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Yoshida: Japanese gamers now open to Western releases

By Matthew Handrahan

Wed 21 Dec 2011 9:54am GMT / 4:54am EST / 1:54am PST

Uncharted and Everybody's Golf the most pre-ordered Vita games in Japan

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

Sony's president of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, believes that Japanese gamers are now more open to Western games.

Speaking to the European PlayStation Blog, Yoshida revealed that Everybody's Golf and Uncharted: Golden Abyss were the most pre-ordered games ahead of the Vita's Japanese launch last week.

According to Yoshida, the prominence of the US-developed Uncharted in a line-up dominated by Japanese games is indicative of a larger trend in the region.

"Japanese people traditionally have a strong local preference, particularly with the Manga style look of characters that they love," he said. "But as technology and presentation advances in games like Uncharted and Call of Duty, they are rightly seeing their quality."

The Japanese launch of the PlayStation Vita was accompanied by 24 games at a range of different price-points. Yoshida claims that this variety in software is a key focus for the Vita, and Sony developed the hardware with ease of development in mind.

"When I saw new developers coming in and getting straight to work on those systems when they had matured, I could not believe how quickly they were getting their games up and running. I have never seen anything like it before."

This also extends to dev teams of different sizes. Yoshida admitted that his personal favourite Vita game is Sound Shapes, an experimental music game almost entirely created by Everyday Shooter developer Jonathan Mak.

"I'm a fan of these small developers," Yoshida added. "The best thing is that they have experience in every part of planning, developing and releasing. It's not like they have left school and gone to work in a team of 100, only ever working on one particular aspect of their game."

"They don't follow the traditional game conventions; some of them are very vocal about trying to break those rules. They are the next generation and they will be changing the landscape of gaming long after I have retired."

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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

962 187 0.2
Nice! Now send Hyrule Historia over to us as thanks!

Posted:4 years ago


David Spender Lead Programmer

129 54 0.4
@ Kingman

For real. I was hoping the headline read "Western gamers now open to Japanese releases". I was just looking through the Japanese release list for PSP and I'm just shocked at the crazy number of releases.

Speaking more generally, why region code? Why not just throw an English sub/text option in the game and get some extra sales with imports? No wonder why Google/Apple don't want the ESRB in on their apps - yet another thing that makes the globalization of software more difficult.

I'd love to see localization upended. Just as Japanese are saying that they don't mind a game whose culture/art is primarily western, I would like to see America be more accepting of Japanese culture/art references in games without a complete rip/tear being done for localization. Wonder if this will ever happen. It seems like it is.... slowly.

Posted:4 years ago


David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers

361 80 0.2
This has been a long time coming. I think that games will be better when people in Japan more openly accept and play games from the West and vice-versa.

@ David Spender

What you're asking for would necessitate an English translation of everything in a game, not a trivial task, for what might be a very small market for exporting the game oversees. BTW, the reason why games don't release without an English language option in the U.S. is because of Walmart - they necessitate that there be an English voice option or else they won't stock the game, movie or whatever. Localization is another tricky issue, but making games reference Japanese culture (assuming it isn't something that is explicitly from Japanese history that Westerns enjoy) the more you leave that stuff in, the more a game becomes a niche product.

Posted:4 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,611 1,686 0.6
Atlus USA did an EXCELLENT piece on localization over on their official forums. It's a must-read and clears up a good chunk of the misconceptions some have about the "just stick English in it and release it!" mentality. Go look it up, as I don't have the link.

Posted:4 years ago

Lastly, there are regional licensing issues to consider.

For those that dare and win, look at Namco Bandai's fortuitous land grab of Dark Souls by Form Software, traditionally the remit of partnership with SCE.

Catch it, Localize it, Win it!

Posted:4 years ago


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