Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida talked about his highlights for E3 during the latest episode of the PlayStation BlogCast, also giving an update on the state of development of The Last Guardian, and some intriguing info on how he manages to handle his gaming backlog.
Yoshida-san mentioned that one of his best moments at E3 was Sony’s press conference. He was able to watch the rehearsals from the second floor, but he actually was among the audience on the ground level for the actual conference, and the live orchestra was amazing. Both the chorus and the singer have been flown over from Iceland for the occasion, which makes sense given the Nordic theme of God of War.
Some moments he remembers fondly are the reveal of Hideo Kojima’s game Death Stranding, Crash Bandicoot, and the announcement of the release date of The Last Guardian.
According to Yoshida-san, the conference was “perfect” as a show, with no business talk and just showcasing the games. He’s very appreciative of the work the SIEA team did to put together the whole thing.
Another highlight was the quality of Indie games, many of which could have easily been on stage for the press conference. ABZÛ, Brutal, Rain World and Headlander are indie games that Yoshida-san mentioned.
Yoshida-san also explained that it’s “beyond exciting” and “almost unbelievable” to be finally close to releasing The Last Guardian (that will hit the shelves on October 25th in North America and Japan). Sony had discussions with the development team on whether to announce the release date at E3 or not. The game has gone through playtesting many times already, and they’re currently focusing on debugging, tweaking and polishing the it
According to Yoshida-san, there are lots of things that will be improved until the very last minute, but the team was very confident, so it was decided to make the announcement. Sony doesn’t want to spoil the story, so they don’t want to show much and they won’t do lots of hands-on demos before release.
Usually Yoshida-san plays games in development multiple times to make sure that everything is going as planned, but there are exceptions, because at times he wants to experience the finished games like fans do. One example was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: At some point last year he decided that he wouldn’t touch the game anymore until release. The Last Guardian is another game that Yoshida-san won’t play before it’s finished. He has full confidence in Fumito Ueda’s judgement. According to Yoshida-san this is the most crucial period before the game goes gold, so the team is super-busy.
Yoshida-san also joked about the fact that in September he will disappear, trying to finish Persona 5 before the release of Final Fantasy XV. Jokes aside, he mentioned that he tries to wake up early at around 5:00 AM, so that he’s able to play games before going to the office. That’s how he manages to play through his backlog. He also plays Minecraft with his daughters, and he enjoys Dragon Quest Heroes II with them as well. According to him,it’s much more polished than the first game of the series. Dragon Quest Builders was also named as another game that he plays with his daughters.
Funnily, Yoshida-san revealed that he forced himself to stop playing mobile free-to-play games, as he had become a “slave” to Clash of Clans and had three different games he was playing at the same time on two different smartphones. Now he’s “clean,” and he isn’t playing any free-to-play mobile games so he can focus on console games. Speaking of mobile, he also played Hironobu Sakaguchi’s Terra Battle a lot in the past.