Interview: Jim Ryan and Michael Denny Discuss PS4

87 0
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.


  • @ Alex_Live (and everyone else asking for a more expensive B/C PS4): It’s not as simple as just making a fully backwards compatible system for an extra $100 or $150, as I’ve seen some people ask for. They’d have to build factories to manufacture the Emotion Engine again, and they’d have to build excess Cell chips, then they’d have to spend time and money to create a new console design, as I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be able to fit two more CPUs inside the same form factor as their planned PS4 design. Then they’d have to do all kinds of QA testing to make sure that the system was able to switch between the different CPUs properly, without crashing or destroying any of the components in the process. Can you imagine putting three completely different generations of CPUs into a PC, then expecting it to be able to switch, on-the-fly, between the three of them running software? It’d be a nightmare…
    If they even attempted this, you’d be looking at $200 extra, minimum. Probably closer to $300-400 more.

  • continued…

    Also, at everyone complaining that the PS3 launched at $600… please kindly remember that it was the B/C model. The non-B/C model launched at $500. Considering that the PS4 will not have B/C, and they have all the savings from not developing their own proprietary CPU (the Cell processor), I’m pretty sure the PS4 will launch at sub-$500 prices. But even with that, for a B/C model, you’d be looking at $700 at the lowest, most likely. Good luck with that.

  • yes i know thet so we need to buy every thing from the start i dont think so

    or they need to do somthing about it or nobdu will buy the ps4
    its wierd they knew every one will en whanted the ps4 backwards capbelble

    they only whant the money well they cent take my money

    i spend more then 10.000 games end psn end online pas code for what?now we need to buy to difrent shal i play this night ps3 or ps4 but the ps3 you cen play battlefield ?but ps4 have watch dog or other game

    if they make ps4 not backwards i dont buy it i protest
    they only whant money for what
    we cenot wish money out the sky or tree no

    we put lot of money on ps3 so we need ps4 backwards so poeple cen buy more games
    if they doest not poeple dont buy the ps4 a lot i cen promse you thet on in holland a lot esk if is backwards capble we buy it if you cent we do t but it because its lot of money

  • i think i ganna protest its not fair

    i mean ps3 game online games end psn game from the store cen be played on ps4

    what is streaming?i spend 10000 euro on the ps3 now i need to forget

    ps4 have not battlefield 3 the best game of ps3 ever made
    i buy the premuit account for 50 euro plus the game it self total=
    110 euro we ps4 end the sony need to accept it thet is not the futere what we mean a future ps4 cen play
    ps3 game psn games en mobies white blueray

    there a making a big mistake

    i protest

    ps3 all games end online games en psn games cen be played on ps4

  • ok so you say there is a possible?how muc cost it 100 more i do it
    en the ps3 games cen be played end online on ps4?

    i will do it but

    cen we stil have our own account?

  • @harscombat,

    Please go and complain in your own language on the European PS Blog, I’m tired of trying to understand your poorly written English.

  • well this is the real blog the nl version is stupid

    this blog is beter en world wite plus im turkisch i live in holland;)

  • you dont understand

    if the ps4 is out we need buy new thing new games new stuff thet is to much money

    the ps4 is they future they say?
    ps4 is not the future

    the future is frontwrad en backwards so this ps4 must cen do more
    but not more if it is a future ps4 i dont think so en more in holland in turkye end belgie are thinking about thet
    they not buying the ps4 until all ps3 en ps3 psn end account cen be played on the ps4

    thet is the futere ps4

    i play every day battlefield 3 online
    i spreek white very one belgie turkye holand eu uk
    every on of the 146 poel,e end more will come think the same about me

  • wel this is a eu blog ;)


    I am going to save my money for the PS4 cause its better then the PS3 and that it has Knack( i love the Ratchet and Cank series) Kill-zone shadow fall( yes i can play it) and bf4 which i am a fan of the battlefield series. im going to save as much as I can ( i need to see pricing) and buy it on the release week!


    yes im the 60th commenter

  • ps4 reale this week i heard end of this year?batlefield 4?i realy like battlefield 3 i hope battlefield 4 is the same only more option vichels custime you closes:)heal my body armor:) ihope battlwfield 4 is more awsome;)

  • i what battlefield 4 i realy hope they make the same only beter more knife en dogtag taking:p
    use every vichel dice plz make it more;)battlefield battlefield 3 is the best game every

    hope you make battlefield the same only beter

    custumise you self camo bodyarmor desing your own camoflags
    face custims head

    medol of honer no way call of duty no way

    battlefield the best game

  • My only concerns for the PS4 are:

    1.) Backwards compatibility with PSOne, PS2, and PS3 games.
    Fans were — and still are — sorely upset with SONY for not allowing backwards compatibility after removing the vital component that made it possible. The PS2 is the best-selling console of all time for many reasons, including its amazing library of games. Even now… Myself among many others prefer their PS2 libraries to their PS3’s. The PS3’s library is awful and nobody wants to spend money to play games they already have — unless the PS2 titles were properly upscaled to 720p and 1080p. Many of us are actually happy with playing our PS2 games on the PS2 without buying titles we already from PSN. It’s a rip-off if it isn’t an HD edition.

  • (continued)

    2.) Major technical problems for launch consoles.
    I didn’t own a first generation PS3 or X-Box 360, but for the long while I didn’t have either console, it seems many people experienced red ring of death/yellow light of death and had to send their consoles to the manufacturer to be repaired — and lost their data in the process only to be offered a refurbished console. This is upsetting and makes me and others wary of purchasing a launch PS4. I’m hoping SONY gets it right this time, but I’m personally waiting for a second generation PS4, as many people I know have first generation PS3’s that are now aging if not already are dying.

  • (continued)

    3.) A $400+ price tag.
    In this day and age, $400+ isn’t something many people can afford to spend on luxuries — especially a video gaming console. In fact, it’s the last thing on most peoples’ agendas when it comes to their finances even if they have the cash lying around to buy a console for a hefty price tag like that. With the price the PS4 may be running for around its launch time, I don’t see many people rushing out to purchase the console unless it offers dramatic differences from its predecessors such as the PS2 and 3 combined — including new and better features and more options for voice chat to talk to your friends in a voice chat room without having to play the same game in multiplayer mode.

  • (continued)

    If the PS Vita isn’t selling as many units as hoped for when it was being designed and finally launched even after numerous titles, what makes SONY think the PS4 will be any different if it has maybe three new and mediocre features that hardly differentiate it from the PS3? A total waste of money — not including expectations of titles that will be exclusive to the PS4 of importance to the gaming community at the time of its launch. If the PS4 will have a $400+ price tag, it’d better be substantially different — and better than the PS2 and 3 combined — in a good way.

  • (continued)

    4.) Title exclusivity & DLC snubbing.
    A number of titles for the PS3 kept players from enjoying downloadable content (DLC) in favor of the X-Box 360 or even the PC editions of those games. Just a couple of these titles are SKYRIM and Resident Evil 6; whether it was favor based on how much money Microsoft paid companies for the release of DLC before PS3 owners, or if series that originated on the PSOne and PS2 (Resident Evil originated on PSOne, for example) are now branching out to other consoles such as the X-Box 360 and Wii/3DS/Wii U — no PS3 owner should have to wait two to four or more months to enjoy downloadable content if a game series originated on the PSOne or 2.

  • (continued)

    Fair is fair; release the same content on all consoles at the same time, unless you enjoy driving the player base away from your consoles because their games die a premature death when it comes to two-player co-op or multiplayer — take Resident Evil 6 for example. You’re lucky to find an open hosted game even after the DLC was released. Thanks to the X-Box 360 getting the DLC first, everyone either jumped ship to it or traded in their copies of the game. Nice one, SONY. Make your PlayStation (One, 2, or 3) originated titles/series priority and bring them back to the line of consoles you make and keep them there as exclusive releases.

  • (continued)

    5.) Implementation with the PS Vita.
    As far as I know, the Vita could use some better titles and promotion — including title exclusivity. I’m a fan of the Vita for many reasons and hope that the PS4 maybe has something to do with owning a Vita — whether it’s able to have titles such as Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- (a PSP exclusive title that was never re-released like Dissidia: Final Fantasy was) be transferred to the Vita and ultimately the PS4, or at least have titles that did not make the compatibility list for the Vita from the PSP to the PlayStation Store.

  • (continued; final bits)

    Make the Vita have something to do with the PS4; they should be brother consoles in a way and have relevance to one another.

    All of these are half observations and half personal opinions. You are free to agree or disagree, but my points were made and hope the PS4 impresses; looking forward to its release.

  • @innatenobillity

    i very argee
    the ps4 must backwards i realy agree en the price to

    i think i wait for the next generation ps4 thet cen play ps3 games

    if the first ganeration cen play backwards game like ps3
    it would the best selling every

    i have thinking some what we al saying here en some other webistes whit forum

    if sony make ps4 not backwards not lot of poeple will buy it because it will cost to times or more to spend money
    if they make backwards al costumers are happy en heave more trust besides
    if they make ps4 backwards capeble we can spare some money to buy more games
    thets is the good news

    the bad news if they make ps4 not backwards
    people need to spend more money end have more problems to buy games end
    consoles they pay more money for the ps4 then 3

    i just wait for the updates
    i hope they come white we makeing the ps3 backwards en make a ps3 controler the same like ps3 dualsook only bleutooth ;)

    or you argee white me?



    dudes u guys ought to buy cause it may not seem very differnent but they( SONY) is only going to support the sp3 for 3 more yrs after the ps4 realease, u might as well buy a PS4

  • InnateNobility, you really need to do more research before going about with your nitpicks.

    1) Cloud-based backwards compatibility has already been announced for the PS4.

    2) Yellow Light of Death had a far lower rate of occurrence compared to the Red Ring; and from what I’ve seen, the fault was usually on the owners’ end for poor care of their system.

    3) Cross-game chat was confirmed and there is also a feature where you could let your online friend take over your game and play for you, though I’m not sure if this feature will work for all games.

    4) Those games you mentioned about late DLC were created by 3rd party companies (Bethesda for Elder Scrolls and Capcom for Resident Evil). So why are you scolding Sony? It’s been reported that Bethesda had trouble releasing a stable build of their DLC, so Sony took that extra step by collaborating with them to assist them with a better-late-than-never release. If they hadn’t, we might’ve never seen the DLCs’ release at all.

    5) While it’s normal to want things, you just ask for too much.

  • @ 74 (Nepraos)

    The YLOD does not always happen because people don’t take care of their consoles. In many cases that I have read over the PlayStation boards, they happened to the old fat models because Sony is forced to use lead free solders and the heat damages them. I took care of my old fat PS3 it still died. The slims seem to be more reliable though.

  • Icestar10,

    Thanks for clearing that up. I’ve never actually known anybody personally that has had the yellow light, but I can name at least three people who’ve gotten the red light. I have a fat model myself, and it’s still kicking. To be fair, I take apart my system once a year to clean out the insides because dust tends to build up quite a lot.

    I’m a little experienced with taking some systems and handhelds apart, so I don’t recommend everyone doing this as it may void your warranty or worse, damage your system. A pretty big cause for overheating is the clogging of dust inside your systems after prolonged playtime without maintenance. We can’t expect every consumer to have the tools or skills required to maintain a dust-free system, so I acknowledge my mistake for overlooking that.

  • @ Nepraos

    No problem. :)

    Yeah, cleaning up the PS3 can make it last longer. I think also changing the thermal paste can help. I am a little nervous about opening things up. lol l know that my PS3 lasted for almost 5 years so that is a pretty long time.

  • There going to be any ps4 testers?.. I want to be one

  • ps4 cant wait till i get mine with my ps vita well done sony , playstation game designers. =)

  • sorry to all wii,xbox,nintendo fans but playstation outrates all of them.

  • I can’t wait till the PS4 comes out but i have a question to can you still play PS3 games on the PS4 like assassin’s creed 1-3 or battlefield 3 or call of duty world at war- modern warfare 3?

  • Sony please do europe a favour and release PS4 first in europe,which is technically your biggest market.

    Then America, and then japan.

    Or even better for everyone WORLDWIDE RELEASE, go on you know you want to.

  • Is it Holidays 2013 yet?

  • how much is the ps4 going to cost?

  • in holland about between 4 or 500 euro it could be 600

    en no the ps4 wil not backwards so i dont think i buy it well about the streaming survice how it works?

    i know the streaming service cen play ps3 games i dont know how it work al i heard it will cost you
    do buy games from stream survice

    end i know i dont do it because i whant my battlefield 3 premuim account go further white ps4
    i dont whanna rebuy it i dont have thet money

    sony most doing somthing about thet

    they know we are not rebuying games white stream survice

  • sony i need you to understand that xbox is fighting in this competition of the next gen consoles if they get a higher gpu , you guys have to fight back and put a higher gpu … please dont fail on me i love sony

  • Way to go Playstation!!!! I am looking forward for new operating system like PS4.

Please enter your date of birth.