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Mark Cerny Reveals the Cheers and Jeers That Shaped PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

Luminary opens the book on his career and Sony's latest console

Marble Madness creator Mark Cerny is the last person that you’d ever expect to get heckled, but the PlayStation 4 system architect has revealed that some jeers helped to shape Sony’s next generation console. Speaking candidly about his career and his involvement with the evolution of the PlayStation brand at the GameLab conference in Barcelona, the industry legend explained that he was occassionally booed while reciting colossal presentations about the Japanese giant’s impending platform.

“Talking to [third-party] developers sounds pretty simple, right?” Cerny asked an enthralled audience. “The truth is that it’s quite a bit more complex than that. The reason is that the people that you want to be talking to represent the best of the best, and in order to have sustained conversations with these busy people, you have to demonstrate that your technical understanding is of a comparable level to theirs.”

To get around this issue, Cerny and his team produced enormous documents outlining every piece of information about the PS4. These 500 page slideshows allowed Sony to iron out any possible outstanding questions about the console, but also put a physical drain on those delivering the secretive keynotes. “I’ve done the presentation in the summer, in Japanese, in Tokyo, in a room with no air conditioning, standing up, holding a heavy microphone – your whole body aches the next day,” he joked.

Of course, with such mental and bodily exertion being invested, the luminary could be forgiven for taking criticism hard, but Cerny adopted a different attitude. “You have to be prepared for any reaction at all,” he added. “I have flown thousands of miles to get booed by the audience in the middle of a presentation. It’s tough, but it’s eye-opening, too. That is the sort of passion that lets us know when we’re on the wrong track and need to come up with a new direction. The payoff is huge for doing things this way.”

You can catch the full, frank, and fascinating presentation in the space below. Seriously, if you're a fan of the PlayStation brand, you should set aside an hour or so to watch Cerny's full speech. It really is absolutely brilliant.


User Comments (12)



Sanquine said:

Cerny, Yoshida and shadid are the faces the new playstation:D Better than some suit



get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine It's fascinating how he refers to himself, Andrew House, and Shuhei Yoshida as the three musketeers of PlayStation. One thing I learned from this speech is just how important Yoshida has been to the brand over the years. I always knew he had a long history with the company, but I didn't realise just how important he was through the PSone and PS2 days.

I'm so glad both Cerny and Yoshida are getting the chance in the spotlight that they've clearly worked so hard towards.



ShogunRok said:

This is a brilliant panel, Cerny's stories are genuinely interesting. Guy really is a genius, you can tell by the mad look in his eyes.

I always knew he and Yoshida had a good relationship, but I didn't know it was as deep as this. Great to see them teaming up for the PS4.



Sanquine said:

@get2sammyb Ho Ho! You forget one member who is giving playstation more games at the moment than the one's you mentioned. This guy! Untitled



SkullHydra said:

I could listen to Cerny talk for hours. He has such an awesome way of making technical spec sheets interesting, as well as sounding like a perfect blend of formal and casual.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

Saw the complete thing some days ago. I've been a gamer for around 30 years and I found this fascinating. Cerny really seems to be one of a kind. Such combination of passion and, yes, genius.

And Marble Madness. Yes. There was definitely some madness involved. Or at least some mad screaming.



Zetrayrus said:

This is an amazing presentation. I watched the entire presentation from start to finish and I was thoroughly impressed. I really hope Sony is going to continue in this wonderful direction.

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