The lights are on
Sony has an exciting future ahead with the impending launches of the PS Vita TV and PlayStation 4. Together, the two new systems allow users to stream games from the PS4 to the Vita TV, and the PS4 is allowing for external HDMI capture. We asked Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's worldwide studios, about these features and also gained some renewed hope that the former Team Ico title The Last Guardian will see the light of day.
Can you confirm if external HDMI capture from the PS4 will be possible with all regions?[Masayasu] Ito-san [Sony Computer Entertainment’s senior vice president and division president of business] did talk about that on stage at TGS 2013] but unfortunately it was lost in translation. I think we have to come up with our official line. What we were supposed to say. So rather than me talking about it, I think we have to gather internally and agree on what we are saying. But he did confirm that in the future, without being specific about the timing.
On stage at TGS you said a home network will be the ideal set up for using the Vita TV to stream PlayStation 4 games, but that it will be possible with very strong internet connections. Can you clarify this?Vita TV or for PS Vita remote play are basically the same. The difference is that PS Vita relies on wi-fi, but the Vita TV has the [Ethernet port], so it’s a bit more stable. It works either inside a home network or through the internet. But because it’s like a Gaikai cloud game, there has to be certain bandwidth required and latency has to be more than a certain millisecond to have good, quality gaming. It depends on the title and it depends on what the internet condition is. It’s definitely going to be great to play at home, unless you have lots of Netflix [accounts] going on the same network. But going through the internet is going to be more challenging unless you really have an ideal connectivity inside of the United States, or if Google is doing something. That’s the extreme, but with time the infrastructure will get better. What we are providing is a mechanism that game can know the internet conditions and tell you ‘No, you can’t play’, or ‘Yes, you can play’, or the quality can degrade.
Can you use the Vita TV to stream other PlayStation 4-exclusive features?I think it’s games and system features, and not video services. It could depend on the video services, but there will be video services native on Vita TV. So that’s recommended, rather than streaming from the PS4 to Vita TV. For the Japanese market we are bringing more services than we have on the PS3 in Japan. Because we see it’s quite a unique proposition for a casual audience. It’s quite a cheap, entry-level device [below $100].
We heard Sony is giving users the option to use their real name in place of their PSN IDs. Does this require users to change their PSN ID?We are not replacing [PSN IDs], but we are adding another option for people to input their own real name. They have some control of how their real name is exposed to everyone or friends. It’s actually a common question that I’ve been asked is ‘Can I change my PSN ID?’ That’s a very common request, and I wish we could say ‘Yes, you can”, but it’s very technically complex. I can’t answer that, really.
With the curtain soon to close on the PlayStation 3 generation, is time for fans to give up hope on The Last Guardian ever coming out?The team is still there in SCE Japan Studio, [Fumito] Ueda-san is still there, but we are still waiting for the time to reintroduce it.