If you were expecting some big first party titles coming from Sony in the year ahead, it looks like you’ll be a little disappointed.
In Sony’s investor call earlier this week, Sony Computer Entertainment president and global CEO Andrew House had some good news, and some bad news. The good news is that the PlayStation 4 is “the fastest selling hardware platform in our history,” revealed House. The bad news is that the company’s upcoming slate of first party titles “is a little sparse this year,” so Sony want to put more emphasis on third party titles.
There’s a lot going on a Sony following their fiscal year report earlier this year. It seems focus has shifted onto the PlayStation 4, the only division out side of their camera division which is really working for Sony. According to House, they’ve seen a hell of a lot of growth in both sales of the PlayStation 4 as well as the company’s PlayStation Plus subscription seeing twice as many subs compared to 2013, though it’s hardly surprising considering PlayStation Plus is needed to use most online functionalities.
As for their games, well House had this to say:
“We are working very hard to continue very strong support from third-party pubs and devs. Our first-party lineup is a little sparse this year, so I think this places even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support.”
That’s not to say Sony are shifting away from first party content, like they have with the PS Vita, instead they’re hoping to push out PlayStation exclusive functions like Share Play, and other in-game exclusives, and at times third party exclusivity.
“I will admit that these are, in the current publishing landscape, few and far between, but we were able to announce a full exclusive around a franchise like Street Fighter so that Street Fighter 5 is a complete exclusive for PlayStation 4,” House said, adding, “Although given publishing dynamics and development costs, those are increasingly difficult to secure.”
Interestingly House admitted that while PlayStation 4 sales have been off the charts, they’ve also been surprised at how quickly sales of the PlayStation 3 has declined adding that the reason for this is simply becayse the system’s price isn’t as competitive in the market as the PlayStation 2 and PSone were after their successors launched. Simply put more people are moving away from last-generation consoles much quicker than Sony expected.
“I would characterize 2015 as the beginning of a harvest period for the PlayStation 4 platform,” House said. “The beginning of a harvest period. That being said, we are also undertaking to invest in the future, and 2015 will also be a year of investment.”