Arcades, holograms, cloud computing the future of gaming - Square Enix CEO

TGS keynote address sees Yoichi Wada assess the changing industry landscape as Sony reps show off Resistance for the PS Vita, confirm November release for PlayStation Suite SDK.

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TOKYO--The Tokyo Game Show kicked off today with a keynote address on the future of the gaming industry from three of Japan's leading video game industry figures. Square Enix CEO and Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association chairman Yoichi Wada, Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide studio president Shuhei Yoshida, and Sony Computer Entertainment senior vice president Yoshio Matsumoto took to the stage in the Makuhari Messe convention centre this morning to speak about evolving business models in the industry and the need to create new gaming experiences as the gaming audience continues to grow and diversify.

The 2011 Tokyo Game Show is officially under way.

Wada began his address with a brief history of the gaming industry, looking as far back as 1975 and tracking important changes in hardware development. He outlined his belief that there is a steady undercurrent of revolution in the gaming industry driven by the different ways that people play games today and the arrival of console online services and devices like the iPhone. The market has now expanded significantly to include social games, casual games, and cloud gaming.

Wada went on to say that in the past 20 years, the gaming industry has established a set of rules and regulations but that in the future, these will need to be redrafted to accommodate a new generation of gamers who have not grown up with this existing framework. Wada then moved on to talk about the gameplay experience, showing a graph that measured the correlation between communication, processing power, input, and output. Around the year 2000, Wada said, the emphasis shifted from processing power to other factors. The industry now has to accommodate customer needs, and processing power is no longer the sole driver.

Wada said the real shift came with the release of Nintendo's original DS console, which put the emphasis on input and paved the way for touch pads, voice control, and finally, motion control. Wada also expressed his view that there is a correlation between events happening in the gaming industry and events happening in the outside world. For example, touch panels are now featured on general-purpose machines, not just gaming machines. This emphasis on input continued until around 2010, when customers stopped investing time in trying to make the perfect gaming environment and embraced the multitude of different gaming platforms. Wada said the shift then moved towards communication, where it lies now.

Wada then said he believes the competition is no longer between dedicated gaming machines, but rather between general-purpose machines, which means game developers need to focus on what kind of gaming experience they want to provide. In the end, however, it will come back to the dedicated gaming devices. Wada noted that the industry will eventually move from 3D displays to holograms, and then possibly to virtual worlds, but it will take time to reach that point. When this happens, we will see the new technology evolve in game arcades first, as has been the case in the past.

Wada then moved on to talk about game industry business models, saying that the consumer now has the pricing power and pays to his or her satisfaction (for example, the freemium model). While it used to be that the supplier or seller controlled the price, now the price-determining power has shifted to the consumer. According to Wada, developers need to make sure that they review their pricing structure to keep this in mind.

There has also been a shift in what consumers find valuable in gaming experiences. Wada explained that the industry has moved on from provided data to user-generated data and from personal data to community data. People are willing to pay for something that cannot be easily copied or reproduced. Customers are only finding value in user-generated data, personal data, and community data.

Wada closed his address by focusing on the power of the cloud, saying it will positively affect the future of the gaming industry, particularly by changing all the rules and laws that drive current industry business models.

Resistance: Burning Skies will bring the shooter series to the PS Vita.

Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide studio president Shuhei Yoshida and senior vice president Yoshio Matsumoto then took to the stage and began their presentation with a PlayStation Vita introduction video. Yoshida began by saying he wanted to talk about the future of the Vita, with everything from software to hardware to the new applications the new console will run.

Matsumoto then talked about his involvement in the development of the Vita, briefly recapping the announcements made at yesterday's Sony pre-TGS press conference.

A short video then showed off a few of the Vita's social applications as well as gameplay footage from some of the console's launch titles. It also emphasised the Vita's capability to cross-play with the PlayStation 3 and other Vita consoles and its augmented-reality feature.

Yoshida then did a live demonstration of Resistance: Burning Skies for the Vita, demonstrating how users will be able to connect to the online Resistance community site via the Vita's Web browser. After briefly explaining the game's story, Yoshida made his way through an underground facility and demonstrated how users will be able to change weapons using the in-game menu.

Yoshida then moved on to talk about the Vita's augmented-reality feature, which will work much like the PlayStation Eye camera. The first augmented-reality application for the Vita demoed during the keynote address was Wide Area AR, which uses a marker system much like the EyeToy. However, the Vita will use more than one marker (with the option of single AR card or multiple cards), meaning users will have a wider area to use as a playing field. The second application is called Markerless AR, which will let users simply take the real-world environment and change it into a playing field. The onstage demo showed a busy city street captured by the Vita, which then opened up a portal in the road to reveal a small animated monkey. According to Sony, the Vita will be able to recognize real-world markers (such as tables and chairs) and use these to determine the playing field.

Yoshida then did a real-time demonstration using a TGS brochure--he held up the Vita to the brochure and touched the screen to open up another portal and reveal the same animated monkey.

Yoshida then moved on to talk about the link between the Vita and the PS3, reiterating the cloud save feature and the running of cross-platform play between the two consoles. He demonstrated playing Killzone 3 on the Vita using remote play and then performed another small demo to show off the multiplayer remote play using Little Big Planet; during this latter demo, another Sony representative joined Yoshida onstage and played with a DualShock 3 controller while Yoshida played using the Vita.

During the demo, Yoshida used the touch panel on Vita to draw lines on the screen to direct his character while the other Sony representative played on as normal.

The last item talked about in the presentation was the PlayStation Suite, a cross-platform software framework that aims to make games available on multiple Sony devices including Android OS mobile phones, Sony tablets, and the Sony Xperia Play.

Yoshida revealed that the PlayStation Suite software development kit (officially titled PlayStation Suite SDK) will become available to developers this coming November and will be launched in nine countries including Japan, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia, with more countries to follow.

Through the service, developers can create content for PlayStation Certified devices, as well as for the Vita. Yoshida also revealed that Sony plans to provide a variety of content for PlayStation Certified devices through the PlayStation Store from the end of October, starting with original PlayStation games.

Discussion

66 comments
tommy_boy9999
tommy_boy9999

yep I agree with most here. The day gaming goes only Cloud computing. I quit and Will only play older games.

chyng85
chyng85

TGS is more suitable to me~

BlazeEagle
BlazeEagle

I sure hope the cloud doesn’t became the only option. While I can certainly see benefits to cloud services but no matter how reliable the cloud is, It isn’t a panacea like cloud proponents seem to act like it is. I want to OWN my games not be locked into a subscription model as the only way to access my game library. Even with a quality connection that’s steady & reliable, Sometimes the connection still can become unreliable or outright unavailable from one of several reasons thus blocking access to your games.

Slammer612
Slammer612

In reference to the star wars movies.. You'll find out that someone shot at greedo that made him shoot at Hans Solo, to make Hans kill Greedo with the hologram remastery. In the VR Diamond Platinum red-ray edition you'll find out that you shot at greedo in the Cantina.

so_hai
so_hai

"Wada's" he talking about?

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

I think the focus needs to be on providing gameplay experience that you cant get on iOS. The gap needs to be made bigger, as iOS games will quickly close the difference between it and other platforms, because there can be a new iphone every 6 weeks. Its not like games on cell phones are anything new, its just that there use to be a huge difference between a cell phone game and a handheld game, that needs to reestablish.

RACiEP
RACiEP

The day everyone moves to cloud gaming is the day I stop buying any current gen games. Let's hope that never happens and that most consumers are smart enough to realize cloud gaming is a BAD idea.

RACiEP
RACiEP

The day everyone moves to cloud gaming is the day I stop buying any current gen games.

the_requiem
the_requiem

"Killzone3 on Vita" What does that remote-play mean? Something like using Vita as PS3 controller or does it work like streamed gaming?

the_requiem
the_requiem

@tyco_ex: Exciting as all that sounds, I wonder how hologram setups will fit in a college dorm.

Ex-DarkBlade
Ex-DarkBlade

Wada should be focusing on game development and not on things that won't happen for a long time.

CincoToes
CincoToes

@ZXR_ReignSlayer Sadly, the number of gamers and people in general who understand that the future of convenience being pushed by corporations is meant to benefit them and not us is exceedingly low.

CincoToes
CincoToes

Cloud gaming = the future of getting shafted by game companies.

Diophage
Diophage

Quantum computing is the future, dawg.

A_Belmont
A_Belmont

I've been playing games for years, pc games, console games.... I grew up in a house that had a coleco vision, an atari, a NES, and my favorite car past-time happened to be the sega game gear as a kid. Awesome back light screen and sonic on the go! But anyways... a lot of people are thinking cloud gaming won't change anything for the consumer, and if only one company offers cloud services they're probably right. However, if there's competition, the game industry (as it shifts to a service industry as those interviewed suggested) will have to compete, and that will drive down costs. It'll also let people who can't afford expensive pc's play high end pc games, and it might actually boost the amount of interested consumers, and increase the amount of pc specific titles! There's a lot of good that can happen from cloud oriented gaming. If hardware developers don't have to worry about the costs of putting hardware in the hands of every consumer, it frees up a lot of resources to develop technology WAY beyond the scope of current consoles... this holographic stuff could be in the not so distant future, and done really cheaply for the consumer. I think it's great, I can purchase a cheap 300 netbook and play games, rather than sinking three, four, even six times as much for a machine that will lose it's value at a speedy clip.

_AxisofEvil_
_AxisofEvil_

/sigh nintendo has been on this stuff for years. first with the powerglove(which failed) then the virtual boy(which failed). now its the wii and the 3ds. as for the holograms i mean come on if people are sooooooooooooo focused on the 3d techonology whats the point. stop this 3d crap which is causing nothing but sight/vision problems and lets get this 3d hologram stuff up. as for the no hard copy of my games thats bs. even music is still preferred to be bought and actually on the disc. i know we need to move up into a "GO GREEN" direction but come on its a little too late :P

ZXR_ReignSlayer
ZXR_ReignSlayer

Part 2, read below this post 1st- I'm an old school gamer. Every time I buy a game I open it, smell my new game and read the instructions manual before popping it in. I've done this from NES to Gameboy to PS3, Cartridge to Disc to UMD to DS game chip. These actions may seem meaningless but I know myself and many others have their own gaming traditions. Kiss that one goodbye cause I'm buying a download code and the instructions manual is in game. Cloud gaming equals downloading. No more coming home, downloading a quick update and getting to play my game. Its come home, download 19GB and then play. For people with slow connections that can easily be more than 12 hours of downloading, especially if the servers are getting a crap load of traffic. The only ones who profit from cloud gaming are the producers, not the consumers. Sure they may throw in a few goodies and perks when they try to start this up(I have no doubt they'll try, and might succeed) but the bottom line is that they're profiting from the removal of your rights of ownership. Companies like Capcom, EA, and THQ and frothing at the mouth for this to happen. They kick used games sales in the balls, save money on disc and shipping that goes straight to their pockets and put a leash around the consumer's neck in the process, 3 birds with one restricting as hell ToS and EULA

ZXR_ReignSlayer
ZXR_ReignSlayer

I'm not saying some of yall are stupid, but DAAAAMN! Cloud gaming CHANGES NOTHING IN YOUR FAVOR!!!!!! I might get on PC's onlive in a later post, heres for consoles Its DRM up the wazoo. What does it change? Games will be the same price, you'll be paying the same price, but you won't have the option of selling, trading, or loaning your game to friends or other people. No more Christmas game gifts just a code of numbers and letters. You won't own the game, you won't even be renting it. Just paying for the 'service' of playing it. Say I get banned on PSN. No big deal I make another account and still have my games. I get banned when everything is digital distribution and my whole collection of games is gone, taken from me because I never really owned them in the 1st place. What if their servers go down to problems or maintenance? Well looks like you can't play what you paid for until their servers get back online because they won't allow you to play WHAT SHOULD BE YOURS unless their DRM servers verify your copy first upon booting the game up. -CONTINUED

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Pirates and used game sales bring the Cloud nearer and nearer.... *peers into the future*

ggregd
ggregd

As long as there's enough bandwith and low latency cloud gaming (along the lines of OnLive) will be huge. There is no reason to rent a copy of the code on your physical device. Digital music had killed CD's, on demand video is going to kill DVD's eventually, the only dfference with games is interactivity and that's just a controller latency issue. You can already reliably watch 1024 X 768 streaming video. I disagree with the comment on deicated gaming devices. When this comes about there is no need for them. It's all about the games in the end, not what you play them on. And smooth move using this as an advertising platform for your products Sony. You're not the future of gaming by yourselves.

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

This is all supposing the industry isn't destroyed by nonsensical and unethical EULAs and TOUs first.

tyco_ex
tyco_ex

Yomigaeru@: I totally agree. Holograms will completely change the way we play games in our living rooms. Imagine combining the PSMove, Ms Kinect, and a Hologram. You know that gladiator game on move sports? Now you are actually holding a holographic sword, and swinging at a holographic opponent. You can physically see when your sword touches your opponents sword. I can't wait.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

Great, the future of gaming is to be like the rent a center of games where really they just rent the games to us and when they decide to no longer offer them online they can take them away. They like that because they see it as a way to used games sales and lock us into buying their new products because in reality we won't own anything.

Link3301
Link3301

This stuff can happen. Some of it already has begun surfacing. Holographic technology is already being worked on in Japan. Interesting fact for people who have watched or read Yugioh: the holograms are created the same way as in the manga/anime, by intersecting beams of light.

Barighm
Barighm

For anyone who thinks this isn't possible or the tech isn't there: forget it. It's all possible. The next wave of new tech. is astounding. Everything is going to be 5 to 10 times faster. Discovery channel, Wired, Popular Mechanics, or just Google it...it's all there. These guys don't make comments like this unless they have a real basis to go on (and those that do work for dying devs nobody respects). Technology always improves, kiddies. Pretending it won't is just...stupid. Seriously. How can anyone who has lived through the last 20 years think tech won't improve? The only real issue I see with any of this is bandwidth throttling and usage caps. That's more greed than tech.

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

Just answer me this: When will Japan start making PC versions of their games?

yxw
yxw

" There has has also been a shift in what consumer finds valuable in gaming experiences. " I have have know Idea saying what you are :P..... Please proof read !!!!

svaubel
svaubel

Cloud gaming is the future? And Onlive is doing well?

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

Holograms and Virtual reality is where I want gaming to go. Graphics have essentially plateaued at this point, and really the next step up from the current generation would be...photo-realism? Forget HD...forget 3D...holographic technology is a visual effect I think a lot of gamers can get behind. We've already got motion gaming, and if controller-less gaming could be perfected, then we're talking the very definition of immersion. Virtual reality has been a dream for decades now...I don't need Apple to make smaller iPods. We need a real breakthrough. Motion gaming and 3D are essentially building blocks on a fully realized virtual environment, so let's all make this happen.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

Well, we all know for sure that cloud computing is not the future! oh, and by the way, **** Sony!

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

Virtual worlds would be great for baseball and maybe Elder Scrolls, but there is NO way I'm playing Left 4 Dead in a huge, virtual holographic room. I'd give myself a heart atttack or soemthing.

FFIXOwner
FFIXOwner

Wada then Wada then Wada then Wada then Wada then Wada then Yoshida then Yoshida then Yoshida then Yoshida then Yoshida then Yoshida then ... seriously, this is the best GameSpot can hire?

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

Half of what he said is crap. So let me see if I got the hole picture, if cloud gaming is the future.... Well lets see in another point of view, if a person who pirates a game is evil because he takes peoples jobs, so if a company creates a project that takes people job the company is saint? Besides imagine a game with 40GB size, and downloading it, imagine how many hours, even if they divide the game in parts if you sum the download time it is still hours, so they decide to create games with the max 10GB, so they gonna remove the games quality to gain money, with lack of jobs, criminality rises and so does taxes, in the end the price will still be high, so what changes? absolutely NOTHING. What Wada was saying was an Ideal, and ideal and reality are very different things, and ideal is something we want to "be", and reality is something that "is". "Between the ideal and reality, between the motion and the act, falls the shadow" The Hollow Man - by T.S. Elliot

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

taddia
taddia

... ill be honest, other then the AR functions, everything's been seen in the original ds (talkin bout gaming ideas) so nothin new here.. Tho im amazed by the gfx of games, i think ill get a PSV one day or another ^_^

A_Belmont
A_Belmont

I'll be honest, Cloud gaming sounds really awesome to me. While my current wireless situation doesn't let me really enjoy cloud distributors like Onlive all that much, I did try it all the same, and I was thoroughly impressed. The ability to play Arkham Asylum on my good-for-no-games 2008 macbook was incredibly impressive, and even the slight lag I experienced was acceptable. There is a ton of potential for cloud based gaming, and as the USA gets more connected, USA gamers are going to potentially benefit from this sort of content distribution. I know some are really antsy about not getting physical discs anymore, but I think it's made out to be worse than it actually is.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

So we are supposed to listen to Wada about the future? Last I checked his companies games haven't been good as of late. BTW Deus Ex was only published by them. It was developed by Eidos. FF 13 was a bust to me, FF14, and how about Front Mission. For some reason people still want to listen to him though. This cloud business is ridiculous. I can still go back and play my NES, SNES, and other old games. We get into this whole digital distribution bull and when they start to take things like live support for the 360 or PSN for the ps3 in favor of the new generation in a few years we lose our dlcs, digital copies of games, and great functionality of our games.

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

I would die to go to a arcade with a few friends but there are none in my town.

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

Sorry to say but if this IS in fact the direction gaming is taking it's gonna get ugly, change is good, but not when it looks, and smacks of cash grab, or whereby the community feels like it's getting shafted. The Farthest I would be willing to deem cloud gaming acceptable, is something akin to the old Sega Channel, you pay so much a month IN CONJUNCTION with Internet service Providers so that you have access to each given systems Library of games AND avoid the messy business they have started doing by charging for Bandwidth. You get the games you want to play, the bandwidth to play them, and no one gets overly ripped off, however this model is ineffective because I could not for the life of me BEGIN to figure out how to split or work up a means by with which games developers receive their fair share for selling a game. But at least it's a start lol.

zidan4000
zidan4000

@itchyflop Some innovations in video games are really great like HD support and multi-player parties and light downloadable mini games and the one like you mentioned , but things like cloud gaming and anything that turns full retail games in digital only copies are not good for the industry because of many reasons , first , not everyone have a credit card , second , security is still one very big concern , third , owning a physical copy beats owning a digital one any day.

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

If they want to do it as an extra option against hard copy games, then fair enough, but dont make it the ONLY option for the future. Thats just silly.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Oh and Just Say No to cloud gaming as being the only way to get games.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

If only there were any arcades for such technology to evolve in. :(

mhder
mhder

Well in all fairness Japanese Arcades are still very much alive and kicking. A lot of currently successful games did well there first. MY only argument would be that arcades usually have different types of user interface which would not be plausible at home.

itchyflop
itchyflop

@zidan4000 you could have some really interesting concepts don't you think using the vita as a separate screen for multiplayer gaminginstead of split screen, open your mind !!! :)

itchyflop
itchyflop

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

leviathan_wing
leviathan_wing

 @A_Belmont you dont own content only subscribe to renting games... imagine all gaming being like the pay to play mmo models... yeah thats not at all troubling.