In an interview with Japanese website ITMedia +D Games, Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai has said that developers should focus their activity around the PS3 when making multi-platform games.
When asked about the increasing trend for companies to develop games for multiple platforms, Hirai said: “When you consider the cost of developing on today’s platforms, I think it’s a logical progression that they’re all thinking of making their games cross-platform.
“But I think it’s important that third parties use the unique characteristics of the platform to add a little bit of extra flavour to their games. For example, with the PS3, you’ve got the Sixaxis controller, or you could utilise the extra capacity provided by Blu-ray to add more levels, put on interviews with the developers or have your videos able to play in 1080p. I think it’s really important that we talk with third party developers so that they can have these interesting extras in the PlayStation 3 version.”
A large part of the interview also focused on the perceived lack of PS3 titles that have been made in Japan, with Hirai keen to make the point that Sony’s first party titles won’t start being Westernised just because the Western market is larger.
“There are probably people who think that, looking at the output of Worldwide Studios, there are fewer and fewer Japan-developed ‘Japanese style’ titles coming out. But we definitely don’t have the intention of just bringing Western games into Japan. We will keep on steadily releasing titles that are developed in Japan and designed to appeal to all Japanese users.”
“Speaking generally, it’s obviously much better business sense to have games that, even if they’re developed in Japan and designed for Japanese users, will be received in the same way by Western gamers.
“While I can’t give an accurate number here, there are a number of games which are being developed with the viewpoint of making the game consciously for the Japanese market but also wanting it to sell well in the West,” he said.
It’s for that reason that Sony has its Japan Studio, says Hirai: “Sony Worldwide Studios has three pillars – Europe, America and Japan – and seeing as within that the Japan Studio only makes games in Japan, it’s natural that we would place the most emphasis on the Japanese market.
“Just because the foreign market is bigger than the domestic one, we don’t intend to take strategy of just making what would have been considered previously as ‘Western games’ and saying ‘We’ve got no choice but to do this’ to our Japanese users. If we did that, there’d be no point in having the Japan Studio.”