Five years ago today PS4 debuted at a special NYC event. Here, creators who were there share their memories
Today marks five years since we stood in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to share a name that would change our lives and hopefully yours: PlayStation 4.
Introducing PS4 was an important moment in PlayStation history, so we reached out to some of the key figures who provided those first crucial details on 20th February, 2013.
Mark Cerny, PS4 lead system architect
Mark Cerny, PS4’s system architect, recalled the excitement of the console’s much-anticipated unveil.
“It was a thrill ride of a day, that’s for sure! I’d been working on the console for about five years and had really no idea what the reaction would be – would it be welcomed? Would our event even get any attention? The response was pretty quick, though — by the end of the day, we were on the way to 34 million views of our launch trailer and it was clear that gamers really did appreciate the concept and execution of PlayStation 4.”
Nate Fox, Sucker Punch
Revealing PS4 also meant announcing exceptional new titles that would go on to become fan favourites. Sucker Punch unveiled inFamous: Second Son, one of PS4’s early hits.
When we reached out to Sucker Punch’s Nate Fox to share his thoughts five years later, he was in a reflective mood. “Everyone participating was so passionate about making games. In the years since then, we’ve all got to play some magnificent stuff made possible by the new hardware. For me it’s all best summed up in the two words – robot dinosaurs.”
Yoshinori Ono, Capcom
Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono also remembers how PS4 opened doors in the development of creative new gaming experiences.
“It made me remember how exciting it is to be on board from the ground floor and create awesome content for a powerful new machine. The people responsible for the design of the PS4 gave us all manner of tools to scratch our creative itches and they were always eager to hear how we thought things could improve. They were very developer-centric in their approach.
“It’s not an overstatement to say that this philosophy is the driving force behind the amount of great content now available on the platform.”
Shinji Hashimoto, Square Enix
Shinji Hashimoto joined us on stage to highlight Square Enix’s Final Fantasy tech demo, which set a new bar for graphic display in gaming. He remembers the nerves he had before jumping on stage. “It was an incredible honour to be invited to speak at the New York announcement! I tend to get a little nervous even with events in Japan, but traveling all the way to New York took it to a whole new level.” That demo foreshadowed the impressive graphics work seen in later Final Fantasy PS4 releases.
Jonathan Blow, game designer, The Witness
PS4’s announce shined a bright light on some standout independent studios too, including a stunning title that left many itching for more: The Witness. Jonathan Blow’s 3D puzzle game was a unique and innovative release for PS4, and he remembers the rapid-fire prep that went into the game’s announcement.
“We had just two weeks to put together a trailer that could somehow stand on the same stage as these huge-budget system-seller games — but no area of our game was finished enough! We worked crazily, figuring out what the game would really look like, building those models, and making an in-engine system to render video out at a solid 60fps. It was all worth it!”
Of course, the rest is history. The last five years have been a memorable ride — thanks for joining us on it!