Mark Cerny has been talking about how he got the role as lead architect on the PS4 at the Develop conference in Brighton today, IGN reports.
Cerny talked about his passion and skills required and how he’d pitched this to key Sony executives. The idea came to him when he sepent his vacation researching the 30 year history of the X86 CPU whilst working as a consultant at Sony Worldwide studios. He said, “I remember spending my November Holiday 2007 researching the 30-something history of the X86, from its creation in the 1970s all the way through to the most-recent enhancements.” His conclusion was that initial scepticism about the CPU was wrong and that it could be used in Sony’s newest console.
He added, “I started thinking, I just sacrificed my holiday to investigate some philosophical part for a console that I’m not really assigned to be working on, that won’t be released for at least five years.” Through his career Cerny had worked for SEGA, Crystal Dynamics and Naughty Dog and with this background audaciously pitched the idea that he should be running the PS4 project to Shuhei Yoshida. Yoshida agreed.
With the backing of Yoshida, Cerny also pitched to Masa Chatani, who was then the Chief Technical Officer of SCEI who also backed him. It shows great trust and foresight in backing Cerny and his vision for the PS4, a move which looks to have paid off, at least for the initial period.
Cerny finished with an anecdote that a friend of his has always admired Nintendo as the key management had worked together for 30 years. Cerny, Yoshida and Andrew House, the SCE president, are all about the same age and have worked together for almost 20 years. Perhaps this trait was a good one for Sony to pick up from their rivals.