It’s going to take a little more time before we’re able to determine just how big the Nintendo Switch is going to be, but one thing’s for sure: it’s no Wii U. The hybrid will likely end up lapping the Big N’s last effort several times over, and that’s got the PlayStation division on its toes. Speaking with Nikkei Asia, Sony’s head of corporate planning Kazuhiko Takeda admitted that the company “can’t ignore” the product – even if the PlayStation 4’s year-over-year growth suggests the devices aren’t necessarily impeding each other yet.
This is a positive statement by the way: it means that the manufacturer knows it has to remain at the top of its game to keep winning consumers over. We’re less enthusiastic by later comments, however, in which Takeda notes that the platform holder’s business model involves “working to get more customers paying continuously for content”. While he’s probably speaking specifically about PlayStation Plus here, the cynic in us can’t help but think back to comments made by new division chief John Kodera, who’s already indicated he’s a fan of microtransactions.
Sony’s going to have to be very careful about how it progresses from here. PlayStation is absolutely lighting up its financials, and with the rest of the company in a much stronger state these days, the recently encumbered giant is starting to recapture a bit of its once distinguished identity. But as the PlayStation 3 proved, a few wrong moves can bring the house of cards crashing down, and as Takeda himself admits, “our greatest risk now is losing our intensity”.