It’s been an uneven month or so for Sony, following a massive leadership shakeup in the wake of the PS5’s launch. While many wonder what this means for the future of the platform, we’re more specifically interested in the implications for PSVR.
In February of this year, Jim Ryan became CEO of PlayStation. More recently, however, chairman of Worldwide Studios and Sony veteran Shawn Layden left the company for undisclosed reasons. His departure was followed mere days after by reports that PlayStation’s European arm was hit by a round of layoffs. Today, Sony announced that Guerrilla Games boss Hermen Hulst is the new head of Worldwide Studios.
Elsewhere, former Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida will become the head of a newly formed independent developer initiative.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Ryan attempted to justify the changes. “If we are to be successful, we really have to leverage the opportunities that globalization brings,” he said. He stated that the company had “streamlined” the “productization” of PS5. That means things like “the definition of the feature set, of the development and the implementation of those features.”
“The product planners are now having one conversation instead of three different regional conversations, where they needed to reconcile positions that were often conflicting or contradictory, with an endless process of iteration and consensus,” Ryan explained. “That’s not happening anymore. We have one conversation and we get on and do stuff.”
But where does all of this leave VR? The article doesn’t touch on it much, but GamesIndustry.biz does say that Ryan affirmed the company remained ‘committed’ to VR. Further promotions and offers are reportedly planned around the Black Friday and Christmas period.
There’s no word, though, on what it might mean for the rumored PSVR 2. We’ve seen plenty of patents and interview snippets that suggest Sony is making a follow-up headset, likely for PS5. We’re hoping these recent changes aren’t disrupting those plans. Either way, we’re not expecting PSVR 2 to arrive when PS5 launches next holiday season. We’ll just have to wait and see.