Yoshida was present during this year's Gamelab conference to pick up a Honor Award for his work in the games industry, and we managed to catch up with him right before to talk his thoughts on the company's E3, the move into VR, PS Vita's position in their future plans and what he wants from Uncharted 4 (hint: a good game).
You can watch the full GRTV interview at the end of the article, but here's some choice snippets of what we covered:
On Sony's E3 showing....
"We're getting a lot of positive feedback... [and] we announced many new games, including Little Big Planet 3 and Bloodborne, [which] I'm personally really, really excited about."
... But they could have cut some segments down.
"We spent too much time talking about Powers, so we could have made [that] a bit shorter. So that was a mistake."
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On Morpheus and competition with Oculus Rift.
"We just needed to announce that there'll be new demos. 'so please come and try'. Because it's really difficult to communicate what the real experience is unless you try it. So that's a challenge we have. That's a challenge that Oculus guys have as well. We're very friendly with Oculus people. They're bringing new demos, we brought new demos, and the more people we can get to try either Oculus or Morpheus, more people excited about Virtual Reality. So we're very friendly.
"We're calling our prototype as a prototype because we know there are technical things we want to improve. And they're calling their devkit a devkit as well. So both of us are looking at improving the tech so that we believe this is a product that we can offer to everyone to try. So it takes a bit more time for us to realize that, but we're feeling really, really great about what we have, especially as a devkit. So we're providing this devkit prototype to game developers so that they can start making cool stuff."
On Move's inclusion adding to the VR experience.
"Once you try the Project Morpheus you have the 3D world around you. Then immediately you want to interact with the 3D world, and in order for you to do that, you need some very robust 3D input device. That is PS Move."
On clarifying his comments about PS Vita's first and third party support and dedicated games.
"The question I was asked was, 'going forward, [will] the number of first party will be smaller?', and I said 'yes, number of projects will be smaller. I never said 'we won't make any games on PS Vita'.
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We're continuing to make games on PS Vita - we just launched a game called Freedom Wars in Japan, it's a big title dedicated to PS Vita, and if it's received very well in Japan, we'll bring that to Europe and US as well. And we're making that JRPG, a very, very beautiful JRPG called Oreshika as well. And games made in Europe - Murasaki Baby is a dedicated PS Vita title that got many awards at E3. And we're continuing to make cross-platform games like Helldrivers or CounterSpy... many, many games we have in development for PS Vita from first party as well."
On PS4 first-party mainstream games like Knack.
"When we launch a new system, we tend to think that the early adopters are core game users. However, when we looked at the people who purchase the PS4, an amazing number of people are what we do not consider core gamers - new users or casual users. And when we announced Little Big Planet 3 at E3, there were a lot of cheers.
So now we have really confirmed that people want a variety of product, variety of games, games that you play by yourself, or games that you can play with your family or your kids. So we'll continue to try to offer variety of experiences on PS4."
On the difference between movies and video games.
"Movie-like games are games in the end. The interactivity, that's the most important, but the story adds to the impact of the interactivity. In games like Uncharted or The Last of Us, Naughty Dog is trying really hard to not separate storytelling from the gameplay. The storytelling and the gameplay are seamlessly integrated; that's the most important thing and the people enjoy that experience. So we're not trying to make movies."
What he wants from Uncharted 4.
"Well, I just ask 'please make a great game' and they will make a great game, so I'm totally confident. I rather not want to know the games in development too much because that ruins my experience [laughs]. That's a good part and a bad part of my job, [that] I get to have an access to games early in development and that I would not be able to enjoy games like many people would."
On PS4 vs PC.
"PC is the most accessible platform. You don't need any permission to make games and release, and a system and platform like Steam is providing a great way to market those games. What we want to do with PlayStation is we want to make it more accessible to these developers, because indie developers targeting PC or mobile are creating great games, and these teams tend to be very resource limited -number of programmers, they do not have many- so it's very important for us to make PlayStation accessible to those developers, so that they find it's manageable for them to move their games to PlayStation when they want to".