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The most famous quote from the boss of PlayStation

Jim Ryan, Sony’s PlayStation Manager, wants people to know he doesn’t hate old video games.

Why is this important: A dismissive quote about old PlayStation games has harassed Ryan for years and has been used to bolster theories as to why Sony failed to support its game catalog as well as rivals Microsoft and Nintendo.

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  • In an interview with Time in 2017, Ryan recalled seeing versions of the PlayStation “Gran Turismo” racing game series running side-by-side on PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4.

  • “The PS1 and PS2 games, they looked old, like why would anyone play that?” he said at the time.

“It goes with the territory, but I’m a little frustrated to be hit on the head again with this one,” he told Axios.

  • “The point I was trying to make – obviously not very good – was how great the PS4 version was and how far the series had evolved. I was certainly not trying to disrespect our heritage.”

  • He mentions the PS5 launch game “Astro’s Playroom”, in which players collect classic items from PlayStation’s past, as proof that the company supports its past.

Questions about Sony’s reliance on its back catalog have merit.

  • While the Xbox Series S and X run games from all previous Xbox generations, the PS5 only supports the PS4 natively, with some PS3 and PS2 games only working through a paid streaming service.

  • “What is important to recognize when considering this question about designing a new platform is that time, engineering resources, and money are all limited, and that big tradeoffs have to be made in terms of what’s included and what’s not, ”Ryan said, before listing some of the coolest features of the PS5.

  • He said that the compatibility of the PS5 with PS4 games was due to the “real desire” of the fans for this medium. But he didn’t comment on whether Sony plans to officially enable compatibility with PS1 games.

And after: Ryan highlighted the PS4 remake of a classic “Ratchet & Clank” PS2 game, as well as an original PS5 sequel, as a model Sony loves.

  • “We believe this approach keeps our intellectual property fresh and contemporary,” he said.

  • As for that old quote: “I guess my big lesson from all of this is that when Kazunori Yamauchi unveils the next ‘Gran Turismo’ side by side with its story, I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

Go further: Sony’s PlayStation boss overtakes console wars

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