Skip to main content

PlayStation 4 success due to culture change at Sony, says former exec

A culture change helped propel the PlayStation 4 into a successful launch, a former Sony executive revealed in an upcoming documentary.

Shahid Ahmad, who served as director of strategic content at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe at the time of his departure in 2015, was interviewed for The PlayStation Revolution, a documentary on the rise of the console that is scheduled for release on September 7.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

From the makers of 'From Bedrooms to Billions' and 'The Amiga Years' comes a new story exploring a games industry revolution.

The new independent feature film #FromBedroomsToBillions: The Playstation Revolution is available on Digital, DVD & Blu-Ray 7th Sept. #indiedocumentary pic.twitter.com/FxfXwoEZK1

— Bedrooms to Billions (@FromBedrooms) August 1, 2020

The stakes were high for the PlayStation 4, following the missteps of the PlayStation 3. Fortunately for Sony, the current-generation console exceeded expectations.

“I think even we were surprised by just how rapturous the reception was for PS4, because it was a kind of redemption as well,” Ahmad said in the documentary, which has been viewed in advance by Video Games Chronicle. “We’d been through the fire with PS3 and now everything was on the line. We had to get this right and if we didn’t, it could’ve been the end.”

Ahmad attributed the PlayStation 4’s success to a culture change that happened at Sony.

“You remember the hubris from the PS3 years? Contrast that with the honesty and self-deprecation of the PS4 launch period, and you can see that the organization had become transformed to people who were now humble, passionate and excited about this new thing. Battle-worn, but ready to serve again,” Ahmad said.

The PlayStation Revolution also features PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan, and legendary video game designer Hideo Kojima, among many others.

Looking ahead to the PlayStation 5

The sunset is on the horizon for the PlayStation 4, and it remains to be seen if the PlayStation 5 will reach the same level of success as its predecessor, or even surpass it.

The PlayStation 5 is set to launch in time for this year’s holiday season, but no specific date has been set, and its price remains unknown. Sony has reportedly increased its production target for the console, as it forecasts stronger demand due to players staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Sony’s new PlayStation earbuds are a perfect match — for my Nintendo Switch
Sony's Pulse Explore earbuds sit next to a Nintendo Switch OLED.

If you’re the kind of PlayStation loyalist who buys every add-on Sony puts out, 2023 may have been a pricey year for you. We’ve gotten the DualSense Edge, PlayStation VR2, a brand new PS5 model, and the PlayStation Portal -- but that’s not all. Sony is refreshing its audio offerings on top of all that, starting with the Pulse Explore next month.

Sony’s new wireless earbuds are built with PlayStation devices in mind. They use a new PlayStation Link connection system, which is built to easily pair them with the PlayStation 5. That tech actually replaces Bluetooth entirely on the new PlayStation Portal, which means that the Pulse Explore will be one of the only ways to get wireless audio on the handheld this year. It’s a sign that Sony is getting more aggressive about building a dedicated PlayStation ecosystem, Apple-style. It doesn’t just want you to buy Sony consoles, but all of the black-and-white accessories that go with them too.

Read more
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan is stepping down, with successor yet to be named
Playstation CEO and president, Jim Ryan, stands in front of a blue wall with Playstation button symbols illuminated.

Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan is retiring after 30 years. The PlayStation boss will formally leave his role in March 2024 with a successor yet to be named.

Jim Ryan has been working with PlayStation since 1994 when he joined Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe. Since then, he's become the key figurehead for the PlayStation brand, similar to Phil Spencer's role within Xbox. His most recent success has come from the launch of the PlayStation 5, which has already surpassed a 40 million unit milestone. Today, Sony announced that Ryan plans to retire from the role.

Read more
PlayStation Portal: release date, price, specs, and more
The PlayStation Portal alongside Sony's other new headsets.

After being teased under the code name Project Q, we now have a clear picture of just what Sony's latest hardware will be. Officially called the PlayStation Portal, this curious device has many gamers a bit confused about what it is, what it can do, and who it is for. Is it a new handheld, a streaming device, or something in-between? With all the information finally available, we are here to clear up any confusion about what this latest piece of PlayStation hardware really is.
Price
The PlayStation Portal will retail for $200 at launch.
Release date
You can expect the PlayStation Portal to arrive later this year, on November 15, 2023.
Specs

The most important thing to know about the PlayStation Portal is what it really is. This is not a dedicated handheld like the PSP or Vita that you can play games on natively, but instead can only be used as a companion to your PlayStation 5. This device is only intended to stream games from your main console to the screen via Wi-Fi for remote play. Games cannot be played locally on the device, meaning it cannot function without connecting to your PS5. However, you do not need to be on the same network as your PS5. As long as your PS5 is in rest mode and connected to Wi-Fi, you can connect to it through another Wi-Fi network to play, provided the connection is strong enough.

Read more