Tokyo Game Show 2013 opened on Thursday morning with a keynote speech by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) titled “The World Created by Playstation 4.” The presentation began with a video that highlighted SCE’s commitment to mobility and social integration – what would become perhaps the most important theme of the entire keynote.
A short video clip showed some university students enjoying a game at home. They head off to school, but enjoy re-connecting to the game world via the redesigned PlayStation Vita between classes. The share button got a lot of attention, with the gamers posting videos of Killzone: Shadow Fall kill streaks and checking comments from their friends through a Facebook news feed-esque interface.
Andrew House, SCE President and Group CEO, delivered the first speech entirely in Japanese. “This is the first time for me to speak Japanese in front of such a large audience, so please forgive me if I make mistakes,” he joked.
House brought up three main points: expansion of game devices, connectivity as a must-have factor, and change of purchase behavior.
“Consoles are not only for games, they have become an overall entertainment device,” House stated. “Tablets and smartphones are changing gaming trends. Therefore, one of the changes is positioning the console as the centerpiece of the living room.”
“Social functionality must be enhanced,” he added. This point was emphasized during the video presentation, with the DualShock 4’s share button being displayed prominently.
House went on to say that he believed the gaming industry would become more and more like Hollywood, as the shift from consoles being gaming-only devices to all-around entertainment hubs becomes more widely adopted. This notion will be aided by SCE’s commitment to ease of development and the company’s “flexible business model” for developers.
According to the presentation, SCE is working alongside more than 500 development firms. The company’s optimistic sales plan is to ship 5 million PlayStation 4 units before the end of the fiscal year ending in April 2014.
The recently-announced PlayStation Vita TV was the next topic of discussion. House said that the company was pleased by the “good reaction” after Vita TV’s September 9 unveiling. House claimed that 1300 titles across various forms of media will be available at launch.
House also said that the Vita TV has three target audiences: long-time PlayStation fans, families, and casual gamers. However, he didn’t shy away from adding that core gamers remain the company’s first consideration.
The Diplomat is reporting live from Tokyo Game Show 2013 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Check back for periodic updates as the day progresses.