Yesterday marked the end of an era for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as company president David Reeves retired. He hasn't "done a Phil", either - he's literally retired. Over the years, we've spoken to David countless times (you can read some of the highlights in yesterday's roundup), but we weren't about to let him swan off into the sunset without a last goodbye.
In this, his final ever interview in the job, conducted yesterday morning, we discuss what a president does on his last day, his recollections of the early years at PlayStation, and his favourite games, including a couple of which you will heartily approve, and we pose a couple of questions from the forum. Goodbye David, and good luck.
Eurogamer: I was quite pleased that this ended up being last-minute, because it gives me the opportunity to ask what the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe does on his last day?
David Reeves: Ah! I'm sending an email out to thank everyone for their support, and [to say] that they can still contact me if necessary - if they've got any flat tyres and things like that! We've also got two projects which we're winding down today. I'm also cleaning out the desk and the cupboards, and I think we're going to have some shooters tonight. I think that's the plan - in the canteen. I'm also doing a handover to the new president [Andrew House], which I've been doing this week.
Eurogamer: What do you do tomorrow though? And the day after that? Are you going to another job, or is it actual, complete and utter retirement?
David Reeves: I have no other job. The only job I will tell you I've been offered is the local taxi company, the head of the local taxi company, thinks I've been in their taxis so many times I've actually really bought the company. And also I told the drivers to find several places or go to the shortcuts, so he feels he could employ me as a driver or on the control. That is a true story! You can print that if you like.
I am not doing... As I told you when we were down in Monte Carlo, this story about whose name I can't even remember [Realtime Worlds] - never even heard of them. And I had to ask several people and they didn't know either. There's no truth to that.
Tomorrow, what I've got to do is, my daughter is coming up to GCSEs, and I'm helping her with the maths, physics and chemistry, and that is a true story as well.
Eurogamer: I did okay in maths, but I didn't do very well in the others, which is probably why I'm a games journalist.
David Reeves: I'm not very good at English, which is why I'm not a journalist.
Eurogamer: Did you get a nice going-away present? Are you stealing anything from the office?
David Reeves: What I took was one of these sticky-tape dispensers, but I think it was mine originally in the previous office. But I'm not taking anything else with me. We're having a farewell I think in May outside the company, so I don't think they're going to buy me any presents. I might buy them some or give them some surprises.
Eurogamer: I'm sure they'll put something together for you. Going all the way back, do you remember when you saw the original PlayStation for the first time and what you thought?
David Reeves: Yes. I saw it in July 1995 and I was actually blown away by it. I was the managing director of the company in Germany, and I saw the - it was the square, very grey prototype. I'm sure you remember it, Tom. I know you're a bit young, but you probably do remember it. It was the prototype with nothing inside, it was a non-working model. That was the first European one I saw, but of course the Japanese one had already been on the market. When I went to the Japan offices, which was February 1995 for an interview, they didn't actually show me a PlayStation, but they did show me some ads. So the first time I really saw a prototype was in Germany.
Eurogamer: People were telling you that it wouldn't work - the disc-based element of it, for instance. It obviously did work. What do you think was the key to taking PlayStation from a standing start to number one in Europe?
David Reeves: I think that the groundwork that was done in the latter half of '93 and most of '94 of convincing most of the Japanese third parties, and some of the European and American third parties, to produce games, the good games. So for example, Toshinden, Formula 1 from Psygnosis, WipEout, Kileak The Blood, Tekken was a killer. I think once people saw that they were coming out on the PlayStation, that... I think that's the thing that really moved it. I know that's what moved it in Germany.