming, I expect MS is already two steps ahead of them. Sony had better hope that fanboy fury and indie games have enough momentum to carry them through, though I expect that they are not the factor to suppress X1 nearly the way they hoped. The general public has a collective memory of about 4-6 weeks, and e3, and even the 180s are already ancient history to those who even noticed outside the enthusiast community
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 6 years ago
"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."
If the XB1 ends up outselling the PS4 during the holidays for November and December in Europe I wonder if he'll still find it odd.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (4)
Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game6 years ago
Oh dear. So far this launch, Sony have been lauded for avoiding the arrogant/misjudged/unfriendly comments, but...

He could have pointed out that the PS4 + Fifa was still cheaper, and for anyone not interested in the game, the difference could buy any retail release and a PSN title, instead he asks, "Why give things away when you guys will pay more?"
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.