Sony PlayStation Boss Makes Bold Play For PS5 Game Exclusivity, Talks Console Availability
Given the difficulty in finding a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S in stock, you have time to decide which one is the right game console for you. One of the factors that could play a role in that decision is what the exclusive game landscape looks like. Not every game gets released on every platform, and Sony's goal is to release more exclusive games on PS5 than any previous PlayStation console.
As part of that effort, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) CEO Jim Ryan said the company has been "steadily investing" in first-party software for the PS5, but has not been making a lot of noise about it.
"We have been quietly but steadily investing in high-quality games for PlayStation, and we will make sure that the PS5 generation will have more dedicated software than ever before," Ryan said in a paywalled interview with Nikkei.
The folks at VGC were kind enough to translate the interview, in which Ryan talked about Sony having "repeatedly engaged in mergers and acquisitions, including Insomniac Games in the US." Ryan also said Sony will not rule out other buyouts in the future.
Insomniac Games, of course, is the development studio behind several popular game franchises, including Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and Marvel's Spider-Man, the latter of which spawned a themed Spider-Man limited edition PS4 console a few years ago.
It's not surprising that Sony wants to be aggressive in releasing exclusive games to the PS5. The next-gen console wars have started in earnest, for one. And secondly, rival Microsoft has received regulatory approval to acquire ZeniMax for $7.5 billion. ZeniMax owns Bethesda, and Microsoft absolutely plans on leveraging the buyout to release exclusive games through its Xbox Game Pass service.
"If you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is that this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists. That’s our goal, that’s why we’re doing this, that’s the root of this partnership that we’re building," Microsoft's Phil Spencer said last month.
Of course, all of this marred by an industry-wide silicon shortage, which is making it difficult to find these consoles at first-party sellers. To that end, Ryan said Sony is pressuring it suppliers to ramp up production.
"There are several reasons why PS5 was hard to come by. Supply under the new coronavirus was very complicated, and we had to limit distribution to online. The supply and demand for semiconductors is also tight worldwide. We are asking our suppliers to allow us to increase production, which will flow into the market this year," Ryan said.
We'll see how that pans out, but it's not as simple as making a request to suppliers. TSMC makes some of the silicon that is infused in the latest game consoles, and the company recently said the overall shortage is likely to last the rest of this year, next year, and perhaps part way into 2023 as well. So, we'll see.