Former US PlayStation CEO Jack Tretton certainly had his share of ups and downs at Sony. While his tenure was filled with more highs than lows, PlayStation certainly had its tough moments between 1995 and 2014.
In a new interview with Axios, Tretton shared some of those moments, recalling some of his best and worst moments from E3. They include the PlayStation 4 reveal, which managed to deal a devastating blow to the hopes of the Xbox One before the generation even began.
The reveal included the “Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video“, which mocked Microsoft’s DRM policy of restricting used games (which the company eventually reversed). The PlayStation 4 also managed to undercut the Xbox One by around $100 due to Xbox’s console including the Kinect.
“I have a lot of friends at Microsoft now and had a lot of friends then, and I wasn’t necessarily looking to do it at their expense. I was just feeling really good about it,” Tretton said.
But times weren’t always so good for Tretton. In 2011, PlayStation suffered a 23-day PlayStation Network outage due to a hack that left some 77 million accounts exposed. PlayStation endured heavy criticism for the event and wound up offering 30 days of free PSN to all members among other make-goods.
Tretton opened E3 by apologizing for the event. “While that was necessarily a tough message to deliver, I thought it had to be said.”
Elsewhere, Tretton reflected on some of his other projects at Sony, which he felt were “orphaned a little bit” and weren’t given the necessary attention they needed. He cited PlayStation Vita’s low sales and the slow adoption of PlayStation’s virtual reality headset as examples of such projects.
“There were certainly technologies that I thought were good but just didn’t have the level of support they needed,” he explains, talking about how some of them lacked the marketing budget they needed and other support.
Tretton left Sony in 2014 and is now part of the Interactive Gaming Ventures, a fund working closely with indies with a mission to acquire an independent studio. While acquisitions are a hot venture as of late, with both Xbox and PlayStation announcing steady acquisitions like Bethesda, Activision Blizzard, and Bungie, Tretton doesn’t see this trend as a negative. He is currently looking to buy a billion-dollar game company himself.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey