New president of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida is reflecting on the company's underdog years in a new interview with VentureBeat. Interestingly, he credits getting Square to get on board with PlayStation with Final Fantasy VII with the largest share of the original console's successful entry into the market.
Discussing how third-party relations — the management of which was Yoshida's prior role — saved the Playstation, Yoshida said:
We didn't have a first-party operation. Our success had to come from the third parties. It was really fun. Namco was a believer because on Super Nintendo they had no outlet for their 3D arcade technology. We really targeted them as a launch partner. The biggest challenge was to get Square and Enix to make games for PS. We had to prove ourselves and it took a couple of years. They made the decision to make games like FFVII. So then I got to move to product development.
Now, though, when asked if the PlayStation 3 is the underdog again, Yoshida sees shades of the past:
Yes. We were not taken seriously by the industry at first. Because I was there at the time, the difficulty with PS3 reminds me of our roots. We should work with our partners and find out what consumers and developers want.
It's an interesting issue in an era where third-party exclusives are becoming an endangered species, and El Saviour Squeenix has gone Xbox 360 with Final Fantasy XIII.