At the Develop: Brighton event, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida reviewed some of the major challenges the PlayStation brand has faced in over two decades of video game history.
The Japanese manager said he started working on PlayStation in February 1993, joining a small team led by Ken Kutaragi. “[At the time there was a] Silicon Graphics workstation, which was around $100k – and Ken said he’s making a machine of that power that’ll be available for less than $500.”
In those years Yoshida and his colleagues signed agreements that would prove crucial for the success of PlayStation, Square to bring Final Fantasy VII on the platform, or the one with Enix for the franchise of Dragon Quest.
At that time Fumito Ueda and Team Ico were working on ICO, originally planned for the first PlayStation, and it was Yoshida who decided to move the production on PS2 because of the difficulties encountered from the technical point of view. “Ken [Kutaragi] was such a brilliant engineer – the team that worked for Ken was so motivated, he was a great motivator,” he added.
When asked if the switch to the next generation worries him, in light of the fact that in the console sector the producers are not always able to stay on top, Yoshida replied: “It’s human nature. People make mistakes. I don’t know why. We’re all human – we’re not perfect. PS4 is doing so well, but we don’t forget why we’re here now.”
Speculation indicates that the PlayStation 5 is currently under development and may even be released in 2019, although many predict a launch in 2020. For Sony fans, it is good to hear that the company claims to understand where it failed.