The Kotaku guy got an impressive level of access. He chatted with people including but not limited to Yoshida, Allan Becker (a guy I'd never heard of, but he cofounded Sony Santa Monica and was moved to SCEJ a few years ago to try to get SCEJ on track so he's kind of a big deal) and Mark Cerny. It sounds like SCEJ is determined to become a force on the PS4 this time around.
There is a lot of text below, but those are small snippets from a massive article, so I recommend clicking on the link.
Increasingly, the Japan Studio was being eclipsed by its sister studios.
The way that the games were developed at Sony in Japan was different than in the West. According to Yoshida, "Games made in Japan were kind of driven by grassroots and bottom up, with people making what they wanted to make without much strategic direction or huge ambitions. Of course, there were some creators who had ambition, like Kazunori Yamauchi or Fumito Ueda. Those people with a clear vision."
Yoshida wasn't saying that all other Sony developers in Japan were devoid of drive. Rather, it appeared that many of the developers were making what they wanted to make without thinking about whether or not anyone would want to play their game—and, just as important, without applying a structure to the development process. Things were fluid. Perhaps, they were a little too fluid.
Becker described the sheer love and passion the studio's developers had for the titles—all 40-odd of them—they were creating. Creativity was never the problem at the Japan Studio. Neither was the passion to make games. "And so," he said, "I was really troubled when I had to really start to focus and cut titles."
The Last Guardian was first announced in 2009, and it hasn't yet been released. I ask whether or not Becker thinks that the more structured environment at Japan Studio will help Fumito Ueda and The Last Guardian.
"We're real-time in that process," Becker replied. "And we don't necessarily agree with each other—Fumito Ueda and I—about process. In some sense, I sort of... implemented change, which, I think, is causing some concern and consternation. But, once again, I think the benefit will come through. We're still going through that phase of adjustment and finding the right balance and groove."