The president of SCE Worldwide Studios talks PlayStation.com through the gaming highlights at E3 2010.
How do the titles shown at E3 2010 reflect the major trends in gaming?
We have three pillars in this year's E3 showing stereoscopic 3D gaming, PlayStation Move and new exclusive big titles. These show the depth and breadth of what PlayStation can uniquely offer, taking advantage of cutting-edge technology and creating easy to use, intuitive human interfaces that these new technologies bring to gaming.
Which titles will define the coming year and why?
We have shown many big sequels in this year's E3: Gran Turismo 5, LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3, MotorStorm 3, Twisted Metal, inFamous 2 as well as PlayStation Move titles such as Sports Champions, SOCOM 4 and EyePet Move Edition. We are also broadening our offering on PSP with innovative titles such as Invizimals: Shadow Zone and EyePet PSP (working title). We have great things for everyone, from casual, family games to core gamers' favourite series, each of which are expanding the scope of our offering and our consumer reach.
How do you see gaming experiences on PlayStation becoming more immersive and responsive?
PlayStation Move's greatest strengths are its responsiveness and accuracy in tracking players' movement in the 3D gaming space, both of which are crucial to create an immersive gaming experience. When you play PS Move games like Sports Champions or The Fight, you'll see how every subtle movement of your arms is tracked by the game and your game character's actions accurately reflect the movement of your arms in the 3D space of your living room.
In addition, once PlayStation Move is combined with stereoscopic 3D, as shown in The Fight, EyePet Move Edition, Tumble and Killzone 3, your sense of immersion is heightened to a level never experienced with any system before. This powerful combination is unique to PlayStation and shows what the future of gaming will feel like when you are totally immersed in your visual and physical senses at the same time.
How have game developers responded to PlayStation helping to change the videogame landscape with things like PlayStation Move and stereoscopic 3D gaming?
The response from developers has been great; they are happy and amazed at how well PlayStation Move works and how easy it is to incorporate the technology into already fully developed game engines. They are very excited about creating totally new game experiences that use PlayStation Move's unique capability to accurately track player's actions in the 3D space, as well as to expand the customer base of existing game IPs by making the interface more accessible with the intuitive, responsive control that PlayStation Move offers.
The response to stereoscopic 3D gaming has also been very enthusiastic, especially considering that the major launch of 3D TVs is just happening now. Once you set eyes on a 3D game, you understand how natural it is for humans to look at the world in stereoscopic 3D, and it makes the gaming experience much more immersive, making objects and background clearly separated, making the games more intuitive to play. This is a natural evolution of gaming.
How is the use of stereoscopic 3D in new and existing titles progressing?
Almost all WWS developers are researching how they can incorporate stereoscopic 3D technology into their games. As these techniques are developed and shared among developers, we'll see more games utilising this cool new perspective. With regards to adding 3D technology to existing titles, it is much more difficult to do as the game engine has already been developed and in most cases the development team has moved on to new titles. It is always better to adopt new technology into new titles, as the content can be created with stereoscopic 3D effects in mind.
Which PlayStation Move titles will appeal to the core gaming audience, and which ones do you see as reaching out to new types of users?
Big franchises like Killzone 3, SOCOM 4, Heavy Rain and Resident Evil 5, as well as action oriented PS Move dedicated games such as Sports Champions and The Fight will appeal to the core gaming audience, with the accurate, responsive and subtle control that the motion controller offers. Games like EyePet Move Edition, Move Party (working title), TV Superstars and Draw will reach out to new types of users by offering intuitive, pick up and play experiences for all ages of users.
What are the biggest changes in game design as a result of PlayStation Move?
Thinking about how to create a totally immersive, intuitive experience by interpreting the natural movement of a player's hands and arms into a game character's actions will be the key design challenge. A lot of trial and error will be needed to create the game control that feels right. With games that utilise the absolute 3D position tracking of the motion controller, where you play matters as much as how you play. For example, in a bowling game, you do not need to move the game character by using the controller; the player simply stands in the right position in the room and the game character will do the same. Giving on-screen feedback of how the player is setting up the game's play area will be important to secure a good game experience for each player.
Can you explain the difference between PlayStation Move titles that are PS Move compulsory and PS Move enabled?
Some games like Sports Champions and Move Party (working title) are specifically designed to take advantage of the motion controller and require PS Move to play them. Other games such as SOCOM 4 and Resident Evil 5 offer options for players to play the game with DUALSHOCK 3 or with the PS Move motion controller. There will be icons on the back of the packaging of each game specifying if the game requires PlayStation Move or can be played with DUALSHOCK 3 instead.
In what ways will Killzone 3 build on the previous titles in the series?
Obviously we are building on the success of Killzone 2, so in that sense there are many similarities between the two games, especially the immersive gameplay. Things like jet packs, bigger weapons, more elaborate and brutal melee are all in some way based on things we have done before, but the sheer scope in terms of variety and the production values will really elevate the whole experience.
What can we look forward to when Gran Turismo 5 releases on PlayStation 3?
Gran Turismo 5 will offer gamers an experience more rich, more in-depth and more exciting than they might expect - even from a series as closely identified with innovation and invention as Gran Turismo. Not only will Gran Turismo 5 deliver an even more comprehensive set of cars and courses than gamers saw with previous iterations, it will also feature new game-enhacing graphical effects such as damage, night racing and weather.
These innovations are twinned with the option to join millions of like-minded individuals globally within the Gran Turismo community and to find a driving experience to suit, whether that is taking on the Top Gear test track, chucking cars around stunt arenas, go-karting, creating and sharing your own track or intense head-to-head races. Who, where and what to drive is completely down to the individual.
This time around Gran Turismo is likely not just to be the definitive driving experience but a definitive gaming experience full stop.
How are we continuing to integrate social and network gaming features into our titles?
We will offer more ways for our game communities to connect to each other, whether it is within a specific game such as LittleBigPlanet 2 or ModNation Racers, or outside the game with PlayStation Home and Facebook integration via PlayStation Network. LittleBigPlanet 2 is further integrated into its official website by allowing consumers to check out and select other people's creations, with these selected levels ready and waiting to be downloaded when the player starts the game.
What are the key developments introduced for ModNation Racers and LittleBigPlanet 2, two titles that represent the second wave of the creative gaming genre?
The key things here are the more intuitive, easy to use tools to create amazing game levels and characters, as well as providing easier access to other players' cool creations and more ways for creators to show off their designs. The overall sense of game community is highlighted in both of these games, which are the second wave of Play. Create. Share games.
What are your plans for developing the range of games and additional content available via PlayStation Store?
There are plans for more and more Blu-ray Disc games to have additional game content to download, as well as updates to network feature updates. Consumers are really embracing this and game developers are very excited to be able to extend their relationship with their consumers. We will continue to invest in developing PSN dedicated games, too.