In our extensive interview with Sony's Jim Ryan, we talk to the president and CEO of SCE Europe about PlayStation TV, PS Now, Project Morpheus and much, much more.
To start off the interview, we pointed out that with the newly announced features for Xbox One, Microsoft are finally catching up to Sony and PS4. "Yeah, have they launched in Scandinavia yet, I don't...?" Ryan teased with straight face.
When we told him the planned release date in September he replied: "That's good. It's some way away. We'll look to carry on giving Scandinavian gamers a great PlayStation 4 experience."
We also discussed PlayStation's improved performance in some of Microsoft's former strongholds, with the UK getting particular attention.
"I've been pretty public, we needed to do better in the UK," Ryan said. "They [Microsoft] did a great job on us in that market with PS3 and Xbox 360, and we resolved that we weren't going to let that happen again, and at least so far, and it's very early days, I think we really raised our game, and I'm very happy with that."
Conversation later shifted to PlayStation Now, which is currently in beta in North America. Ryan didn't have anything official to tell us, although he did tease a future announcement.
"We are working on the introduction in Europe. It's a little difficult, Europe is fragmented," before later adding: "You and I have a conversation several times a year, I suggest that if you come to Gamescom we might possibly, possibly have something to say about PlayStation Now."
Later, at the end of the interview when we asked if there was anything else we could look forward to from Gamescom, Ryan would only say this: "All I'm going to say is that we're going to have a great press conference this year."
Another thing we discussed was why the PlayStation Vita didn't get as much stage time during Sony's press conference this year.
"You get an hour and half on the stage," Ryan explained, "and you've got to work out what's really important to talk about. And obviously PS4, and we also wanted to talk about the innovation stories of PlayStation Now, PlayStation TV and Morpheus. So that stuff was all top of the list."
He continued: "We did talk about Vita, and we name-checked some of the games that are coming to the platform. We name-checked the fact that there's over 100 games in production still. We name-checked the remote play functionality with PS4."
"You know we spoke about it in the context of PSTV [earlier in the interview], but let's not forget that remote play is here and now with PS Vita and it is incredibly well received. The statistics about the way people use remote play with their PS Vita are very strong, and when people do it, it's not like they try it once and then put the Vita away... they go back and they use remote play on their Vita again and again."
Ryan also had plenty to tell us about Project Morpheus, and he explained that while Shu Yoshida might be "crazy" about the VR headset, it's still only a "technology exercise" and it might still not get released.
"We've been very clear that what we're doing now with Morpheus, it's a technology exercise, and we're listening, watching people who are using it, and watching consumer reaction, we're talking to developers very seriously about what sort of games they think they might make, because you know just taking a PS4 experience and plugging it into a Morpheus, that's not going to work, so you know we've got to have some very bespoke, specific Morpheus content, and we're just in the process of figuring that out. All this takes time, because if we're going to do this, and it's if still, we've got to do it right," he said.
Later he added: "Everybody at PlayStation is really, really excited about Morpheus, and the energy levels, the passion that our internal people, Shu Yoshida is crazy about this thing. There's considerable momentum, but we've made no announcement about any launch yet."
All told it was an enlightening interview. We can't wait to catch up with him again at Gamescom in August and find out what's new for Sony and PlayStation.