Famitsu has released its interview with SIE’s executive vice president Masayasu Ito online, and he talks about the development of the PS4 as the console hits its fifth anniversary of its launch in Japan.
Here are the highlights:
- Ito mentions that at the start of development, they decided to focus on recapturing the rush of momentum the PS1 and PS2 enjoyed, instead of focusing on sales numbers. That’s why he’s happy at how much support the console has received.
- In contrary to how the development of the PS3 went, the PS4 focused on making things easier for users and developers alike, with the Share button being an example of helping players. If creators supported the system thanks to Sony’s efforts making the PS4 easier to develop for, they thought, then the users would follow as well.
- Originally, the PS4 was not going to have 8GB of memory allocation. However, they listened to the developers who said it wasn’t enough, and went ahead with it despite concerns over costs. As Ito puts it, “After all, if creators don’t have an easy time, it won’t result in good games being made.” In the end, they lowered the costs on other parts of the PS4 in order to realize the 8GB of memory allocation.
- Another way they helped developers was by dropping proprietary system architecture and chips, and instead went for the same architecture as PCs. It was a very popular decision among developers as they developed their games on PC, and as such were familiar with the environment already.
- Ito reveals that beginning with the PS1, it is the CEO that decides upon the design of the console.
- For the PS4 Pro, Ito talked about how it stemmed from wanting to keep up with the march of technology, which has gotten ever faster. He looked at smartphones and PCs and thought, “Can’t we do something similar to that, even if it isn’t every year?” The reason why it was made the PS4 Pro and not the PS5 was because Ito wanted to improve graphics and make the system HDR-compatible while staying within the PS4 format.
- Ito revealed that Sony anticipated that HDR would see a boom sooner or later, and as such baked in HDR support into the PS4 from the start, which is why normal PS4s can also support HDR through updates. They didn’t see the need to advertise the fact since five years ago, TVs didn’t support the feature, so it would be meaningless.
- The PS4 and PS4 Pro are being sold in parallel to cater to different markets, with the standard PS4 catering to those who aren’t picky about graphics and would rather have a cheaper console, while the PS4 Pro is for those who wanted to get the very best experience out of playing PS4 games.
- Itou feels that since around the past year or two, games have been developed that utilize the full power of the PS4, such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, which really surprised him. Other games include Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, and Monster Hunter: World.
- Finally, he ended off the interview by saying that he believed that the PS4 will continue to sell well, thanks to enticing games still being pushed out, as well as the price drop in Japan.