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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.

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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

— 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.

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