While the PS5 seems like it’ll surpass the sales performance of the PS4 based on things like pre-order sales, it still has a ways to go to amass the 100+ million users that the PS4 currently has.
While the PS5 is undoubtedly Sony’s new focus, it sounds like they’re also planning to continue to support the PS4 into 2021, and even into 2022, in order to keep PS4 owners happy.
Jim Ryan Hints at PS4 Support Continuing Into 2022
The subject of cross-gen PS5 games has been an interesting topic of discussion among gamers with some in favor cross-gen support and others a bit more critical of the idea.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, SIE CEO Jim Ryan briefly touches upon supporting both the PS4 and the PS5 over the next few years. It’s noted in the article that there are over 100 million PS4 users right now, a number that’s increased a great deal recently as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only are there more PS4 users now than ever before, they’re also more active and engaged. According to Jim Ryan, it’s crucial to keep these PS4 owners happy.
“Obviously, our eyes and our horizons have lifted with regards to what’s possible with that PS4 community, based on what we’ve observed over the last six months. That can be quite powerful, because in 2021, 2022… that PS4 community that we’ve spoken about, they will be the vast majority of people on PlayStations during that time. It is crucial that we keep them engaged and happy. And the last six months have demonstrated that we could do that to an extent that we didn’t think possible when we were setting our minds pre-COVID.”
Jim Ryan’s statement doesn’t specifically promise to support the PS4 into 2022, but it certainly sounds like a possibility given the company’s desire to keep PS4 owners happy. Not wanting to alienate gamers who may be unable to afford to purchase a PS5 is smart from a business standpoint.
Having games available on PS4 and PS5 translates to more sales.
Other things are discussed in the article including the company’s hope that the 100 million gamers on PS4 will transition “very, very rapidly” onto PS5. The company has high hopes for the PS5 based on the PS4 effectively righting the ship after the poor performance of the PS3.
“We are increasingly bullish in terms of the number of people that we think may engage with PS5,” Jim Ryan begins.
“Firstly, because we don’t begin from a standing start like we did with PS4, when we were coming out of a very lacklustre PS3 platform, with a low level of networking across the community. Now we are starting with 100 million gamers, who we hope to transition very, very rapidly onto PS5. And it’s an engaged, tribal, networked community, who will be deeply and profoundly engaged with their PlayStation 5, we hope, from a very early moment.”
There are a number of ways in which Jim Ryan hints at how Sony plans to do this, even suggesting that more acquisitions like when Sony acquired Insomniac Games are possible. The subject comes up after mention of competitor Microsoft acquiring Bethesda.
Jim Ryan indicates that Sony has grown not through massive spending sprees, but by carefully planned organic growth.
“Probably the best example I give… I could obviously talk about Naughty Dog, but they’ve always been making great games. But let’s talk about Ghost of Tsushima, which has been a critical delight and certainly a commercial delight to an extent that we didn’t think it would be. That speaks volumes to the work that Sucker Punch has done to build on their previous canon of work.”
It goes without saying that Sony’s platform exclusives are one of its greatest strengths. You could only play games like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima on PS4. Other examples include Insomniac’s Spider-Man which you could only play on PS4.
The studio’s upcoming title, Spider-Man Miles Morales, swings in as a PS5 platform exclusive in November. Even if you want to talk about games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Death Stranding that got PC releases, they still launched as platform exclusives.
Not only that, but they were both incredibly successful on the PS4, particularly Horizon Zero Dawn which is getting a sequel in 2021 called Horizon Forbidden West.
What’s interesting about this sequel is that it’s one of the few that we know will be cross-gen. While it’s still a Sony exclusive, it’ll be available on both PS4 and PS5.
When thinking about Sony’s intent to continue supporting PS4, it’s possible we may see additional cross-gen games like this into 2022. And even if we don’t, we’ll at the very least see a number of cross-gen titles release in 2021.
For the full interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, head over to GamesIndustry.biz.