Sony Interactive Entertainment Asia president Hiroyuki Oda recently sat down for an interview with Nikkei, where he gave his views on the success of the Nintendo Switch, as well as how SIE Asia has tackled the Chinese market. [Thanks, blog.hokanko-alt!]
Here are the highlights:
Although this is related to other companies, in 2017 the Nintendo Switch made quite an impact, especially with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2. What do you think about this?
Hiroyuki Oda, president: “I’d say it has had an overall positive influence on the entire games market. Gamers want to play various games of various types, so the most important thing is that these people who love games are happy. SIE will play to its strengths by providing games of various genres, including realistic, high-definition games.”
Please tell us more about your business in China. What are the characteristics of that market?
Oda: “SIE first started selling PS4s in the Chinese market in March 2015. Before that, because of government restrictions, console video games were unable to compete in the market. While China has the largest-scale video games market in the world, it is mainly focused on PC (online) games, plus the growing smartphone game market. Console games have a long way to go to catch up.
Looking on the game software market there in terms of game genres and gaming content, China and Asia in general are somewhere in between the Japanese and Western gaming markets. Both Western action games, and games based on popular Japanese IP do well there. Both the NBA 2K series, and the popular Japanese RPG Final Fantasy XV are very popular in China.”
And how have SIE been conducting business in such a market?
Oda: “Because Chinese users are sensitive to trends, we joined the market with our latest console, the PS4. Firstly, we used this to send a message to the market.
Furthermore, because Chinese developers have little experience developing console games, we provided a development program called China Hero Project in order to support their game development. We collected ideas, chose 10 titles in the first contest, then we and our partner corporations provided the development engine and the knowhow used to develop the games. The titles created via this project will be obviously released in China, but are also considered for the Japanese and Western markets as well. In fact, Animal Force, a PSVR game developed as part of this project, was released in Japan in June 2018.”