In a recent broadcast, developer light talked about their struggle bringing the visual novel Silverio Trinity to PlayStation due to Sony’s new regulations affecting ports for games ages 18 and up. [Thanks, Hachima.]
Over the years we’ve seen countless PC visual novels for ages 18 and up release as toned-down ports on PlayStation consoles, but Sony Interactive Entertainment has adapted a new policy that is more strict towards games with sexual-themed content. This new change has made it increasingly difficult for even Japanese developers to bring their titles to PlayStation consoles, in Japan.
We’ve recently seen console games such as Omega Labyrinth Z and Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal have their Western localization affected by Sony’s new regulation, and visual novel developer light had their own bit to share about the frustrations of getting a PlayStation port of Silverio Trinity.
The following discussion took place during the “Happy light Cafe Special Event” NicoNIco Live broadcast at around the 52-minute mark of the broadcast when the console port was announced:
Moderator: “They’re asking (in the comments) what platform? Oh, are we not allowed to talk about that?”
light Representative: “Platform? Are we allowed to say?”
Moderator: “Well, I don’t know. Are we allowed?”
light: “We did say it at an event last week, so I guess it’s okay to say, but we’ve submitted the application with Sony. The game’s development has been complete, since a long time ago. But see, we sent the application to Sony but it has yet to pass.”
light: “It seems like Sony is currently going towards a direction that won’t allow us to port anything rated 18 and up anywhere in the world. Since this game is also ages 18 and up, it is getting severely inspected, and we’re getting all kinds of questions. And they’re also telling us to please write it all in English.
So we’re currently in the middle of answering all of them, and we don’t know whether it’ll be approved or not. It’s awful, but at least the development is complete.
The interior is complete, but we just need to connect to Sony’s servers since there are Trophy functions and such that need it. Everyone at the company is always asking ‘when will we get the Trophy function?’
And we have this guy here who is in charge of translating it to English and sending it over to Sony, but it really makes me want to tell them ‘What the heck, you guys don’t even speak Japanese?’ At this rate, if it passes inspection at Sony now then I think we’ll get to release it at the beginning of the year.
If Sony isn’t okay with it then we’ll just release it elsewhere.”
Moderator: “So Pending review.”
light: “Yeah, pending review from Sony. I mean we could release it next week if we just did it through Steam. However, we kind of made an agreement with Sony… But it’s rough having to wait for approval even though we’ve already come to an agreement.”
It wasn’t specified whether Silverio Trinity was headed to PS4, PS Vita, or both.
In the case of developer Harukaze’s Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart (or Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat), the PS Vita version that released in September 2017 had the usual light censorship that covered nudity from the original PC version, but the PlayStation 4 version, which released October 25, 2018, took some heavy damage from the censorship beams:
The game also released for Nintendo Switch alongside the PS4 version and it received the same censorship as the PS Vita version. You can check out Hachima for a closer look at some more examples.