The big Electronic Entertainment Expo video game tradeshow is just weeks away, and you may have your hopes up for big PlayStation 4 announcements from Sony. But the chief executive officer of the company’s PlayStation division is trying to manage those expectations.
Sony held an event for its investors today, and it included a presentation where Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House talked about the achievements of the PlayStation 4 as well as the future of that console. During his talk, House said that his company will continue to rely on outside publishers to support the PS4 as Sony’s internal development is still not up to speed. The PlayStation 4 is the market leader in the $55 billion console gaming space, but it may struggle to keep that position without software support. At least for this fiscal year, which for Sony runs through March 2016, those games won’t come from within the company.
“Our first-party lineup is a little sparse this year,” said House. “So I think this places even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support.”
House gave an example of something like Street Fighter V, which will only appear on the PlayStation 4 at launch. Sony is working with Capcom on the game, and it is likely providing financial support in exchange for the PS4 “console exclusivity.”
But even with that deal done, Sony knows it can’t rely on those kinds of deals.
“I will admit that these [third-party exclusives], in the current publishing landscape, are few and far between,” said House. “Given publishing dynamics and development costs, those are increasingly difficult to secure.”
So, what is 2015 if it’s not a big year for PlayStation 4 releases? Well, House has an answer for that.
“I would characterize 2015 as the beginning of a harvest period for the PlayStation 4 platform,” he explained. “That being said, we are also undertaking to invest in the future, and 2015 will also be a year of investment.”
We’re reaching the end of year two for the PS4 (as well as the Xbox One), and it’s not like those first 24 months were brimming with big exclusives from first-party Sony studios. So it’s likely not going to please many fans to hear that 2015 continues the trend of few triple-A original releases for the console leader.