He’s one of the pioneers of PlayStation, the unofficial face of the PS4, and the man in charge of keeping Sony ahead of Microsoft in the console wars in terms of first-party exclusive content.
Thanks to Shuhei Yoshida, it’s a war the company's winning handily, too. Stuff had the pleasure of speaking with Yoshida during Tokyo Game Show 2015, and found out a bit more about the gaming giant’s roadmap in the coming months. Needless to say, we were most excited about PlayStation VR.
VR will change everything
With the amount of headway Sony is making into the Virtual Reality space for consoles with the PlayStation VR, we’re willing to bet it’s coming soon (Sony has said nothing more specific than that it'll be launched in 2016).
In fact, we tried it for ourselves with a couple of different game demos, and were very impressed indeed. There’s a reason for that, says Yoshida. “Every game developer tries to create something new, amazing, and innovative to wow people.
“Using VR tech, it’s so easy, it’s almost unfair. It’s like an ultimate weapon. I think it’s going to be a hugely powerful weapon for game developers to create new and exciting experiences for consumers.
“Because VR is such a new media, you can create totally amazing experiences with very very limited resources if you have the right idea. One of the examples is a soccer game called Headmaster. It’s developed by a small indie developer, but everybody still really enjoyed it."
PlayStation VR will be stacked from the start
Looks like we won't have to worry about buying PlayStation VR once it comes out and not having anything to play on it.
“From now till launch, we still have a lot of time, and I’ve been encouraging small developers by telling them that even if they start now, with the right idea they’ll still be able to get the game done in time for the launch of PS VR. And some of them are reacting to that, so I have am very optimistic of the variety of games and experiences that will be available at launch," says Yoshida.
Given Sony's holding two PS VR developer seminars in Asia itself in the coming months, we're fairly optimistic too.
Game in hand
Yoshida’s aiming for overall improvements for games on the PlayStation platform, and isn’t just banking on Virtual Reality. “There’s always room for improvement, especially from our own titles.
“Sometimes we have to spend more time than we were originally hoping for, and what the team considers is achievable within a certain budget and time, turns out not to be the case.
“Especially from the PS3 to PS4 era, because there are many more things that teams are finding that they can do, and lots of games now are trying to provide an open world setting. Teams want players to have more freedom to enjoy and find their own way of playing that particular game, and these tend to take time to develop.
“It’s always a challenge to make the game development more efficient, and be able to release titles in a timely fashion.” Let's hope Sony succeeds.