PlayStation boss gets real about PS5: 'The track record of the incumbent winning next time is not great'

(Image credit: Sony)

As PS5 (opens in new tab) gets closer, you can't help but wonder - is Sony going to hold strong to the sales lead it developed this generation or is it going to mess it all up? It's far too early to tell at this point, but at least we know it's a concern that Sony shares. "The track record of the incumbent platform winning the next time around is not a great one," Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan told Wired (opens in new tab) in a new interview. "So the major thrust of my executive energy is to avoid complacency."

Jim Ryan has more or less summed up the history of the console wars with that observation. The last time the same company led two generations in a row was going from PlayStation to PlayStation 2. After that, Wii handily outsold both PS3 and Xbox 360, but then Wii U was hardly a drop in the bucket next to Xbox One and PS4. The back-and-forth has helped keep competition strong within the games industry - and I'd argue much more interesting than the alternative - but obviously Ryan would prefer if PlayStation remained comfortably at the top of the sales charts at all times.

Ryan didn't have anything specific about how Sony's hoping to buck that trend with the creation of PS5, though he did talk about how the company's changing its approach to the PlayStation Now games streaming service. Ryan explained that Sony has had "many false steps taken, many lessons learned" across the five year history of PS Now, with feature sets and supported platforms changing periodically. The common refrain across PS Now's entire history was that it was too expensive and didn't have enough attractive games, and that's what Ryan said the recent changes (opens in new tab) - which included adding GTA 5 (opens in new tab) to the service and slashing the price - were all about.

Despite all the game streaming platforms popping up across the industry, that makes PS Now the only place where you can stream GTA 5. "I'd prefer not to disclose the terms, but let's say it's a good deal for Rockstar," Ryan added. Even if you don't subscribe to PS Now yourself, it's worth watching if you're interested in the next generation of consoles; there's a good chance the streaming service will live on PS5 as well, and perhaps even grow into a larger role (opens in new tab).

Find out more about the new console with our guide to PS5 specs (opens in new tab).

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.