PS4 architect Mark Cerny hopes PlayStation's legacy can match Nintendo's
"I'm really looking forward to the next decade or two."
Mark Cerny has told a conference in Spain that he dreams of PlayStation having the same kind of enduring impact on the games industry as Nintendo.
"I have a great friend who lives in Kyoto in the eastern part of Japan," Cerny told an audience at Gamelab in Barcelona earlier today.
"He runs a developer there and he's worked with both Sony Computer Entertainment and Nintendo over the years, and he says that what he respects the most about Nintendo is the incredible continuity they have in the form of a core group of individuals that has now worked together for over 30 years.
"Well, we on the PlayStation side of the business have only about 20 years together now, but I'm really looking forward to the next decade or two with Shu [Yoshida], Andy [House] and the other amazing talents of Sony Computer Entertainment, and I think by the end of it we'll even have my friend in Kyoto telling everyone how our values - held strongly over a great period of time - had such an influence over the world of games."
Cerny's presentation began with a brief history of his career, during which he worked at Atari on arcade titles in the 80s, at Sega on the Master System, at Crystal Dynamics during the birth of the 3DO, and closely with Sony over many years as he became more involved in engine development on successive PlayStation consoles.
The knowledge and skills he acquired over these years made him the ideal candidate to lead the PlayStation 4 project, he suggested, an "audacious" idea that his bosses fortunately agreed with when he proposed it in late 2007/early 2008.
Cerny spoke with visible enthusiasm about the many breakthroughs in understanding he experienced over those early years, particularly in the significance of collaboration - something he has embraced on PS4 with the goal of making it fast to get projects up and running while also offering great potential further down the line.
He also joked that this was all just part of worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida's "master plan", which involved putting a software guy like Cerny at the heart of the project, where he runs it almost like a game director.
"The three muskateers are back," he said, referring to the way Sony Computer Entertainment had appointed his colleagues Andrew House and Yoshida to senior positions in recent years, while allowing him to develop the PS4 itself.
"One of the small results of that - but huge for me - was that it provided a further boost to the engagement... the policies of engagement with game developers around the world."
That nucleus of "amazing" personnel, he said, is what he hopes will lead people to compare Sony's impact to Nintendo's in decades to come.