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- Oct 2, 2019
.A key executive involved with PlayStation 4’s launch has reflected on how a culture change within Sony helped the console become “an incredible success, beyond our wildest dreams.”
Shahid Ahmad spent a decade at Sony Interactive Entertainment, most recently in the role of director for strategic content, where he played a large part in the indie push on PS Vita and PS4, ahead of his departure in 2015.
In a new documentary called The PlayStation Revolution, which is set to release in September, Ahmad reflected on the “difficult period” of PS3 which he said transformed PlayStation from a “hubristic” organisation into the “humble, passionate and excited” company that launched PS4.
Had the organisation not made that cultural change, Ahmad said, it could’ve been “the end” for the platform holder.
“PS3 was many things to many different people,” he said in the film, viewed ahead of release by VGC. “It was definitely a difficult period, because a lot of work had to be done to turn around the technical deficit and the monetary deficit created by the launch of this extraordinary piece of hardware.
“Because it was an extraordinary piece of hardware, but it was also extraordinarily difficult to get the best out of. And people did, and it did eventually turn into a success. but my god was that a war of attrition.”
He added: “The PlayStation that emerged at the end of PS3 was a much more gritty, determined, focused entity – and I’m not saying this from a personal perspective, but from a corporate perspective – than the much more hubristic organisation at the beginning of the PS3 era.”
Ahmad said that because of the missteps of the PS3 era, the stakes were incredibly high for PS4’s launch. Fortunately, he added, the console’s reception topped Sony’s wildest 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,” he explained. “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