Actions speak louder than words, but I still can’t help feeling that Sony’s become far too quiet over the past few years. At the start of the PlayStation 4 era, this was a company that was firing on all cylinders when it came to community outreach; Worldwide Studios executive Shuhei Yoshida was one of the biggest names on social media, while ex-third party bigwig Adam Boyes was always engaging with the industry’s latest trends. More importantly, the company’s chiefs were rarely out of the news cycle, appearing on YouTube shows and frequently chatting with mainstream media and enthusiast press.
That version of PlayStation has quietly disappeared. There are people on message boards who will tell you that this is par for the course; the PS4 is the biggest console in the world and the company’s stopped caring. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that notion: I still believe that PlayStation is the best place to play, and even if you prefer to do your gaming elsewhere, you’d have to be pretty darn cynical to suggest that the PS4 sucks. The exclusives lineup alone is seriously impressive, and when you pair that with unparalleled third-party support, I don’t believe that the firm’s stopped trying at all.
But it is keeping enthusiasts at arm’s length these days. There’s still the excellent PlayStation Experience, of course – a fan focused festival conceived when the company was at its pomp in 2014. And the executives are still on Twitter, retweeting PlayStation Blog posts from time to time. But I don’t feel like I have the same connection with the organisation’s hierarchy that I used to have at the start of this generation, and I can’t be the only one that feels this way. Admittedly, it’s not the job of Shawn Layden and Jim Ryan to personally address our concerns, but I wish the platform holder was a bit more open.
The reality is that we rarely ever hear from anyone these days. The suits will host a round of interviews to coincide with E3 in a few months; they’ll probably do the same at Gamescom or Paris Games Week, too. There’ll be another PlayStation Experience, one would assume. And sure, there’ll probably be the odd PlayStation Blog post in the interim. But it all feels very distant, doesn’t it? We don’t know what the company’s cooking; we don’t know where its current focus lies. We don’t know what projects it’s excited about; we don’t know what the future holds for PS4 – or PlayStation as a whole.
Does it really matter? Of course not: Sony’s not going to stop selling systems because it’s shying away from the news cycle. But if you’ve got this far into this article, then it’s safe to assume that you’re an enthusiast – a tastemaker, perhaps – and you want to know where the organisation’s at. I’m not saying that busy suits should be spending every second telling us what they’re doing, but where's the cheerleading? Where’s the hype? Where’s the communication from the people who run the company we love? It’s just not there like it used to be, and I kinda want it back.
I just feel like PlayStation doesn’t have a voice right now. The company’s running like clockwork, as it always has – but the PlayStation Blog’s starting to look like a tired format, and honestly I’m just feeling disengaged. Perhaps my perspective is skewed as an editor; the more Sony tells us, the more we have to write about and discuss. I’m sure there’s a little bit of that. But speaking purely as a fan now, I miss those heady days at the start of the generation when PlayStation was so aggressive and in your face. The company’s still kicking ass – I just wish it’d start making a little more noise about it is all.
Do you agree that PlayStation’s been far too quiet lately, or do you prefer it discreetly going about its business? Are you feeling disconnected from the company, or do you not even care as long as the games are there? Make some noise in the comments section below.