Yoshida: ‘We Are Pretty Happy With the Games Coming Out on PS Vita’
Rise of the Tomb Raider and the PlayStation 4’s 10 million units sold weren’t the only topics Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida covered in his interview with Eurogamer at gamescom, as they also talked about the PS4’s holiday line-up, EA Access, the PlayStation Vita, and more.
First up, Shuhei revealed how “I was disappointed as well. And our marketing people were disappointed” when The Order: 1886 was delayed from fall 2014 to February 2015. Even with its absence and DriveClub representing the only PS4 exclusive of the holiday, Shuhei doesn’t believe there’s a gap that hasn’t been filled when it comes to exclusive PS4 content this Christmas.
He addressed their small slate of PS4 exclusives for the rest of 2014:
I understand that, but the purchase decision of consoles is a long-term investment. It’s not like a smartphone where every two years you purchase new hardware. So people hopefully are looking at a bit longer term. The Order, it’s not like it disappeared. It moved from Christmas time to February, so it’s two or three more months. It’s looking great.
And there are games coming out this Christmas from both third parties and first-party. Destiny is a great product. You can play Destiny on other platforms as well, however, we are talking about the breadth of content from both first-party and third-party. When you extend your view to next year’s titles, Bloodborne we are extremely excited about, and Uncharted 4 is coming out. And we have announced other games like Until Dawn and many digital titles. I was so happy to watch the new trailer for Rime. These days indie titles’ quality is so high. It is very hard to tell which is what. Like Wild. So hopefully people see the holistic view of third-party and first party and hopefully they find games available now good enough to spend their time on PS4 this Christmas.
He then highlighted how The Last of Us Remastered “just released and is doing extremely well,” adding:
We are taking in all these things happening and understanding what consumers on PS4 are enjoying. It’s very encouraging to see the initial sales of PS4 titles. Not just our games but third party games. I wasn’t expecting the first year from the very beginning, when third-party games released on both cross-generations, PS4 versions some of the them outsold the PS3 version, like Watch Dogs. It’s an amazingly quick move from PS3 to PS4.
Moving to EA Access, Sony’s initial response of “we evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect” was brought up, with Shuhei explaining:
The statement might look aggressive. But the thinking behind it is, we just do not look at one proposition, like EA Access. We look at the whole offering of the titles or services on the platform, and we thought about the impact of having something like that as a new symptom. If every publisher follows suit, and as a consumer you have to choose by publisher which service to subscribe to, that’s not something we believe is best for consumers. So we are not just looking at that one proposition. We were thinking about the impact that might have for the future offering of products and services on PlayStation.
Of course, their decision isn’t final, with Shuhei saying, “I’m sure our third-party guys are talking with EA closely. And also we are listening to consumers as well.”
Inevitably, the conversation turned to how the PlayStation Vita was mostly ignored during the gamescom press conference. When asked about the reaction from fans, Shuhei revealed, “There’s a campaign. I get the same exact text from many people. They’re disappointed. They wanted to hear some new news about PS Vita.”
Probed further about this, Shuhei gave the standard answer of how there wasn’t enough time and “we’ve been focusing on talking about new titles on PS4.” He did, however, add:
We are pretty happy with games coming out on PS Vita and the games that are in the pipeline. PS Vita gamers are pretty core, dedicated gamers. They seek information, so we trust them to find out about the games coming out on PS Vita.
Shuhei then said, “We totally understand why people are saying [we don’t care about the Vita any more]. We hear that and we feel the pain of these people.” Finishing up his Vita thoughts, he pointed out how “I can’t keep up with the great games I have on PS Vita,” Minecraft and Freedom Wars are coming out soon on Vita, and “we’ll continue to have conversations with consumers. It’s our intent to support PS Vita as well.”
The expanded conversation with Shuhei about The Last Guardian was also unveiled during the interview, with Shuhei saying that the reason it’s been in development for so long is because “the technical issues on PS3 and the way it was engineered didn’t work. It worked to some extent, that’s why we had a date in mind.” When it was pointed out that they did announce a PS3 release date at one point, Yoshida added, “Yeah. That was a mistake. But at one time it was looking possible. It has been totally re-engineered. They’re still working on it. I’ve been seeing the progress.”
Finally, A couple other interesting parts from the interview show that Shuhei didn’t know P.T. was Silent Hills either, and despite DriveClub, Forza Horizon 2, The Crew, and Project CARS all releasing within about a month of each other this year, he said, “I personally checked out other racing games at E3 and personally I was pretty happy. [DriveClub’s] a different kind of game compared to the other games you mentioned. I didn’t see any direct competition, from my perspective. I don’t know. People will tell us when it comes out.”