At Gamescom this year Sony focused squarely on Vita, its PlayStation Portable successor, and the games you'll be able to play on it when it launches early next year in Europe. But it also found the time to showcase the stunning Uncharted 3, and announce a nifty PlayStation 3 price cut.
After the dust settled on all the fun and games at Sony's press conference, Eurogamer sat down with worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida to unpack the Japanese company's announcements. Read on for thoughts on Vita, PS3, and, whisper it, the PS4.
Eurogamer: What impact do you hope Vita will have on the current landscape of consoles?
Shuhei Yoshida: Our goal is to recreate the excitement around portable gaming. It's been six years since the launch of PSP. We cannot deny the lack of new content compared to the early days of the PSP. With the advancement of technologies, we're able to put in a lot of new features and technologies into PS Vita. So hopefully we're able to show to consumers with PS Vita they will be able to enjoy something they have never tried before. That's our goal with bringing PS Vita to the market.
Our goal from worldwide studios is to show through the games on PS Vita are games that, when you try them, you agree that, wow, I've never tried something like this. That's what we're trying to do.
Eurogamer: You mentioned that one of the problems with the PSP was a lack of content. What steps are you taking to ensure that same mistake won't be repeated?
Shuhei Yoshida: As far as we're concerned from a worldwide studios standpoint, right after the launch of PSP we had to shift lots of resources to prepare for the launch of the PS3. That followed closely after the launch of PSP. In retrospect we did it too extreme. We were happy with the launch of PSP. We had lots of games to launch with, but because of the demand of creating games on the new consoles, we shifted resources too much and the coverage for the PSP became weak.
The same thing was happening with third parties as well. The next generation of hardware was launching. Because us and third parties had to shift resources out of the portables, that created the huge issues in terms of the supply of the content.
We learnt the lessons of that experience. We're going to make sure we will have a good, continuous supply of software on PS Vita as we continue to support the PS3 and PS Move.
Eurogamer: How do you respond to those who say in this smartphone heavy market there isn't a desire for a high-end portable gaming device? What do you say to those who are worried about Vita?
Shuhei Yoshida: I'm not sure who is worrying. If our publishing partners or our developer partners are worrying, I understand. If their business is in the console space, they are in the same venue as us, so we should create a market with them so we can continue our business. So I totally understand that.
But when consumers are saying it, I really don't understand. It really depends on the types of consumers. If you are a very, very casual person who might just want to kill time as you're waiting for your train or something, you might not need a dedicated, big game experience. But if you like games, if you really love games, you would want to play the kind of games you like, even on the portable.
I totally believe there are millions and millions of people like that. As long as there are great portable gaming experiences you cannot get on smartphones, there will be a market.
Eurogamer: When the price was announced it surprised many because it was a bit lower than we were expecting. Now Nintendo has announced a price cut for the 3DS, does that put pressure on Sony to reduce the price of Vita?
Shuhei Yoshida: We are totally happy with the price we put out. Personally, I was expecting Nintendo might move their price, but I wasn't expecting them to move at this time. We didn't price Vita relative to 3DS or those other devices. We plan the value we want to put in to the Vita and the price people would perceive the value would be. Nothing changed since the announcement. We are totally happy.