PS3 neglecting family-friendly genre, says Sony boss

Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida explains this genre is "really important," company "going big" on all-ages titles at retail this holiday.

The PlayStation 3 has been neglecting the family-friendly genre, Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Game Informer magazine (via Gaming Everything). When asked about a lack of first-party "mega-blockbusters" due out this holiday season, Yoshida said Sony would instead be focusing on broad-appeal efforts.

Sony's new Wonderbook project is most definitely aimed at children.

"Our strategy for Christmas is to go big on family-friendly titles," Yoshida said. "This is a neglected genre for the PlayStation 3, but as it matures, I think it’s really important to have these games on the platform."

Two major first-party family-friendly titles Sony plans to release this holiday season are Little Big Planet Karting and the J.K. Rowling-supported Wonderbook project. Yoshida explained that Sony would "love" to have multimillion sellers during the holiday, but games like The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension "need time" and were not a fit for this holiday season.

Yoshida also said its first-party lineup this holiday season will see a boost from third-party releases, which include Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Electronic Arts' Medal of Honor Warfighter, and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed III, all of which are due out in October or November.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

327 comments
DarthLod
DarthLod

Family Friendly is for Wii. Something I could give two #### about.

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Sony really has not gotten my attention in terms of creating family-friendly games.  I have always looked at them as the anti-Nintendo and that isn't all bad but I do think they could do better in creating games that have more relaxed gameplay.

GryphonICD
GryphonICD

Yes, because it was 'familt friendly franchises' that got us from the early 80's to where we are today in gaming. Maybe Sony should just give in and create Sonic the Plumber if he's the concerned. I don't mind family games, I just rather enjoy playing decent games in my bedroom for hours on end instead. Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted, Heavy Rain etc. You know, those games that make the PS3 stand out.

rarson
rarson

Boy, I'm so glad that Nintendo is giving us something new this Christmas, so I don't have to keep waiting for a next-gen console. Hopefully Sony and Microsoft have learned their lesson and will return to the 5-year cycle.

bat725
bat725

Sony failed at capturing the handheld market, and they failed at establishing franchises for children. You can count on Nintendo to release new versions of their classic franchises with every console they release. Where were Jak & Daxter and Sly Cooper on PS3?  I always felt it was a mistake to lose Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Can you imagine if Skylanders was a PS exclusive? Is it me, or does LBP appeal more to older gamers? And then there's PSP/PS Vita. Were these systems intended for the all the kids who play Game Boy/DS? If so, they sure fooled me.

vault-boy
vault-boy

Just always remember, there is a difference between making a game that an entire family can enjoy and making a game marketed towards an audience who won't know any better if its dreadful.

jark888
jark888

Some really fun 4 players games would be nice.

Scorpid77
Scorpid77

(pst, hey Sony, you know what you are TRULY neglecting? The PS Vita...)

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

I don't mind family friendly games, that's why I'm currently enjoying Nintendo consoles and there titles (metroid, fire emblem, zelda etc.) but I hope Sony doesn't fall into the trap of family friendly = kiddy.

 

I like my family friendly stuff to be made for adults, like metroid and zelda but then of course to just have the blood cut out and the violence not particularly emphasised and made funnier for the kids with some whooshing and bing sounds or whatever (like the sound effects on zelda) but still contain the essence of an adult game. On the PS3 for example I want Ni No Kuni, because it looks awesome fun and it won't be violent or dark but it'll still be an RPG with monsters who I can kick the crap out of. I hope if Sony shifts there focus proper (and not just this holiday season) they go for these actual family friendly stuff and not just kid friendly with minor appeal to adults.

Greyfeld
Greyfeld

While I think it's "too little, too late" for Sony to start hopping on the "family friendly gaming" bandwagon that Nintendo stole 6 years ago, this sounds like Sony is just trying to change their approach this holiday season due to the lack of any major AAA blockbusters coming out around christmas time.  I don't begrudge them that, even if I don't think their attempts are going to go over well.

Mayleene
Mayleene

There goes Sony again, following Nintendo.

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

everybody takein this shi* like Sony is goin 2stop making games for the big boys... get real this is just an idea took make money for the holiday session... SMH..... things will go back 2 normal...NumNuts........ 

NeoIostars
NeoIostars

as long as it doesn't make Sony neglect their core hardcore audience, I'm fine with that. I myself am curious with that Wonderbook thing they introduced at E3. I hope it's not a glorified/oversized Wii U GamePad or anything...

mtnjak
mtnjak

I think there's something to that.  I've been a hard copy subscriber to a particular game magazine ever since before the PS3 came out.  But I plan to let my subscription run out this fall.  Why?  I'm continuing to see content in the magazine that I have no interest in.  Games like Lolipop Chainsaw for one or any of the many other "M" rated titles.  I do like the occasional FPS and own several titles.  However, when my main interests are racing, adventure and some FPS, when I keep seeing hack and slash type titles left and right I've found my interest in the content has shrank over the years.  Also, now that I have kids, and my oldest who is 3 grabs a magazine and starts to thumb through it I find myself taking it from him and telling him that it's "not for you".   If the magazine editors choose to keep the content as they wish that is fine with me.  I'm not suggesting they review or talk about only E rated games.  But as a consumer, I'll do what is best for me and my interests.

petran78
petran78

will they also release a pink PS3?

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

I disagree, they assume that children  and preteen consumers don't play maturer titles. While ESRB ratings exist, these ratings are far less important than they'd like to believe they are. I for one played Conker's bad fur day since i was 8, I turned out pretty ok.

 

Secondly, with the economy being in the state it is, neither parent can afford to be at home. In 2012, mommy, daddy, kids and grandma sitting in front of the t.v playing Mario Kart and laughing isn't a likely scenario. If it were to happen, the max parents can afford is an hour of family time a week and they're more likely to play non- electronic games like monopoly.

Krelian-co
Krelian-co

hell yeah we need more dancing darth vaders

/sarcasm

moviequest14
moviequest14

Why is it so many people act like gaming didn't exist before the ps3 , 360 , and wii? It's sad. Newsflash , family friendly DOESN'T mean casual. There were plenty of hardcore games last generation that were family friendly and still some this gen... Sly Cooper , Jak and Daxter , Ratchet and Clank , Little Big Planet , most of Nintendo's offerings , minecraft ,  Rayman Origins , the lego games , banjo , Kingdom Hearts , Sonic  ... oh wait .... family-friendly games are supposed to be casual shovel ware right? I know plenty of 17+ teens that can't get many games not because they're under-aged or the like but since they have little brothers/sisters can't play M-rated games because kids are always around. Family friendly doesn't mean ''Super Happy Family Fun Time Party 3'' , it just means a game that you can play with kids in the room. Whether you be a kid yourself , a fully grown adult that has to worry about kids in the room all the time , or someone that just doesn't want another shooter. I'm not sure how many of you just started playing games within the past 5 years and think that anything before ps360-wii is just pong and game and watch ... and how many of you might've gone into an amnesia-like coma... but as recent as even last gen there wasn't an exact line that ,if you crossed , took you to the dreaded casual family zone. Everyone played Crash Bandicoot , Sly Cooper and the Lego Games , sure there was GTA or Hitman or RE but most of the time games were just meant for people that play games. Not all of these labels that cause superiority.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

one things for certain I will not be an early adopter of the next gen consoles, which I traditionally have been. Until convinced otherwise then my money will simply be spent on PC gaming upgrades.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

I grew up mostly playing Command and Conquer, Theme Hospital, Streets of Rage, Sonic and Grand Theft Auto.. Quite a few violent games in there, but I see what they're saying.  Family friendly games are needed - it encourages gaming afterall!

 

Hopefully they won't go all Nintendo on our ass though.  In my opinion they're the market leaders in terms of exclusives.

itchyflop
itchyflop

as the ps3 matures, haha!! its almost gone i think you've missed the boat there Shuhei !!!

itchyflop
itchyflop

not that i don't agree but isn't that what NINTENDO's for !!!!

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

 @rarson maybe graphics technology isn't developing in such a noticeable way every 5 years as it did before? 

 

new generations of hardware are based on noticeable technology advances and not on time.

 

But i suppose that won't stop people from asking for something new while not even knowing what they want...

kkushalbeatzz
kkushalbeatzz

 @rarson No! Not everyone had an infinate amount of money to spend on a new console every few years. And right now, the current gen just reached its peak. It has no benefits for anyone except for Nintendo because they have the least current users at the moment.

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

 @Greyfeld yup..... pretty much what the article was saying.... 

 

do y'all actually read the article...........

Guest1001
Guest1001

 @Mayleene ... You're kidding, right? In that case, Nintendo copied Doctor Who. Making family-friendly products, what copycats!

 

Honestly, I thought the Nintendo fanboys who claimed every karting game was a Mario Kart ripoff was the worst of it (you know, the game inspired by real-life karting?) but you've actually managed to top that.

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

 @Mayleene i think Nintendo needs 2 take a few lesions from Sony shi* even MicroSoft... because i don't see Nintendo Wii U doing as good as the Wii..... and just keeping it real Nintendo can't hang with the BIG BOYS.......

moviequest14
moviequest14

 @bigcrusha There are more scenarios than just that though. I can name 3 or 4 of just my direct friends in their teens (while old enough to legally buy M-rated games) have younger brothers and sisters , and they aren't allowed to get M-rated games and don't want to themselves because they don't want their little siblings to see stuff like that. If your mom and dad gone all the time concept is true then that is even more common. Should they not have worth-while games to play?

ImBack558855
ImBack558855

 @bigcrusha man i'm sick of people talking about how bad the  economy is... spending time with ur kids and family shouldn't stop because the economy is bad SMH...... me and my son plays games everyday before work after work it doesn't matter.. my sister and her 2 girls have game time where they play wii gams... just because some of y'all don't have tight familys doesn't everybody does...

moviequest14
moviequest14

 @Krelian-co Way to generalize an entire section of gaming by one game. I suppose I should say ''Hell yeah we need more immature sex jokes and half-ass games'' for all action/shooters because Duke Nukem Forever was one?

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @moviequest14 True that, moviequest. I myself like to take a break from dark and gritty games every now and then and play cartoony games.

Eruu
Eruu

 @moviequest14 For someone complaing about people labeling family friendly games "casual", only mentioning "shooters" as hardcore games doesn't get you any points from me.

rarson
rarson

 @ImBack558855

 

The article said that Sony is focusing on family software. Greyfeld is saying that they seem to be doing that because of a lack of other software. The article doesn't say that at all.

 

And no, most people don't read the article. Did you?

rarson
rarson

 @ImBack558855  

 

Lesions? Like bruises or scrapes? You think Nintendo should have Sony or Microsoft physically assault them?

 

Nintendo can't hang with the "big boys," that's funny considering the Wii's worldwide hardware figures are far higher than both the 360 and PS3.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

 @moviequest14 Not necessarily.... The rate of maturity is is determined my many factors, but the highest discerning one is peer to peer influence. 

 

Why I and many kids like I played maturer games even as children. I was well brought up, my parents did a good job at giving me moral guidance on how I should act and to differentiate reality from fiction.

 

Same goes for older sibling peers. You pose an 80% higher risk psychologically corrupting the mind of your younger brother throwing rocks at windows and stealing candy as opposed to curb stomping a locust in gears of war.

 

Truth is rather than buying more family friendly games, you'd be doing alot more for them physically and mentally by taking them to the park.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

 @ImBack558855 Well ImBack, unless you've been living under a rock for since 2008, I don't think you'll find all to many adults who are as fortunate as you are.

 

Did you know that the current middle class man is expected to have only 30k in RSP by retirement. Many adults today are forced to work more than the average 8 hour day, in result they end up coming home too tired to spend time with their children.

 

Where I'm from, the average civilian makes an average 50k and inflation is only going up. In result, more and more people are spending time at work rather than at home. 

 

So no.... Not everyone is as fortunate as you are.....

moviequest14
moviequest14

 @Eruu It's true that I would guess 70%+ of current ''hardcore'' games to be a shooter of some sort. Either first person or third. Just look at the major releases for the past couple years... Mass Effect 3 , Max Payne 3 , Ghost Recon Future Soldier , Prototype 2 , Spec Ops The Line , Battlefield 3 , Crysis 2 , Killzone 3 , Bulletstorm , Resistance 3 , Saints Row The Third , Gears of War 3 , should I continue? And on top of that existing franchises are being turned into shooters .... Resident Evil , Metal Gear , now Dead Space... Take a look through your average game aisle in a store and find what could be considered a ''hardcore'' game that isn't a shooter or extremely action-heavy game. I NEVER said that all hardcore games ever made are shooters , I'd be a damn idiot if I did. But you'd be in denial if you don't see *MOST* ''hardcore'' AAA games now-a-days are shooters of some variation. When bungie was supposedly working on a new project I didn't even have to click the article link to know it would be a shooter. Last generation there were plenty of ''hardcore'' games that weren't shooters... but do you seriously want to argue the point that most hardcore games aren't shooters?

moviequest14
moviequest14

 @Eruu Yeah , that's what I'm saying , it doesn't matter whether said hardcore game is a shooter or not , I was only using it as an example since the majority are (shooters). It has no significance at all to the point I was making.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

 @moviequest14 Personally I'm just not a big fan of platformers so quite a few of the games you mentioned (jax and daxter, ratchet and clank, sly cooper, LBP, Banjo etc.) wouldn't appeal to me all that much. Yes I play shooters but I also play RTS, RPG, Action (DMC, GoW, Ninja Gaiden etc.) and fighting games so most of the core genres.

 

I agree family friendly doesn't mean casual and I enjoy a lot of the Nintendo games for that reason but more often than not Sony and MS don't manage to do it quite like Nintendo do and keep the adult side up with the family friendly side.  I also agree on the sad state of gaming where people try and call stuff casual and hardcore (which I refrain from using and just use the term of core genre's for more standard staple genre's) but do call games like uncharted and other more basic versions of core games casual since they're aimed more at tech heads with graphics obsessions than proper gamers looking for a detailed and in-depth experience. When it comes to platformers though I just grew out of them, I view them as lighter gaming with little real progression and just a bit of puzzle solving but it's not too bad. Family friendly is just better when they aim the games at adults (like zelda and mario) and then tone down the violence and blood really.  This gen has been awful for ignorant gamers who buy too many FPS (I love FPS but god damn do those COD kids need to buy good games and play less COD).

Eruu
Eruu

 @moviequest14 yes if you pick a game at random on gamestop not knowing anything about it you'll probably get a shooter but that's because the industry is flooded with those nowdays..You got it all wrong sir or maybe i didn't explain myself right. I said "casual gaming" not "casual games", as in someone coming out of work and enjoy a few minutes of assassins creed or something. So yes, for me THE TERM "casual gaming" means, somone playing a game that appeals to him even if he barely plays video games but that doesn't mean its a "casual" game, it can be anything, "platformers, dacing simulators... shooters", whatever.At the end of the day, labeling games "casual" or "hardcore" means nothing to me because it all comes down to personnal opinion, just like you said. But saying 70% of "hardcore" games are shooters it's like saying people who play more than 8h a day only buy shooters and thats just not true, i play +12h and have around 150 games, only 6 of them are shooters.

Also i didn't take it as an insult nor i'm trying to start a war, i'm just trying to explain my point of view.

 

moviequest14
moviequest14

 @Eruu   The shooting elements are extremely strong though. Really? That's comparing apples with oranges. And that's where your casual logic falls apart. Wouldn't you say Half Life series is a pretty hardcore game? My sister is literally as casual as it gets but she enjoys playing it. I can't count the number of casual players I know that play Red Dead or GTA or Gears of War. I know guys that barely know about anything in the industry until it's at GameStop but when they go they get BorderLands or Killzone or Bioshock. When it comes down to casual it usually is based on opinion , but at least from my knowledge of games casual games have very simple basic gameplay that is quick pick up and play and an almost non-existent story. Even still there are family-friendly games that are un-arguably hard-core... Rayman Origins , Megaman  , Portal/Portal 2 , Minecraft , Ratchet & Clank , Kingdom Hearts etc. that almost all gamers play and love. If this were a discussion about hardcore games I would've elaborated more on it. But it's not , referring to your average hardcore game as a shooter (which is true that if you randomly pick up a game while blindfolded on a store shelf it is probably going to be a shooter or close to it) and the fact you nit-pick at that , which really wasn't even meant as an insult against hardcore games , shows how little argument you have that you resort to something off-topic as that.

Eruu
Eruu

 @moviequest14 RPGs, Fighting games, simulators, racing games, RTSs aint enough?...

 

Also since when Prototype 2 or Saints Row the Third are "Shooters"? Just because they have shooter mechanics doesn't make them, i consider Mass effect 3 for example a shooter with RPG mechanics because it relies mostly on shooting to progress ingame but games Like GTA or Saints Row don't, the whole beauty of Sand Box games is having a ton of things to do and not all mean shooting through hordes of enemies... It's like saying Infamous is a shooter as well just because the enemies use guns. Get over yourself.

The term "casual gaming" for me means games that appeal to people who usually don't play as often as i do or just don't care about the gaming industry, whether the games are platformers, dacing simulators or shooters is irrelevant.