To someone observing the E3 press presentations unfold, the narrative presented was pretty clear: Microsoft was restricting user rights, while Sony made a point in their conference that it wasn't doing a thing with them.
"There were lots of people who gave their opinions on that issue to my Twitter account before E3," SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told Famitsu magazine this week. "It's not that our hardware policies are decided strictly based on user reaction like this, but when we were thinking about what we had to bring across and how to bring it across, it was a very useful source."
"As of now, I feel like we're getting a very positive response," added SCE Japan Asia president Hiroshi Kawano. "For this system, we made a list of what people expected from us, debating over each point, with user feedback forming the main basis for the list. The software makers are also telling us that they feel like they really make some fun stuff with it. A new platform always provides the basis for new forms of play, so I'd like to see it connect to a revitalization of the marketplace."
Kawano also made a point of bringing up Square Enix game director Tetsuya Nomura's video appearance at the Sony E3 conference to reveal Final Fantasy 15 to the world for the first time; a move that, to Sony, justifies their opinion that Japan is still where it's at game-wise. "He received a wonderful reception at the conference, and that's something that elates us as well," he said. "People sometimes tell us that Japanese games are falling behind and so forth, but I think his presence signified that that's just not the case. We also want to provide gamers with a wide variety of games, and that's something that Japanese producers are good at. I think their presence will grow larger going into the future."
Sony also made waves at E3 for the PS4's $399 price point, a cool hundred bucks below the Xbox One's. SCEJA hasn't announced the Japanese PS4 price yet, but Kawano suggested that it won't be far away from the US and Europe price. "What I can say now is that we will have another full announcement for Japan," he told Famitsu. "However, I think everyone in Japan already has a solid image of the potential price range. We had assorted opinions within our group about the price, but in the end, what works for us isn't as important as what will get us user support. From that viewpoint, this time the U.S. and European teams were convinced to set it to that price."
So when is the next time Sony will show off the PS4 to the public? "We're striving to find the best timing for the announcement," Kawano replied, "whether it's before the Tokyo Game Show [opening Sept. 19] or alongside it. It goes without saying that TGS is a very important event to us, and of course, we strongly feel that it has to be a place where the users are glad they came. Also, outside of that, we're preparing other opportunities and places for people to get to grips with the PS4."
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