Interview: Jim Ryan and Michael Denny Discuss PS4

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Interview: Jim Ryan and Michael Denny Discuss PS4

After last week’s big PS4 announcement, our intrepid EU PlayStation.Blog manager Fred Dutton conducted a fascinating interview with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe President and CEO Jim Ryan and Senior VP of Worldwide Studios Michael Denny.

Though PS4’s price, release date and form factor haven’t yet been revealed, Jim and Michael provide some valuable insight into the inspiration behind PS4 — as well as how European World Wide Studios teams like Guerrilla Games, Evolution Studios, and Media Molecule are leading the charge into the next generation of gaming.

PlayStation.Blog: Why did we settle on February 20th, 2013 to announce PlayStation 4?

Jim Ryan: Well, we fixed on the launch window – Holiday 2013. Once that decision was made you have to work back from there and really the main factor is the availability of some great games to share with the world. Once it became clear that we had large number of exciting games to share, this window around 20th February became very logical.

PSB: It must always be tempting for developers to fixate on the added horsepower that new hardware offers. But how much emphasis do you put on the importance of innovating gameplay, rather than just focusing on visuals and performance?

Michael Denny: As a first party studio one of our roles is to try and differentiate the platform. It’s great sometimes to look at the big genres – such as Killzone pushing forward the FPS – but we also want to define new genres and do things that are innovative. Now, the tech can help with that as well, by removing constraints and barriers, and giving developers more creative freedom. The two go hand in hand.

We don’t like to be over prescriptive with the teams, though it does generally start with them having a wish to innovate and find new experiences. Then we look at what the system can do to help that.

PSB: It was fun to see a new mascot platformer, Knack, announced at the event, in the grand tradition of Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet & Clank. Do you see these sorts of titles as integral to a new console launch?

MD: With Mark Cerny at the helm, it’s just fantastic to see. I think it shows the intention. Mark put it beautifully when he talked about going back to the joy of play. And when you see these mascot platformers it does bring a smile to your face. When you see how he’s taken Knack from a small creature made up of so many different parts and the physics system that’s going on – you just know that is going to play so well and be so much fun.

I think there’s always a place for a great new character. I look at a game like LittleBigPlanet – there’s the innovation with the Create, Play, Share system, but you forget that at its heart it had a fantastic central character, and it was a great platformer as well. There’s always a place for new character-based games that give us something a little different.

Interview: Jim Ryan and Michael Denny Discuss PS4

PSB: It was nice to see so much European development talent on stage…

JR: Yes, it was. I think it was great that there was a lot of European talent, but equally that there was great representation from the Japanese community as well and, of course, some highly revered American developers too. It was a good balance.

PSB: Do you think the European game development scene is in good health right now?

JR: Yes, certainly with our own studios. We’ve several pillars of strength – Guerrilla, Media Molecule, Evolution and David Cage at Quantic Dream. European development is in great shape and it has a big role to play. There’s huge amount of innovation in Europe at the minute.

PSB: Will the indie community have a big part to play in PlayStation 4?

MD: Yes, absolutely. It’s always been part of our remit to offer different and unexpected experiences, and often the indie community thinks in those sorts of terms.

From a first party perspective we have an external development studio that’s always reaching out to new start-ups and new innovators. People forget Media Molecule were just four guys when they first came to us with an idea. And that goes on all the time – not just in the UK, but throughout Europe as well. There are lots of new teams coming through. We’re always looking for new teams with big ideas and big ambitions.

PSB: Europe is a complex continent, with so many linguistic, legal and cultural hurdles to maneuver. Do you think we’ll see a more global approach with PlayStation 4 when it comes to software release date parity and service roll-outs?

JR: I think we’re getting a lot better and are a lot tighter than at any point in our history in having a coordinated approach across Europe, and also with colleagues in the US and Japan. I think we get a little better with every year that passes, with every major release that passes. We localize into more and more languages, which we see as really important in maintaining the strong market share that we have in continental Europe – which we intend to preserve.

PSB: How do you see the PlayStation Plus service evolving over the next couple of years as PlayStation 4 enters the ecosystem?

JR: We’re very happy with the service that we’ve been able to offer with PS Plus. It’s been really well received – the value is quite extraordinary and the take-up has trebled over the course of the past year. We definitely see that as a core part of the way forward. We’re not yet in a position to disclose our plans for the future of PlayStation Plus but there will definitely be a prominent role to play for it in the PlayStation 4 landscape.

PSB: Where does the PlayStation 4 announcement leave PlayStation 3?

JR: Typically history can help us only so far here. We’re actually still selling PS2s in regions such as the Middle East seven years after we introduced PS3. There are a number of reasons why the transition might be a bit more accelerated this time round, but PS3 is a very important part of our portfolio, certainly in 2013, 2014 and probably beyond that.

I’d point to the software line-up on PS3 that we have coming up – God of War: Ascension next month, The Last of Us, which is looking great, and Beyond later in the year. And there’s other stuff yet to be announced which is highly significant too. There’s a lot coming on PS3 and it’s going to be very important to us for some time yet.

PSB: What was your favorite moment during the show?

JR: I think seeing Bungie up there demonstrating a PlayStation project – that was very cool. And to have exclusive features on the PlayStation SKU of Destiny, that’s very exciting for us. It’s something that’s been missing on our platforms and it’s something that we’re really thrilled about.

Comments are closed.


  • 1st!

    anyway, awesome interview.

  • “And there’s other stuff yet to be announced which is highly significant too. ”

    I’m guessing that Gran Turismo 6 for the PS3 is one of those announcement, since Mr. Denny let that slip in a recent interview. ;)

  • “And there’s other stuff yet to be announced which is highly significant too.”

    I’m gonna strap my seatbelt on and hope it’s a cross generational title, with cross buy thrown in the mix too.

  • Well i love the fact that the first ps4 game revealed was Knack, i love platformers and im very happy to see that tradition will continue to next gen but for christ sake who put that driveclub idea on Matt Southern’s head? he needs to get fired!!!! Evolution made a unique game in Motorstorm why are going after a tough market, why they didnt bring Motorstorm back to greatness? this was the chance.

    Hopefully this time Guerrilla Games explains better the Killzone Universe, its such a vast universe and story to tell but somehow they always under deliver in that aspect, oh and Killzone 2 gameplay needs to come back stop with this casual call of duty stuff guerrilla.

    I was seriously expecting a new IP from Sucker Punch but hey im happy with inFAMOUS Second Son hopefully they all are launch titles.

    Remote play, sony, sony, sony im still waiting to play killzone3 on my vita so this time until i dont see it happening im not believing it, stop making promises you guys cant deliver. And if for some reason you do deliver this time i hope we dont get a laggy experience, playing God of War on my vita can get laggy unless i use private network.

  • i whas esking about ps4:(
    i whant anser plz

    1-cen use ps3 games end ps3 online games like call of duty en bf3 on ps4 en online?
    2-cen u use ps3 controler on ps4?i realy hope
    3-cen u what movie white blueray movies?
    4-if we have ps4 cen u use your own account log in en je got every thing agian:(

    i realy need to know this befor i buy

    i realy what to know about the ps3 game cen be played on ps4
    onine end offline

    en cen we use the jostick from ps3 on ps4 because i cen play playstation online by ps3 controler:(

  • Playstation 4 Life!!

    (you heard it here first, folks)

  • I saw Ready at Dawn and Ninja Theory talking ps4 on the ps4 conference video, hopefully that means and Exclusive title from Ready at Dawn and Heavenly Sword 2 from Ninja Theory.

    why dont you guys bring MediEvil, Syphon Filter, Extermination, The Legend of Dragoon, Heavenly Sword, Jet Moto back? man those were the days lol.


  • What I’m concerned with the most is backwards compatibility. I understand that there might be future plans with Gaika’s steaming service. That doesn’t really tell me anything. What’s important to me, my main concerns: will I be able to transfer all my saved game files? Do I have to rebuy the games? Will this streaming service lag?

  • @Sid:

    Please convey to Mr. Ryan & Mr. Denny that many of us PS3 owners have spent quite a bit of money on PS3 PSN games and we’re VERY DISAPPOINTED & UPSET that we will not be able to play these games on the PS4.

    I will be holding on to my PS3 for as long as possible because of this issue.& I will not be purchasing a PS4 until this issue is addressed to my satisfaction.

  • Some interesting points here. But on one topic I must voice my disagreement. And that’s about Jim Ryan’s thoughts on localisation and releases in Europe.

    It certainly doesn’t strengthen your position if you support more and more languages. Not if this results in more complicated procedures and thus delays. Especially not if more and more gamers are used to speak English anyway.

    I also can’t credit SCEE to get really that much better. There are Third Party titles that release globally on other platforms, but not on the PS3 in Europe. To consider cases a CS:GO a misery and mystery seems quite appropriate. And then we have First and Second Party titles that are released in America months before they appear in Europe.

    What I particularly miss are any thoughts (or questions) regarding age verification or alternative solutions to treat adult customers the way they deserve (especially in Germany).
    Or shall I assume that SCEE is satisfied with the status quo?

  • jkar you right cheak mine

    so these are the asking we need to know i swer i dont buy it we spend much money for ps3 en i i what to buy

    1-ps3 en ps3 gamen cen me played on ps4
    2-you cen use ps3 controler on ps4
    3-cen u what movie white blueray is there a blueray in ps4?
    4-cen u use my ps3 account on ps4 account?so i dont have a make new account

    a good queation of jkr275
    5-many of us ps3 owners spent lot of money on ps3 psn games end we be very disapointment & upset what we not able to play these games on ps4.

    i what ps3 games played on ps4 end online games like battlefield 3
    i whant ps3 store games end account on ps4
    i whant use my ps3 joystick on ps4

    if these are not te able i dont buy the ps4 i swer:(plz reation plz

  • Great interview…..

    Now only if you can start throwing in some developer interviews so we can get a feel for what they are working on and how the feel about the platform in general.

  • Personally, I don’t understand why people are so concerned about backwards compatibility…
    If the games are here at launch, you shouldn’t want/need to play your old games. On top of this, it’s not like your PS3 explodes, or stops working because you buy a PS4. Lets be honestly, trade/resale values on current gen hardware isn’t great because of it’s age. By winter, you’ll be lucky to get a game in exchange for your PS3 from most of the major outlets, so just keep it. I’m keeping my PS3, and putting it in my bedroom. Gives me games and a Bluray player from bed.
    Back to the games thing… after seeing Killzone: Shadow Falls are you really going to want to go back and play Battlefield 3 (no disrespect to the guys at EA). Probably not. What if your friends don’t have PS4s and you do? Get new friends (just kidding).

  • By the way… the interview is great. Even though I’m Canadian, I really like the work that the Sony devs from the EU do. Keep up the good work (and coverage).

  • i what to know what i need to know do you know about

    you cen play ps3 game on ps4?

  • I told everyone europe has the most and best devs.. No one seem to take that into consideration. Im not trying to rag or nothing but these question where collar safe questions.. But im glad that put the truth out there with why european gaming is so dominate.

    We’ll see how that works out . leading from eu.. seems like american gaming devs have alot of ground work to make up.. I think japanese devs are good, but american devs , we need get our stuff on point. It not like it use to be.

    vp-psn leggionairre group

  • well, PS4 will cost how much here in Brazil?

  • Really good interview.

  • but the intervieuw but we need realy info thet i esk realy what we have to know befor we buy a ps4

  • @harscombat

    The PS4 will not use PS3 controllers or accessories. There was an interview with the big Playstation boss that said they will not work.

    As for the games, they have all but said the PS3 games will not work. They I believe are working to get gaikai streaming to make PS3 games work on PS4.

    There is no BC possibly because they need to program an emulator for the new architecture. I suspect that they are going to focus on getting the PS4 core functions and programs, then I suspect they might tackle the PS3 emulation.

  • i hope so because it waisting money i hope they are busy white it

    to use ps3 game on ps4
    they most doing soming white the ps4 controler i cen use thet :(i only use ps3 jostick

    they must doing beter:(

    cen we use ps3 account on ps4

  • @mcbuttz78

    That statement depends on what genre you like. I like MM for the platformers, and it’s difficult to find better for my tastes than LBP.

    For RPG it is really hard to beat the US and Japan. Western RPG have been ruling the scene for the last few years, meanwhile JRPG a few have tried and done a great game (Rainbow moons), but it’s difficult to beat the japan power houses.

    One thing I can agree on, the EU studios have a tremendous amount of talent. What they put out usually finds it’s way on a top 10 list.

  • ok what if they combine it?

    ps4 cen play ps3 game en ps3 store games
    i heard thet ps4 have a bluethooth end usb port
    cen we use the usb calble the contect the ps3 controler on ps3?

  • ok i need to know this
    they are working at it so ps4 cen play ps3 ?
    so when wil we know every thing about it
    when we cen new preview of it en know everything we whant to know
    we need to know what we buy what we are dealing white

    top list what i see

    -cen ps4 play games from ps3
    -cen u use ps3 id account on ps4
    -i have so many quation end i tell you i have a bad feeling about ps4
    -wil ps3 game make for ps4 to like battlefield 3
    we realy that we cen play game from ps3 on ps4

    like if i what to play battlefield 3 on ps4 we cen use my own ps3 account on ps4 so i dont hace to buy agian
    like premuim account i have paid very bad for the games end the psn store

    the ps4 must be good trust
    we what to trust it en we need to know what we buying

    right when will come a new review of the ps4?

  • They didn’t say PS4 would be useless when it came to ps1,2, and 3 games. I’m sure they working on it.
    Even if PS4 was backwards I’d still keep the PS3.

    Something I did hear of was saves from PS3 not being transferred to PS4. Now that is a let down hope they are rethinking that. That right there suggest previous games being played on PS4. Too early for us to say that these games won’t e working only Sony can say for sure. Just have to wait for them to give us more updates. Cause for now there are quite a few rumors.

    I hear that the other guys would actually block used games and that they’d have water marked disc. So bad for them if its true, but for now those are just more rumors.

  • i swer dont is not fair we are the buyer if the blocked not all of use buy the ps4 its unccapterbel

    they most be working om it ps3 games must en can be played on ps4 like battlefield3
    but cen we use our own sony account to play on ps4?or do we need te make a other account?i hope not sony is sony right

    i hear 1000 rumors i can take it
    when i heard thet ps4 is beter then ps3 its true but i heard
    thet ps3 game cen be played on ps4?en are thet working on the joystick?they must doing somthing about thet make the same controler from ps3 is smal easyer to play

  • I always buy my consoles within their 1st 6 months from release, but now I don’t think it’ll be the case, I have a lot of unplayed PS3 games (and some awesome classics I want to replay), but with the PS4 not being backwards compatible I can’t sell my PS3 (and some of it’s games) to pay part of the PS4, and tipically when a new console comes out there are only like 2 or 3 good games, so I’m not getting rid of my collection to play some mediocre games. Also, if I have to start from scratch in the next-gen then I’m more open to see what other companies are offering.

  • im hope they makeing the best games for ps4 like battlefield but i whant to use my own account to unlock every thing i hear we need to wait there a busy white it we need to wait for a update if they makeing backward i buy it

    not back wards i need to buy everything agian i dont do it special de best game like battlefield:(

  • I’m very curious to know if PlayStation Plus will give us a free game library at launch because if it does, I won’t even have to buy any games at launch.

  • really glad to hear that ps+ will be continuing on to ps4. im really hoping with the ps4 and beyond that psn will always be free and that there will be never a subscription base thing like the 360. im also hoping with ps+ that gaikai is free since you know youre a ps+ member if not 9.99 would be the magical price point for a month. please please have customizable ui im going to miss the xmb. with this new ui it looks so clustered and horrible to operate.

  • Still more significant unannounced games?!! WHAT?!!

  • I am pretty excited about the PS4. The only thing I am disappointed about is that the PS4 is not backwards compatible.

    Would it be possible to release 2 PS4 SKU’s: A premium PS4 SKU with full backwards compatibility for PSone, PS2 and PS3 games at an extra price and a basic PS4 SKU with no backwards compatibility for those who don’t care about backwards compatibility. Before anyone her tells me to keep my PS3; I keep all of my systems but systems break and backwards compatibly only ensures that my collection of PlayStation games don’t become useless.

    Also, the games I am excited about for the PS4 are inFamous: Second Son and Knack. I really want to see a new Jak and Daxter game and more platformers in general.

    When will we see how the PS4 look like? lol

  • i have two ps3’s, i’m going to trade one in for the ps4 ! because you know it will take at least a year befor they will make it were you can play you’er downloaded ps3 games! And thats giving them the benefit of the doubt !! i can already see the complainers! you might want to start complaining now ! that way you can get a head start !! LOL !!

  • Good interview…

    But I think it’s a mistake to keep making PS3 games with the PS4 coming out. You want to give the PS3 owners a reason to switch to PS4. Like with the Gran Turismo 6 rumors, I’m not a racing fan but that is Sony’s biggest title, having that game on PS4 near launch will boost the install base dramatically!

    I have no problem with Sony keep making PS3 games, as long as there’s an inferior PS4 game as well. Especially with system sellers like Gran Turismo.

  • Yoshida has talked bout subs. If you guys go the xbox live route, I’m dropping sony. No subs.

  • @10 : You’ll be able to play all those PS3 and PSN games on PS4 via STREAMING. If its a PSN game, Sony knows you own it. Retail games will probably be handled via letting all PS3 games or select ones each month available free if you have Plus, or maybe a new tier of Plus like Plus Gold. Use your imagination!

  • so nobody know i head they are busy white backwards so we can play the ps3 games?

  • i got every ps system made and i hope sony lets us keep our profile and not have to start over with the ps4 i got over 200 games and been playing sony since 1995 and i am a playstation player for life

  • Looking forward to Destiny. Games with good stories are the best.

  • nofearoffdéad your right i play sony sinds ps1 whas out the first playstation:(
    i whant a reward i have play the same every game is out i buy en play it not al most action yep;)

    no block we whant use the ps3 games on the ps4 end online because i do t whant to sell my ps3 for other game:(

    if you cblokc the ps4 for older games used games i promise nobody buy the ps4

    we whant pa3 games end ps3 online games like battlefield 3 en psn games from the store on ps4
    hight perority
    if i whas the deisinger i had do thet

    ps4 must have backsystem so we cun play the ps3 games on ps4

    you need to combine the ps3 en ps4 in ps4

    you cen play ps3 game battlefield 3 online your own accoutn not new one
    play your own account i dont make a new on

    i hope they doing noting stupid or the money or ours i will protest ps3 games must on ps4

  • @35 It is not mistake to continue making PS3 games. They did the same when PS2 and 3 came out. The PS2 is still selling and they just stop the production of PS2 a few months ago in Jap I think. Plenty of people still played online with PS2 last year with Socom till they took servers down.

    They’re probably still online gaming going on with PS2. I wish I could still play some of those older games online. Like how they have the PS2 classics on the PSN but not online support. I didn’t even bother with them. Would have been great since we have no backwards capability. (even though I still have a ps2) Would have been great without changing systems and controllers..and channels lol cause of the AV and HD. Plus I’d like to stay on ps3 to stay in contact with friends.

    With out online support whats stopping people from downloading PS2 games off internet and playing single player instead of going to PSN when they take away features? Syphon Filter on PSN ? Cool but we can’t play Co Op, oh well then why don’t you just pirate it..or go buy a cheaper version somewhere…I went off subject here.

  • will Logitech G27 racing Wheel work on the ps4 ????????????Drive club


  • Any chance of putting that PS4 Show on PSN(in 1080p would be cool)? So i can download it & watch it again(trying to watch things online with my Laptop is a nightmare) :D

  • Sony is it too late to consider releasing a PS4 with actual backwards compatibility?

    Like releasing a Limited-quantity, more-expensive, bulkier box along the standard PS4-games-only box.

    with limited quantity you could test that niche and ramp up the the supply if the demand proves to be worth it.

    I know, GAIKAI but do you really want me to play god of war 2 with input delay?

  • i realy dont know
    al i whant to know will ps4 go backward so you cen play ps3 games on ps4 end online en psn games

    thet is realy hight porority

    wy because if the ps4 is blocked white water code on the ps4 en ps4 games then we need buy new thing new games because ps4 play only ps4 games so you need to buy new thing

    they say we make more games for ps3 but thet is not fair

    because ps4 get beter games then ps3 we cen only watch wy?
    like watch dog look pritty cool end new killzone the fall shadow only at ps4

    but not on ps3 its not fair i sugest

    work on the backwards for ps4 then we can play ps3 games end psn games en you have your same account you cen use en the psn games on ps4 ok you need to start download like battlefield 3 i whant to play thet game on ps3
    but not to buy new games if thet make the ps4 blocked then we need buy lot but nobdy have thet money so much
    we need to spend more money end we cent

    if the sony is smart en fair make ps4 backwards so we cen play ps3 games en psn games end ps3 online game like call of dutys en battleifd 3 games on ps4 white no problem

    ho is white me say yes

    yes im in

  • ThreeLeggedFreak

    GT is the definition of a system seller, something the PS4 needs. GT6 is not gonna sell anymore PS3s. If GT6 is PS3 it will be one of Sony’s stupidest moves ever, especially if FM5 comes with the 720 within one year of launch.

  • harscombat .. huhhh ??? well if your saying ps4 should play psn games from the ps3 then im with you on that.

  • @harscombat The PS4 will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games or currents PSN games(Can only stream PS3 games with Gaikai). You cannot use the PS3 controller on the PS4.

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