In what has been something of a trend since the current generation of consoles first hit store shelves, electronics juggernaut Sony is coming off of an incredibly strong 2016 in the video game industry. The PS4 continues to be a force in sales even now, and despite a late burst from the Xbox One last year, Sony’s console has simply widened the gap in terms of market coverage and dominance. While the impact of Nintendo’s Switch device likely won’t be fully understood until Project Scorpio becomes a reality as well, for now, Sony remains the most exciting company heading into this year’s E3 2017.
That strength has come in spite of the fact that Japan, one of Sony‘s biggest markets, has drifted away from console titles in recent years, choosing to favor mobile games development instead. Now, however, it appears things in Japan may shift once again toward the console market – at least if Sony Interactive Entertainment America president and CEO Shawn Layden is to be believed:
“I think a lot of Japanese developers lost their way chasing the mobile games yen, if you will, but they’re coming back to the console in a major way. And speaking of, we’ll have some big announcements at E3 in that precise vein.”
There have been a lot of rumors floating around Sony heading into this year’s E3, and chief among them has been the suggestion that a sequel to From Software’s Bloodborne may be happening much sooner than anticipated. Layden’s response was certainly cagey, but it was also an encouraging one for fans hoping for a return to Yharnam.
Layden’s statement also makes a lot of sense from a financial standpoint as well. Although games like Pokemon GO and Candy Crush can be incredible revenue generators, the truth is the mobile games market is so hyper-competitive now that it is difficult for newer titles to gain much traction. That, coupled with the fact that Sony recently reported topping over 26 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, must make a return to console development appealing to many of the developers who have focused on mobile games in recent years.
Regardless, whatever Layden’s comment on Japanese console gaming development might mean for Sony won’t be a mystery for much longer. Layden also confirmed in his interview with Time that Sony would be following the same style of presentation it debuted last year, and E3 2017 will be less of a press conference and more of a long software showcase. How much of that showcase centers around Japanese developers remains to be seen, but it appears consoles could be back in a big way in the near future if Sony has a say.