Sony kicks off TGS, shows off the upcoming Playstation 4
Lester Wong | On September 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm
This article is part of our coverage of TGS 2013.
Sony Computer Entertainment’s keynote kicked off the Tokyo Game Show with the presentation of “a Day with Playstation,” which is basically Sony’s overview of the way the Playstation 4 and its accessories will integrate into players lives online and off. Sony says it sees a change in trends, with consumers preferring to be more socially connected to one another. The games of today and tomorrow are moving towards a socially connected environment where experiences are being shared almost from anywhere and at anytime. The Playstation 4 was designed based in part on that idea.
Sony says it has worked to build the perfect console to fit both worlds, following closely to Sony’s motto for the Playstation 4: “Consumer focused, developer inspired”. It aims to build a user-friendly and developer-friendly system where the consumers demands for content are met and developers are given the powerful tools that they need to develop their games. The Playstation 4’s PC-based architecture plays a big role here; it makes the system cheaper for consumers and easier for developers to work with.
In the keynote, Sony also showed off its plans to make its devices more interconnected and integrated into the Playstation system than ever before. The newly-revealed their Vita TV, which will be available in Asian markets in the first quarter of 2014, is Sony’s answer to the growing culture of casual gamers and family users who are looking for great portal for fulfilling and affordable entertainment. With the availability of downloadable online content and media like movies, music and books, the PS VITA TV becomes a really neat console to have for the home users.
But it can do even more for Playstation 4 users. In a live demo, Sony showed off the Playstation Vita’s ability to play PS4 games, and switching between the television screen and the PS Vita screen is facilitated by Vita TV. Smartphone users aren’t left out in the cold either; the Playstation App and game-specific apps allow users to interact with their friends on the Playstation network in lots of new ways, and even allows iOS and Android smart devices to be used as a second-screen controller in some games.
Sony also talked about its cloud service and its attempts to deal with the fact that that games are now no longer played just at home, but on the go and outside the home. So its goal is to meet the growing trend of traveling consumers to bring the games with them and allow them to be always connected, through the PS Vita, the Playstation App, and Sony’s other cloud services.
Sony also discussed its plans to work with more indie developers and create better platforms for indie games to be able to develop their games for the Playstation market. Developers will be able to publish their games freely on Sony’s platforms, the company said during the keynote, although surely there will be some limitations to this in practice.
All in all, Sony’s vision of a connected “world of Playstation” is a compelling one, although we have yet to see how well any of this works in the real world. We don’t have much longer to wait, though, because the system launches in Asia this December. We’ll try to get our hands on the system this week at TGS, too.