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Sony's Head of 13 Dev Studios Discusses the Future of Playstation

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https://www.cnet.com/news/sonys-shawn-layden-wants-fewer-bigger-playstation-games/#

So, I found this interview where Shawn Layden (Sony's big boss when it comes to developing exclusives) talking about the future of Playstation. A few things he says that I thought were interesting...

Streaming won't be viable for a long time. 

He's basically saying that unless you live in a big city, you're not going to be able to stream games until something like ten years from now. I agree, and I think MS's attempt to move XboxLive to games as a service is too early. 

E3 used to be about letting retailers know what was coming up for the holiday season. It isn't anymore. There's a whole other meeting for that. It happens way before E3. 

 Yeah this is really interesting, and kind of explains how things get leaked before E3. It is because retailers already know about everything that is going to be revealed. They have to, or else they don't have enough time to make orders, and fill inventory in time for Christmas. 

He wants to make fewer exclusives, but bigger better games. 

A lot of people might recoil at this, but it sounds to me like he wants fewer games in the 75-80 range on Metacritic, and more games in the 85 - 95 range. I think the development of Days Gone is a good example of this. That game has been delayed forever in order to get it to be a good game. In other words he's a fan of the Nintendo method of delaying games until they are good. He said that the amount of exclusives coming to PS4 this year is about the number he would like to see for every year. So when he says less games, keep that in mind. We are probably getting 2-4 PS exclusives this year so all in all this would be good news. 

Sony has no interest in making a Battle Royale. 

He basically said it's a fad, and that Sony doesn't want to jump onto a bandwagon. 

Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 11 February 2019

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Change fewer to more, then it's all good.



The E3 part is mostly just a way to say they have nothing to show this year until the PS5 reveal, heck they even axed their PSX event. In honesty, they could have took the bullet but I guess PR wasn't in accord with that ...



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Sony's strategy of fewer, but bigger/better games has paid off dividends this generation. The startof the gen was a bit iffy, but after The Order came out Sony have delivered several hits in a row. Unprecedented success.

Well, unless you live in a big a city, streaming isnt too viable. That's very true. However, most people live in urban areas (a percentage that's increasing rapidly), so that does mean it would be viable for most, right?

Their E3 comment makes me wonder if they're ditching E3 altogether, rather than just taking a one-year leave. Interesting.



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flashfire926 said:

Sony's strategy of fewer, but bigger/better games has paid off dividends this generation. The startof the gen was a bit iffy, but after The Order came out Sony have delivered several hits in a row. Unprecedented success.

Well, unless you live in a big a city, streaming isnt too viable. That's very true. However, most people live in urban areas (a percentage that's increasing rapidly), so that does mean it would be viable for most, right?

Their E3 comment makes me wonder if they're ditching E3 altogether, rather than just taking a one-year leave. Interesting.

Yeah, the Order 1886, Killzone Shadowfall, and a few other early PS4 exclusives were good, but not console movers. I think he's trying to go from less games of that caliber to more games of the God of War, TLoU, Horizon caliber. 

I don't think that population transition will be relevant and complete until 2030. So up until then local based hardware will still be the majority, and not streaming. Not to mention that is net neutrality remains dead in the U.S. it could mean being charged insane prices by ISPs just to stream your games. 

Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 11 February 2019

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In theory I like the idea of making games of a higher quality, but I don't like that he hints towards there being less games. If we're only talking about Sony's first party studios, then their output was already pretty bare in the first couple of years of the Playstation 4's life. My biggest worry though is that creating less games but spending more time on them means they potentially have to focus less on niche products, because the longer it takes to make a game the more it costs, and the more it costs the larger its potential demographic has to be. This could lead to less experimentation, less unique products, and less innovation. I'm at a point where I'd rather an interesting game with some flaws than a creatively dull game that's technically and commercially proficient, that's probably why I think The Last Guardian was one of my most memorable Playstation 4 experiences. 

There are however a few positive counter-points to this: 

-The gaming industry is constantly getting bigger from a software sales perspective 

-Games like God of War and Monster Hunter have shown that marketing can play a major factor in the growth of niche franchises (not that they were ever the most niche franchises ... but ... you get it)

-Sony has a new huge studio in Bend Studios

-PixelOpus is able to create a game like Concrete Genie despite being one of Sony's smallest development studios

-Sony gets a lot of benefit out of owning IPs or licenses even if they don't own the studios (Ratchet & Clank, Spider-Man, Until Dawn, etc.) 

-They have continually supported niche efforts in Japan Studios and VR games 

Although to be fair to the last point, it remains to be seen if they will allow Japan Studios to make projects as ambitious as TLG or Gravity Rush again. Supporting niche VR titles comes more from a future proofing perspective I think then one of supporting niche games in general. You have to push an unknown product to make it sell after all, and that's not necessarily true for consoles. 



I guess I have fallen out of sync with Sony. I don't like the idea of them moving towards a smaller number of releases. Stuff like The Last of Us, Horizon, and God of War are great. I love seeing the bar rise with each new Sony AAAA game. However, I have always been a PlayStation gamer because of the variety they offered. I like having a good mix of FPS, 3rd Person Action Adventure, Platforming, Racing, Online, Family, and Innovative Titles. I'm going to have to see how this plays out, but as it stands now, this is not music to my ears.

I do, however, completely agree with him on E3 though. That show no longer ideal. They have much better ways to get fans together, and communicate their message. I am a firm believer that they should move to PSX as the Major show of the year, while stuff like E3, PAX, TGS, Gamescom, and such should be nothing more than a booth. Sony can move PSX around as the need to, to offer the best business case. No reason to throw a major show at the same time every year, if that time does not line up with the schedule.



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Is the US internet infrastructure so bad that only those in big cities have semi-decent internet with capable upload bandwidth for streaming?
Isn't VDSL or Fixed wireless with 5Mbps uploads or more a thing even for more regional areas?

I get that Sony doesn't want to make the jump until everyone can get onboard, but you might as well plant the seeds for streaming now and get your infrastructure ready for prime time.

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In saying that... Sonys efforts on the games front I am completely happy with, they have been smashing it out of the park, whether they want more or less exclusives... Doesn't matter. - I can't really criticize their efforts until they actually start dropping the ball on that front.

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E3 to me is still an important avenue to me though. Sad they have pulled out, but it is what it is... It's generally the only time I really... And I mean really pay attention to console gaming news.



Cerebralbore101 said:
flashfire926 said:

Sony's strategy of fewer, but bigger/better games has paid off dividends this generation. The startof the gen was a bit iffy, but after The Order came out Sony have delivered several hits in a row. Unprecedented success.

Well, unless you live in a big a city, streaming isnt too viable. That's very true. However, most people live in urban areas (a percentage that's increasing rapidly), so that does mean it would be viable for most, right?

Their E3 comment makes me wonder if they're ditching E3 altogether, rather than just taking a one-year leave. Interesting.

Yeah, the Order 1886, Killzone Shadowfall, and a few other early PS4 exclusives were good, but not console movers. I think he's trying to go from less games of that caliber to more games of the God of War, TLoU, Horizon caliber. 

I don't think that population transition will be relevant and complete until 2030. So up until then local based hardware will still be the majority, and not streaming. Not to mention that is net neutrality remains dead in the U.S. it could mean being charged insane prices by ISPs just to stream your games. 

If Sony ditched E3, that would basically be it for the event. Nintendo just releases a Direct, and sometimes those directs aren't very good, like last year. That would just leave MS as the only E3 attendee out of the big 3. But MS is rapidly becoming the distant 3rd place console maker. Sony and Nintendo are crushing them in sales these days. 

it seems that in regard to E3 if they wants to keep Sony they move the date, I have mixed thoughts about fewer games but more time, the positive is more time and money put into those games , the negative we don't want it  to end up with each Sony AAA  Game becoming a COD  with a longer timespan , another part of Sony's mantra that they took pride in was  each big selling game allowed  for 7 more games to be made, that way  the Journeys of this world got produced, now with games like cuphead and Ori being touted as a reason to be optimistic with  xbox's direction going forward it could be a mistake, I hope what that the statement really means is they will continue to make just as many  types of first party games and continue to use some of that money to invest in smaller games and the touted lengthened game spread  isn't further exacerbated by making less games.



Doesn't streaming games suffer from input lag or have they fixed that?

I certainly wouldn't want it.