Despite the meteoric rise of online multiplayer gaming, Sony executive Shawn Layden believes the PlayStation 4 has not focused on that arena enough.
The way in which most people game has changed drastically in the space of the past two decades. Not only in the obvious ways such as the improvements in graphics and the platforms we use, but also in the way that we interact with games. Thanks to the internet, most of the time we are playing with strangers on the other side of the world rather than alone or gathered around a screen with a few friends.
You need look no further than the popularisation of games such as Fortnite and Apex Legends for proof of that. Neither game has a storyline per se, we just battle against 50-100 others until there's a winner and then we go again. In fact, Fortnite has become so popular that more traditional developers have accused it of killing the gaming industry. Killing might be a stretch, but it has certainly changed it drastically.
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Despite the focus on a multiplayer experience almost across the board, the chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden believes the PlayStation 4 has been lacking in that arena. "That's an area where you will likely see us start to make more noise in the new term," Layden told Business Insider when discussing potential plans for the PlayStation 5.
While Layden admitted that he was referring to online multiplayer, he did also admit that local multiplayer experiences - couch co-op - have been overlooked for far too long. "That's a whole category I think the industry needs to look back at," the executive said, stating that Sony's next generation of console will revisit "family engagement in the gaming experience."
When it comes to the success of the PS4, there really isn't much to criticize. After a disappointing generation via the PS3, especially when directly compared to the Xbox 360, Sony has very much bounced back. As the PS4 closes in on 100 million units sold since release, the Xbox One has only just surpassed the 40 million mark. If a man who has been working with Sony for three decades believes that more multiplayer is the way to go, then we believe him.