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Sony boss on holding back the PlayStation Neo and Microsoft's surprising reveal

"From past experience, the worst thing you can do is disappoint [consumers] and pull the rug away from people."

Chris Kerr

June 15, 2016

2 Min Read

Days before this year's E3 kicked off, Sony jumped the gun by confirming rumors of a new high-end PlayStation 4, and then quashed expectations by telling us it wouldn't be appearing at the show in any form.

At the time, Sony Interactive Entertainment president Andrew House said it wouldn't be officially unveiling the new system, codenamed "PlayStation Neo", because there's not enough software that can properly showcase its improved capabilities. 

Now, speaking to The Guardian, House has reiterated his belief that holding back the reveal was the right thing to do. 

"From past experience, the worst thing you can do is disappoint [consumers] and pull the rug away from people. That’s why we went out last week and said, yes, [the Neo] does exist but don’t expect to see it at E3," offered House.

"In terms of the right time to talk about Neo, just like every other hardware launch, VR being a good example, it’s when you’ve got a full range of experiences that you can showcase to say this is why this product’s great and that’s why we’re offering it. That time is not right now.”

Microsoft, on the other hand, chose to do the opposite. The Xbox creator beat Sony to the punch by pulling back the curtain -- at least, partly -- on Project Scorpio, the long rumored Xbox One upgrade packed with new hardware and features including 4K and VR support. 

The box itself, however, wasn't shown, and in the wake of the announcement -- which was accompanied by the Xbox One S reveal -- there's been some confusion as to what specific performance upgrades and capabilities the system will offer. That, says House, is precisely what Sony wished to avoid. 

"I was surprised by the step of announcing something over a year ahead of time," elaborated House. "The dynamics of the tech industry are such that there’s a much heavier emphasis on immediate gratification than there was."

"We experienced this ourselves, when, in 2013, very much in line with our previous strategies, we announced a concept and a name for PlayStation 4, and everyone said 'where’s the box? How dare you?!' That was the point we realized, well, we hadn’t changed but the world around us had."

For the full interview head on over to The Guardian.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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