Sony's decision to announce PS4 before Xbox One was 'very deliberate,' says House
The decision to announce the PlayStation 4 before Microsoft could do the same for the Xbox One "was very deliberate," SCEI president Andrew House revealed at the Develop Conference in Brighton (via IGN).
"I think we were probably earlier in the announce than we have been previously, and that was very deliberate," House said. "I wanted to be out there first with the first announcement for this generation so you've got an opportunity to stake the ground and hopefully take something of a leadership position. Again, we'd had the experience of launching later than our competitor and that played very heavily to many of the thought processes and decisions made about PlayStation 4."
Sony first announced the PlayStation 4 on February 20. Microsoft waited three months later to formally unveil the Xbox One. While Sony's PS4 announcement event was met with overall reaction, one aspect of the presentation that many found to be confusing was the absence of the actual system. Though Microsoft took the opportunity to poke fun at Sony, many speculated that the company was just holding it back for a big reveal at a future event.
It wasn't until months later at E3 in June that Sony finally decided to reveal the parallelpiped design of the PS4, but the reason for not doing it sooner wasn't at all what people speculated.
"This is one where I think honestly we were a little caught off guard and wrong-footed," House admitted. "If you look back at our history of previous reveals, we generally always went with explaining what the concept would be, articulating what package the overall consumer experience was going to be and then later revealing the hardware. So this felt very natural and normal to us."
He went on to explain that he had sent the design chiefs back to the drawing board after the original design of the PS4 didn't quite fit with his vision. House eventually narrowed five sketches down to two, but since he couldn't make a decision, he asked for two mock-ups. The mock-ups sat in his office for a week as he asked various long-standing members of Sony to pick one. The rest is history.
"My benchmark at the end of the day was knowing I was going to get up there at E3 and have to do this," he said, raising his arms. "What would I be proudest holding?"