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Has Sony made PlayStation "too Western"?

Jubenhimer

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For the most part, PlayStation as a brand for the PS1 and PS2, was distinctly Japanese with many of its well known titles being third party games from Japanese developers, as well as many first party games being developed in Japan such as the Ape Escape series and Team Ico games. This echoed the Japanese origins of the company behind it, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., which was headquartered within Sony's Tokyo offices at the time. But starting with the PlayStation 3, things were changing. Microsoft helped revolutionize the market with its focus on Online services and Western AAA titles in the Xbox 360. With the PlayStation 3 struggling, Sony needed to combat it by moving PlayStation towards a more western focused direction. It started with SCE placing more focus on its western studios like Naughty Dog and Santa Monica. Then by bringing in Mark Cerny to architect what would be known as the PlayStation 4, and by making a bunch of deals with western third parties for exclusive content in multi-platform titles. This all culminated into Sony's decision to merge Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment, into Sony Interactive Entertainment, and relocate the whole division to San Mateo, California, where it exists today.

The only thing that PlayStation has Japan related now, is the fact that they have a studio in Tokyo. I get Sony's need to make PlayStation more a more western-oriented brand in order to keep up with Microsoft, and in a lot of ways, that's a good thing. But do you think that Sony may have went too far in that direction? And if so, should Sony move SIE back to its original home in Tokyo?
 
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Even Japan is becoming more Western. Just look at Square or Capcom. It's a good thing because it's sort of a hybrid of their great craftsmanship but they are now fine tuning it to be more globally appealing.

From Software is the same way. I guess for people that really dug the more niche Japanese stuff, I'm sure they're disappointed but I never was very fond of it
 

DeepEnigma

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Clint Eastwood Art GIF by hoppip
 

Mozzarella

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Sony is favoring Cinematic high budget games because its what the average gamer praises and buys. Maybe sad reality or something idk, I dont really care as thankfully there is many different games still and i can go to a different platform to find different games anyway. I dont think its USA or as Japanese fans say "Western" favored, if Japan makes Hollywood style cinematic game i think it will sell, but you could also argue thats not Japanese game anymore.
Is it true that anything west of Japan is western? :messenger_dizzy:

Edit: I want to add few things. Sony is the most mainstream console now, they will work with that in mind. Nintendo is the place if you want Japanese only gaming. As to answer your thread question, im sorry but i dont have opinion on that, i really dont care if they change their headquarters or if they went too far, its their business, i play and love different games from anywhere so it doesnt bother me where the games are being made, a great game can come from anywhere, i recently played this Russian game called Pathologic 2 and i thought it was great, an art house game, surprising stuff, i thought you find that only in foreign film industry.
 
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@gkTH

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The PS market has moved to western lately so I don't mind that Sony adapts the move.
I, an Asian one, accept and agree what they're doing. Tech in gaming has increasingly developed and maxed out by western with their skills or whatsoever.
As a gamer, I do have nothing to object against their move today.
 
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Kagey K

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It's the circle of life, videogames are coming back home to be made.
When I was a kid I always took video games to be an Asian made thing.

I never thought of it as a US or American thing, because the credits on most games I beat on NES had names I couldn't pronounce.

But I guess you are right, they did start as a predominantly North American creation.
 

Blond

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I don’t think so, I think it’s just that their Western Studios started bringing the heat as much as their Japanese counterparts. To the point that Sony feels comfortable enough to dump 100 million into their project’s knowing they’ll get a ridiculous return.

People upset about this fact should ask themselves why the greatest Samurai game ever made was from a studio that’s known for a Raccoon Burglar and his paraplegic turtle and not the Japanese development teams that took 9 years to make a game about a boy and a dragon.
 
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DeepEnigma

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It’s not like all the Japanese game makers that make games for consoles aren’t making games for the PlayStation console.

The Japanese market focus is switching as mentioned prior to more mobile or gatcha for revenue generators.

I mean look at some of their best games. Celebrating they finally break 1 to 6 million globally on multiplats, meanwhile Sony can publish an exclusive banger that doesn’t break a sweat pushing 12+ million in the same timeframe.

The Japanese games are still there, but at the same time a lot of the big boys that used to produce don’t anymore (Konami) or have scaled back on their IP production in general and focus on a few they have for consoles.
 
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Sakura

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Yes.
It is easy to say they are appealing to the global market or following the money or whatever else, but I'm pretty sure the PS1 and PS2 were very successful globally as well. It's not like the PlayStation used to be some niche Japanese console that they are now trying to expand out.
 
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eyesabitdull

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A lot of great points in this thread,

But I also somewhat agree to a certain extent to the OP.

Sony is becoming a little too western, but there is really no other choice to be quite honest.

Japan is no home to AAA games, and even homegrown Japanese AAA games are catered towards the Western market because only the Western market has a large population of gaming enthusiasts with the money to back up the their demands. Yes, there are definitely huge swaths of console gamers in Asia still, but again, it comes down to purchasing power - and the West has all the purchasing power in the world compared to 3rd World Countries.

Is it a bad thing? Yes, to an extent. But a lot of it I feel is nostalgia to good ole' PSOne and PS2 days where games were more abundant and far cheaper to make with a barrier of entry that was very low to enter.

We will likely never have another Alundra, Breathe of Fire, Legend of Dragoon and the likes because of such changes in the industry and it's trajectory towards Hollywood film budgets for game development.

And that is sad, but definitely not because Sony became too Western. It's just that gaming has predominantly been monetarily financed by dollars and euros, and why wouldn't you follow the money?

TL;DR - The game industry became Western centric, not Sony.
 
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Jubenhimer

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Is it a bad thing? Yes, to an extent. But a lot of it I feel is nostalgia to good ole' PSOne and PS2 days where games were more abundant and far cheaper to make with a barrier of entry that was very low to enter.
The PS4 actually brought that back. The switch to x86 was a deliberate move to make development easier and more accessible to smaller teams. Hence, the abundance of indie games on the console. I think what needs to happen is Japan's indie scene getting more recognition and success in the west.
 
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eyesabitdull

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The PS4 actually brought that back. The switch to x86 was a deliberate move to make development easier and more accessible to smaller teams. Hence, the abundance of indie games on the console. I think what needs to happen is Japan's indie scene getting more recognition and success in the west.
Oh yes, definitely. And let's be clear, I personally think gaming is in an amazing place if we're talking about gaming as a whole, and not just console gaming.

A lot of really hidden gems that can be found on consoles and PC that really reignited my love for gaming.

But it seems like OP was talking about the company's direction, and in a sense, the direction of its First Party Exclusives - so I didn't try to weave in indie games into my reply.
 

Jubenhimer

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Oh yes, definitely. And let's be clear, I personally think gaming is in an amazing place if we're talking about gaming as a whole, and not just console gaming.

A lot of really hidden gems that can be found on consoles and PC that really reignited my love for gaming.

But it seems like OP was talking about the company's direction, and in a sense, the direction of its First Party Exclusives - so I didn't try to weave in indie games into my reply.
Well yeah, Sony has focused a lot on big budget "AAA" games that take years to make lately. There's nothing wrong with that, but I would like to see them partner up with more of the mid-sized independent studios for smaller projects in the future, especially in Japan.
 

nush

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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
When I was a kid I always took video games to be an Asian made thing.

I never thought of it as a US or American thing, because the credits on most games I beat on NES had names I couldn't pronounce.

But I guess you are right, they did start as a predominantly North American creation.

A lot of early Famicom games were ports of popular American home micro games. Even RPGs were originally the creation of the US.
 
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eyesabitdull

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Well yeah, Sony has focused a lot on big budget "AAA" games that take years to make lately. There's nothing wrong with that, but I would like to see them partner up with more of the mid-sized independent studios for smaller projects in the future, especially in Japan.
I mean, they do and they did and they have like Astrobot, Bloodborne, and Gravity Rush and etc. But more would be nice, definitely.
 

kanjobazooie

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According to Wikipedia, 13 of their 16 studios are western, so I suppose they're "too western".
It's not a bad thing. Historically, their most popular Japanese IPs were GT and Ape Escape, and we're getting one of them.

Also, the studio heads of Japan Studio and Asobi are apparently westerners.
 

Mike Zhang

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Yes, I think it's the issue. That's why ps lost the appeal to me as I play more jp games than western games. I have been a ps fan for over 20 years but I decide to game on pc this gen because pc has become the best place to play jp games. Probably I'll get a ns pro instead of ps5
 

Zeroing

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They still a Japanese brand and let’s face it, for many generations they been an hybrid!

if you want to look at a company that is too western look at Xbox
 
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mortal

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The industry is changing as a whole. Eras come, eras go. Entertainment isn't static, art isn't static, culture isn't static. So why would PlayStation be static?

PlayStation originated in Japan, so it's only natural to want to continue wanting to play more games with that Japanese sensibility. I love seeing great and brilliant Japanese developers and ideas receive investment and care.
Although the video games industry has grown considerably since the 1990s, the market has also grown beyond mostly Japan & the USA. Gaming fans, developers, design philosophies. inspiration for game design is no longer predominately coming from the east today, it's coming from the west, it's coming from many unusual places. There are more people gaming than ever before, which also means more fans of gaming which tends to translate to more fans inspired to create and design their own games. Other sourecs of ispiration and inlfuence aside from that of Japanse culture and Japanese inspired aesthetic.

I love Japanese developed games because they tend to have a very distinctive look & feel to them relative to games developed by western developers. I love western developed games for that same reason.
I grew up mostly playing games coming out of Japan, many of which I enjoyed and have fond memories of. I've played many other great games over the years, many of those games were not made by Japanese developers.
If Sony sees so much potential coming out of the west why wouldn't they feel inclined to cultivate and invest in that potential? They would be foolish not to, no?

I would like to see & experience just what a western led era of PlayStation will be like. I'm genuinely eager in seeing the results, more often than not, the results so far have been rather interesting so I'll continue keeping an open mind regarding this current direction. Although I wouldn't mind seeing Sony invest in more exceptional Japanese talent and ideas coming out of the land of the rising sun. Certainly, would not mind if they ever form more Japanese 1st party studios in the near future.
 
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Panajev2001a

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What is up with these threads lately?
Are you still looking to buy a PS5, are you thinking of selling it if you have one or you buy a PC/XSX and enjoy the next revolution GamePass yet? No? More threads… ;).

Seriously though, some of the game’s that got me into PlayStation and kept me there were unique gems such as ICO, SotC, TLG, Gravity Rush, etc… but there was much more than that: The Getaway, WipeOut, Destruction Derby, Primal, Uncharted, TLoU, Spider-man, Astrobot and GT (Japanese studios did survive and may rebuild from there hopefully giving space to smaller games than AAAA big titles only… again see Gravity Rush as an example).
 

cireza

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I don't think they had much of a choice with PS1, since they had pretty much zero studio developing for them for many years. So they basically had to take whatever they could from third parties, and a lot were Japanese.

Still, their communication was clearly Western centric from the get go.
 
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FireFistAce

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Yes, they have. I think Sony have lost their way. O think the PS and PS2 era were so good because of the great games from Japan.
 
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Western games are where the quality is right now. What was the last great game out of Japan that wasn’t from soft or Nintendo? I think that western developers are just a step ahead talent and sales wise rn.
 

RJMacready73

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I haven't played a Japanese style/made game in years, the look just doesn't interest me neither does that whole anime/schoolgirl shite with car sized swords, Sony are simply following the money, not enough money to be made out of fucking nerds and their loli pillows besides Sony's western studios produce far better games than anything coming out of Japan/Korea imo.. at least the plots make fucking sense to me

edit: Completely forgot about Last Guardian & Shadow of the Colossus, those are epic games
 
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Jan 14, 2018
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The PS market has moved to western lately so I don't mind that Sony adapts the move.
I, an Asian one, accept and agree what they're doing. Tech in gaming has increasingly developed and maxed out by western with their skills or whatsoever.
As a gamer, I do have nothing to object against their move today.
I admire your culture
 

TrueLegend

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Well, I don't want things to be too eastern either but........ was The last of Us 2 too much. Yes.
 

old-parts

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Playstation no longer being Japanese happened with Sony corps approval.

It's now a USA company which has its pros and cons for Sony, the main pro is that is makes it easier to dominate the USA market which is the biggest consumption based economy in the world (good for selling games).

The con is that Playstation is now subject to the cultural wars of USA and whichever way the winds blow in that, this is especially annoying for those of us outside the USA. Also putting all your eggs in the USA basket is a risky position given the megacorps of USA (who have a lot more money than Sony) are a major risk to their business should Playstation ever falter. Lastly being too USA centric can weaken your international position which competitors can capitalize on, which is part of Xbox problem.

As long as Sony stays on top in the USA market they aren't going back to being an international company like they use to be.