September 13th, 2013, 00:58 Posted By: wraggster
There’s something quite refreshing about the executives at Sony.
They haven’t had their personalities media trained out of them. They will give you a straight answer (most of the time). They do appear nervous on stage in front of thousands of journalists. They are more than happy to mock their rivals.
As a result, PlayStation has managed to charm an industry over the last eight months. And this may be a reason why the press has warmed so much to Sony – why the likes of Edge and GamesTM have tipped PS4 to beat Xbox One, even before a console has been sold.
But it’s not all been about Sony’s charm and personality. The firm has done everything right so far with PS4, from its price to its business strategy. Regardless of what Microsoft has or hasn’t done.
Yet at Gamescom, as Microsoft announced plans to give away FIFA 14 with every Xbox One (Day One) pre-order, Sony took a gamble with an eccentric press conference that was filled to the brim with unique indie titles.
Was it enough to keep them ahead of Microsoft? We speak to SCEE boss Jim Ryan.
It was certainly a different Gamescom conference. How do you feel it went?
I was very happy with it. It was nice to do it a little bit differently. It was a bit risky to do that so close to an extremely important platform launch. But I think people enjoyed it. I have been to Gamescoms when the predominantly German audience has been quite flat and difficult to get going, but there seemed to be a good vibe this year.
Are you going to react to the FIFA 14 giveaway with Xbox One at all?
No, no. We have over 1m pre-orders, so why would we need to do that? We had to switch off day one pre-orders, we are now onto day two, so why would we pour gasoline onto the fire? Platform holders and publishers run pre-order campaigns, and if you need to increase momentum then they dial it up a little bit with some promotional stuff, it’s a rational thing to do. But do we need to do that? No.
EA has aggressively partnered with Xbox. Have there been problem between PlayStation and EA?
No, not at all. It’s common knowledge that EA has done a deal with Microsoft, but all of its games – Battlefield, Need for Speed, FIFA – are all on PS4. In fact, the only platform you could play Battlefield 4 at Gamescom was on PS4. Try and find that on Xbox One.
You announced over 1m pre-orders worldwide. How much of that are European pre-orders?
Europe is right up there. We are not disclosing the split, but MCV readers probably have a good idea of the relevant weight of day-to-day business between ourselves and North America, and the pre-order trend is very much in-line with that. The European component of that 1m is very significant.
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