Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has shared his thoughts on the impending showdown between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for dominance over the holiday season. During the chat he recognised that Microsoft is clearly smart, and has done well to keep up with Sony’s efforts.
Speaking with GI.biz, Yoshida was asked to reflect on Microsoft’s many policy u-turns. He replied, “We know they’re very smart people. It’s great that they were able to quickly realise that some of the things they were doing were not popular, and were able to make really quick decisions to change some of those things – even things that their engineering group must have spent a lot of time preparing before the launch.
“It must have been a very tough time for them. That shows how smart they are, and it shows their dedication to making Xbox One successful. We never took them lightly. Especially in the States, we are the challenger – we’re trying to compete with them. Some of the messaging that they stumbled on just gave us more chances to compete with them in the States.
“Other markets are very different – in Europe, we have a larger market share and in Japan, we have a much longer history of being here. Being consistent and persistent helps; the legacy and people’s associations with the brand, their memories of having a great time before.”
Yoshida then commented on the long-standing executives at Sony, many of which have worked together on multiple PlayStation launches. That solidity has helped see them through, he suggested. “Something that can be a weakness but can be a very strong asset for the PlayStation team is the management team that we have,” he continued. “Many of us in key positions have gone through all the transitions from the launch of PS1.
“Andrew House, Jack Tretton, myself and many of the executives were all there at the beginning. We’ve gone through great times and pretty difficult times together. I’ve never worked for another company, so I can just imagine, but we have a very efficient way of discussing issues and being open and honest. We make quick decisions when necessary, and that’s something that’s very fresh to me.
“Now, because we work closely with Sony, many people are actually joining SCE headquarters from Sony. The number of smart people on the Sony electronics side is amazing – but all of them who join SCE say that they are amazed by how focused we are on the issues. We have meetings where we just jump onto the issues, make decisions and move on. That’s very different from the Sony side, according to them.
“That history of us working through all the PlayStations of the last 20 years together – including Mark Cerny, who’s not a Sony person but has always worked together with us – really helps us, I think, whether we’re crafting messages or making sure that everyone knows what other parts of PlayStation are doing.”
What do you think of Sony’s stable as we edge closer to the next-gen launch days? Is Sony in a good position? Let us know what you think below.