In its lifetime, the PlayStation One sold just overÂ 102 million units, whileÂ the PlayStation 2 sold 155 million, and its predecessor the PlayStation 3, still on sale, increased its sales to over 80 million units. The PlayStation 4Â has also recently exceeded early sales expectations.Â Every single one of these consoles was brought to market with Jack Tretton, the current President and CEO of SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America), as part of the company.
Joining Sonyâ€™s ranks in 1995, Trettonâ€™s work is described as having been â€œa pivotal role in launching all PlayStation platforms in North Americaâ€, helping to lay the foundations for the success of the aforementioned consoles (along with the PSP and the PS Vita). Now, it has been announced by Sony that after 19 years, Tretton will be stepping down from his role.
Tretton was also one of the founding members of the executive team behind PlayStation, with that early success setting the brand up for a long history in gaming and with the time being described as â€œthe most rewarding experience of my careerâ€ by Tretton himself, it may seem unusual for him to be stepping down at a time when the PlayStation brand is establishing a lead over the competition which could be furthered by a man with Trettonâ€™s experience. However, despite this, Tretton said the following in a statement, â€œI leave PlayStation in a position of considerable strength and the future will only get brighter for PlayStation Nationâ€.
Questions are already being raised about possible inner conflict amongst Sonyâ€™s ranks, with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai also being the subject of rumours that a dip in Sonyâ€™s overallÂ revenue under his leadership may see him sacked, but this statement released by Sony seems to suggest anything but. Trettonâ€™s departure, it seems, is due to the natural expiration of his contract, with the President and CEO of SCEA saying that he is â€œvery excited about starting the next chapter of [his] careerâ€,a start which will begin on March 31st, 2014. It has also been announced that Trettonâ€™s replacement has already been found, suggesting little disarray of the future of the PlayStation brand.
The next President and CEO of SCEA is set to be Shawn Layden, the current Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI). Laydenâ€™s credentials seem to more than qualify him for the job,Â being both a â€œ15-year PlayStation veteranâ€ and a founding member of SNEI, putting together SNEI after a stint as the President if Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. His PlayStation experience leads his to say the following about the brandâ€™s future,
â€œSCEA is committed to delivering breakthrough gaming experiences that inspire fans and exceed their wildest expectations. As PS4 shows us every day, there has never been a better time to be part of the PlayStation community and I look forward to working with our retail developer, publishing and network partners to further demonstrate why PlayStation is the best place to play.â€
In addition to Laydenâ€™s statement, Trettonâ€™s successor also received a ringing endorsement from Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, who says that he has â€œthe utmost confidence in Shawnâ€™s leadership capability and his deep knowledge of the gaming will help keep PlayStation at the forefront of entertainment and innovative gameplay.â€
Layden is not set to take on his new role until April 1st, 2014 and although gamers may not see the results of Laydenâ€™s potential changes to the PlayStation brand for a while yet, weâ€™ll keep you posted once we know more.