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Sony PlayStation MENA Vice President Robert Fisser shares gaming vision for region 

LONDON: With over 40 million PlayStation 5 units sold and countless blockbuster titles to choose from, Sony argues there’s never been a better time to be a fan of the console.

Arab News met Robert Fisser, vice president and general manager of Sony PlayStation for the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, to learn more about his vision for the region.

“We’re blessed with a lot of gamers in the Middle East who are very passionate, they’re multiplatform and they play from between five minutes to five hours a day,” said Fisser.

Sony opened their Dubai office back in 2008 but were active in the region before that. Fisser spoke about how the company continued to see both growth and diversification in the gaming market — which should come as no surprise in a rapidly changing area that is passionate about console gaming. And, with over 2,500 titles to choose from, there is clearly something for everyone.  

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 sees the gaming industry playing a key role in the Kingdom’s economy — with an aim, by the end of the decade, to see Riyadh attract or develop 250 video game companies, creating nearly 40,000 jobs and generating 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.  

Fisser acknowledges the scale of that ambition means “that the region is different from other parts of the world” in terms of positive government support, but also in how Sony thinks about each market in terms of their games and partnerships.

Fisser pointed to India Hero Project as an example of one of Sony’s new incubator programs which focuses on identifying and supporting emerging talent from different regions.

“In terms of what to get excited about right now it’s hard to look past the recent Sony blockbuster title, ‘Spider-Man 2,’ that’s enjoying incredible success,” said Fisser. The game sold more than 2.5 million copies within 24 hours to become the fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game in history.

In terms of gaming accessories, the new PlayStation Portal remote player allows households that share a television to keep gaming, whilst the PlayStation Virtual Reality system is offering gamers “a completely different experience,” according to Fisser.

Following the launch three years ago, PlayStation has now sold a milestone 40 million PS5 consoles and has now launched the new “slim” model just in time for the festive season. This is smaller, lighter and can connect to an ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive, but still packs the same gaming punch as the larger console.

In addition, the days of gamers struggling to secure the latest console are gone. Sony has plenty of hardware in stock and, added Fisser, “in a region that never stands still,” there is a host of exciting games on the horizon for 2024.

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