PlayStation: 'The walled garden model is breaking down'

Christopher Dring
PlayStation: 'The walled garden model is   breaking down'

The days of closed platforms like PS1, PS2 and PS3 are coming to an end, admits Sony.

PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan told MCV the firm is entering a ‘big bad world where there are no rules’ and that it is re-thinking what it means to be a platform holder.

The company is already opening up its system so users can download one game on PS3 and also own it on Vita. But this is just the beginning, as the firm looks to offer a PlayStation experience across mobile, tablet and even televisions.

“It’s definitely the case that the old model of these very siloed platforms is breaking down a bit,” said Ryan.

“And it is function of now having proper connected devices. PS2 was not a connected device. PSP was not really a proper connected device. PS3 is and PS Vita most definitely is. So we have the ability now to have devices talk to each other.”

In regard to mobile, he added: “There are obviously lots of people, whether it is on a tablet or a smartphone, playing games. Sorts of people who a number of years ago were simply not doing that. We see it a real opportunity to take that constituency and offer them a PlayStation experience, whether that is with an emulated virtual dual shock, or whether it is the use of PSN functionality, which will come in the future.

“We think there is a great opportunity to offer consumers a place where they will be assured of a certain level of quality of android game, presented with a gaming format that is similar to what they’ve experienced in the past.

“This is new ground for us. It didn’t seem it at the time but these walled gardens are actually nice, cosy places, and we are now going out into the big bad world where there are no rules. We are trying to set those rules.

“We are having to reset a lot of our thinking. And I am enjoying that. But it is a challenge, because we’ve been pushing PS1, PS2 and PS3, basically the same way, and then all of a sudden we are like ‘You have to forget that and think differently’.”

Sony’s bold vision for its platforms shows the company has been giving serious thought to the direction of the industry. It follows the acquisition of cloud gaming specialist Gaikai, plus the firm’s decision to launch a free-to-play console title Dust 514.

“It is great that the industry evolves and goes in different directions,” added Ryan. “No entertainment industry can just carry on the way it was. For our industry to thrive and prosper it has to evolve and it has to innovate.”

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Tags: PlayStation , down , breaking , broken , jim ryan , walled , garden

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