While I personally didn’t freak out over any individual announcement from Sony’s 2015 PlayStation Experience event over the weekend, overall it was a pretty impressive display. Most people paying attention probably already realize what’s major about it — we’re seeing the return of Japanese developers to modern console visual fidelity. The only catch is it all might not be exclusive to PlayStation anymore.
The unveiling of games like Ni-Oh and Ni No Kuni II along with other games we saw at E3 and the Tokyo Game Show like the NiER sequel or 13 Sentinels: Ageis Rim is important because it signals the return of a certain flavor to console gaming. I really do think one of the main things that hurt the PS3 early in its lifespan was a lack of Japanese games as those developers struggled to catch up to the then-new hardware. The PS2 dominated due to a snowball effect of a plurality of Japanese developers exclusively supporting it. Those third party exclusives were the PS2’s main strength, and that asset was pretty much absent from the PS3’s library. The major Japanese games that did show up were almost all also available on Xbox 360.
Now we’re seeing either returning franchises or new games in the console retail space that aren’t quite AAA and can stretch out a bit creatively from the design mold of every game trying to chase the Call of Duty audience. It may not be the same as the PS2 era, but it’s starting to remind me of it. Continue reading