Former PlayStation head says we need to "get this platform war thing out of the way" and "get down to one standard home console"

(Image credit: Sony)

A former PlayStation head believes games would be better if we got "this platform war thing out of the way" and had "one standard home console."

At IGN Live 2024 recently, a panel including former PlayStation head Shawn Layden was asked about the future of playing games looks like. Layden, for his part, commented that Microsoft and Sony used to make consoles with radically "different architecture," but now this has changed to the point where both manufacturers are using the same AMD hardware, and so the differences have become less noticeable.

"We're talking about ray tracing differentials and most of us [don’t have good enough TVs] so can't see the ray tracing anyway," Layden continued. "Xbox, PlayStation, high-end PC, that's almost at a plateau where all things being equal, they're pretty much the same. We'd be in a better world if we could get down to one standard home console technology that we could come together, and get this platform war thing out of the way," the former PlayStation head added.

Where Will You Be Playing Games in the Future? | IGN Live 2024 - YouTube Where Will You Be Playing Games in the Future? | IGN Live 2024 - YouTube
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Elsewhere in the panel, Layden states he believes that gaming consoles are struggling, but this isn't anything new. "If you look at the history of consoles, the global install base in any one of those generations never rose above 250 million. There was that one point when Wii came out, and thanks to Wii Fit, an extra 20 million units were sold because everyone thought they could lose weight. But that wasn't sustainable and came crashing down and we're still in that 250 million overall install base of active consoles," he said.

"During the pandemic, revenue rose by 20 or 25%, but we were still getting more money from the same people. It wasn't necessarily bringing new people into the console gaming world. That's the existential threat to gaming right now," Layden adds. Layden's line of thinking here follows a common belief that companies effectively 'over-hired' during the pandemic, which is why we're now seeing mass layoffs across the industry when the revenue gained during the pandemic didn't sustain itself afterward. 

PlayStation, for its part, laid off hundreds of developers earlier this year, canceled several unannounced games, and even shuttered its London-based studio entirely. A PlayStation-partnered studio from former Black Ops developers also closed, having previously stated that a partnership from Sony would bring "complete financial security."

Take a look over our upcoming PS5 games guide for a look ahead at Sony's current slate of announced titles.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.