It's to be expected that Sony Computer Entertainment America president and CEO Jack Tretton would be optimistic about the future of the console business on the eve of the PlayStation 4's launch. In explaining to All Things D how he tried not to worry too much about what competitors like Microsoft were doing, Tretton suggested it was the best time in decades for anyone to be in the console making business.
"I respect anybody's approach to the business, but at the end of the day, you've gotta be laser-focused, and can make yourself crazy trying to react to what the competition is doing," Tretton said. "I'm not naive enough to think that we're going to own every consumer. Some people are going to gravitate toward our platform, some people are going to gravitate toward others. Some are going to stay behind on existing generations, and some are never going to buy it at all. But it's much better as an opportunity for a manufacturer today than it was five, 10, 15, 20 years ago, and I think it'll be better going forward."
Earlier in the interview, Tretton was asked to respond to those who predicted the coming generation of consoles would be the last one. He disagreed, saying the things people see as threats right now--tablets and smartphones--are actually additive to the game industry, and not succeeding at the expense of consoles.
"It's funny, I've heard about the 'last console' since 1986, and only because that's when I entered the business," Tretton said. "I've managed to ride the 'last console' wave for the last, what is that ... 27 years or so? There's a reason the console came about: Sitting in front of a big-screen TV on a couch with your friends. To get the immersive depth in gaming and to get the social experience of sitting around the living room, we're not going to huddle around a tablet. We're not going to huddle around a smartphone. I think the technology will come a long way, but you're still trying to build a console, ultimately. You're trying to get it closer to a console."