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No surprises from Sony at TGS

Sony talked up its line up of holiday releases, plus highlighted recent success for the PS3 and PSP hardware – and briefly showed off the upcoming Motion Controller – in its Tokyo Game Show keynote today.

But there were no surprises or major announcements frm the format holder at Japan’s big trade show.

Instead, PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai took time to prove gaming was on a level with movies and other entertainment – and stress how the industry now needs to try new business models to remain competitive.

"We have to be flexible to develop new business models," he stated, according to Eurogamer and Kotaku. "We want to work with the games industry to offer enjoyable entertainment experiences. Then we’ll be able to realise a future which can be pictured with PlayStation."

Specifically, Hirai said that more development needs to be made in the online space – and that Sony was working hard with content creators, developers and publishers to take advantage of it.

"One of the major changes we have seen is network play," said the PlayStation chief. "Game consoles and networks are inseparable."

Outlining the facets of PlayStation Network as ‘watch, create, communication, learn, listen, play, share and discover’. "If you can satisfy all these, you can create truly enjoyable experiences for users," said Hirai.

This has made a new business model and this will help the game industry expand. Games are really the basis, the core, and can be combined with networks to increase the fun.”

The question is what do we need to develop? We have to open our eyes and be sensitive to what users want.”

He said that Sony was taking this challenge very seriously, and was learning from successes like LittleBigPlanet, which features over 2m user-created stages now – it’d take a person 29 years playing six hours a day to get through them all, Hirai added.

Later, he said that the Network component of all games is compulsory – and has become so in a short period of time.

"A little while ago a network was a nice thing to have, but at this point, if you don’t have connectivity you’re not really there," he said in a Q&A with a Japanese business journalist following his talk. "It’s like when i was a kid, having an air conditioner in your car was a nice thing to have, but now, you’ve got to have them."

"This is the age of the network," he concluded.

He also added, when discussing the Motion Controller, that Sony is ‘interested’ in 3D in games and other interface ideas, but that, in a pointed reference to Nintendo’s Wii Vitality Sensor, "it’s not realistic to have sensors all over your body".

"We will see more development with the controllers – I think there is a lot of evolution for motion controller," he said.

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