Launching the PS5 During a Pandemic Has Been “A Challenge on All Fronts,” Says PlayStation Exec


The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously been a challenge for pretty much every person and business on the planet, and its impact has been felt in all walks of life. That applies to the games industry as well, of course- doubly so, in fact, because this is the year that two new next-gen consoles will be releasing.

Speaking with GamesIndustry, PlayStation’s head of global marketing Eric Lempel spoke about some of these challenges, remarking that launching the PS5 in the middle of a global pandemic has been “a challenge on every front.”

“It’s a massive challenge on every front,” he said. “Not just for the parts of the organisation that I oversee, but for all parts of the organisation.”

Lempel, however, assures that Sony will ensure that they bring “all of the magic and all of the excitement of launches” that new PlayStation consoles have had in the past.

“The nice thing is that we’re pulling it together,” he said. “We will launch this year — that will happen — and from my end we will absolutely make sure that we will bring all of the magic and all of the excitement of launches that we have had in the past.”

Lempel adds that had the PS5 been launching under normal circumstances, Sony would be marketing the console in very different ways from what we’ve been seeing these last couple of months, with hands-on opportunities, demo stations, various events, and more. Having to adapt to their current situation, Sony have had to resort to different methods – such as the recently released TV spot – but Lempel is confident that they’re doing a good job adapting to their new situation.

“If the world was in a normal place, we would be out there with demo stations at different events, with the ability for consumers to touch the product and interact with it, and really understand what we are talking about,” he said. “The challenge, early on, became how do we try to express this with a spot, and at the same time, how do we create a spot given the current limitations presented by the global pandemic? So this was a challenge on all fronts for us.”

“We really had to change how we do things,” he added. “If we weren’t in the current situation, we would probably have produced a slightly different type of spot. This is going to become the new way of the world for the foreseeable future, and a lot of us had to adapt and shift and get innovative and creative. Although it is not the situation we would want in a launch year, we are pretty happy with how we’ve been able to pivot and create something like this.”

There’s still plenty that we don’t yet know about the PS5, such as when exactly it will launch and what price it will launch at, but reports have suggested that more information regarding the console will be made available later this month, so the hope is that we’ll know more about that stuff not long from now.

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