Sony E3 2017 Rumors: PS4 Exec Heralds Return Of Japanese Console Games

bloodborne
Bloodborne. FromSoftware

In a huge interview with Time, Sony exec Shawn Layden, President & CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America and Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, talked about the future of the PlayStation 4. It turns out that future includes a hefty amount of Japanese games, which may not be surprising to fans entranced by recent high-profile Japanese releases such as Nioh , Final Fantasy XV , Nier: Automata , Persona 5 and Resident Evil 7 .

These publishers are returning to the PlayStation 4, Layden confirms.

“I think a lot of Japanese developers lost their way chasing the mobile games yen, if you will, but they're coming back to console in a major way. And speaking of, we'll have some big announcements at E3 in that precise vein.”

Layden, who leads up Sony’s global game development efforts in his role as Chairman of SIE Worldwide, refused to talk about a possible Bloodborne 2 partnership with FromSoftware, but did speak about Hideo Kojima’s magnificently baffling Death Stranding.

"We're partnering with him and financing development of Death Stranding . His team has taken the Decima engine that Guerrilla built for Horizon Zero Dawn and they're using that as the base for Death Stranding . Both teams are working from a joint code base now and building on it. It's kind of like a holy grail in game development. Some studios outside of my world have invoked that kind of discipline – ‘thou shalt all use this engine’ – but we've sort of left it to our studios to find the engine they need within the technologies that we have available,” Layden explained.

As for that bastion of niche Japanese games, the PS Vita, Layden says it’s still viable for development. Games are still being made for it in Japan. However, Sony won’t be pursuing a VIta successor.

"To be honest, the Vita just didn't reach critical mass in the U.S. or Western Europe," Layden said. "I don't know if it was that it was more technology people had to carry around, or more things to charge, or whether their phone or tablet were taking care of that. But once the content slowed in that pipeline, it became hard to keep the Vita as a going concern."

"The Vita still sells in Japan and some parts of Asia, but it's not an active line for us in the west," added Sony global sales chief Jim Ryan in an interview with Glixel.

Finally, those gamers who prefer to play the classics may need to hunt down dusty discs of their favorite oldies-but-goodies in the burgeoning second-hand retro gaming market. Most of the PlayStation 2’s library is gone, girl.

"When we've dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much," said Ryan. "That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?"

(As a retro games fan myself: excuuuuuuuse me, princess. Plenty of people would! Good games are good games no matter what they look like, and you can’t put a price on nostalgia value.)

Sony's E3 media event will be live streaming from the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall (online as well as in some theaters ) next Monday, June 12, so if you’re on tenterhooks waiting to see which Japanese games are heading to the PlayStation 4 next, your wait will soon be over.

What Japanese games do you think Sony will be bringing to E3? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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