More information regarding Sony’s direction for the PlayStation 5 has emerged that won’t bode well for indie game developers and fans.
The Wall Street Journal reports that at a recent strategy briefing for Sony, the company boasted the specs of the upcoming console, including its high-end graphical capabilities. Company CEO Kenichiro Yoshida was quoted as saying that the change “clearly demonstrates why it makes sense to have a next-generation console.”
PlayStation has become Sony’s leading consumer product, amassing more than $21 billion in the last fiscal year. However, in competing against Microsoft and emerging competitors, such as Google’s Stadia and Apple Arcade rumored to release later this year, Sony’s new direction for the PS5 will neglect indie titles.
Ahead of the console’s 2020 release, Sony has announced that they are aiming to focus their attention on larger publishers and secure exclusive content for the PlayStation 5. Their talks with third-party publishers are to be expected with the success of PlayStation 4 exclusives such as Infamous: Second Son and Bloodborne. The company believes that people will be purchasing the PS5 to experience “high-quality” games with new and advanced graphics and, therefore, they will be focusing on dedicated fans of AAA titles over those for indie games. The idea here is that fewer people will be purchasing the console for smaller games that are “also available on smartphones.”
While the company will still be accepting games from indie devs, the focus will be on solidifying relationships with big-budget studios. The WSJ also reports that Sony will not be supporting events that spotlight indie games at the Tokyo Game Show this year, unlike Nintendo. Nintendo, despite not being perceived as a major competitor due to their younger audience, might attract customers from Sony due to their embrace of indie games. This is according to Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda.
Going forward, we hope Sony’s decision doesn’t largely stagnate the presence of indie games on the platform.