Sony to target ‘hardcore’ players for its next-gen system

Two anonymous sources talking to the Wall Street Journal have intimated Sony will be prioritising “hardcore” players when marketing its upcoming next-gen console. The sources report that in an internal strategy briefing, Sony boss Kenichiro Yoshida reportedly called the untitled system a “niche” product that would be targeted at a smaller, but “serious”, audience.

“Details when making games have become more important than ever,” Sony Chief Executive Kenichiro Yoshida reportedly said, before stating detailed specs such as ray tracing, ultra high-definition graphics, and 8K displays would be key to this hardcore demographic. 

In spite of increased competition from the likes of Google Stadia, the Sony boss is purportedly unconcerned about streaming competitors until the tech truly takes off and proves itself, and doesn’t believe it shares a demographic with Nintendo’s chiefly younger audience. He does, however, continue to consider Microsoft and its next-gen console, codenamed Project Scarlett, Sony’s chief competitor. 

Consequently, the company is rumoured to be concentrating on its triple-A output and strengthening links with bigger developers and publishers, as well as its on-going work with its own first-party triple-A internal studios such as Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica. Speculation about the company moving away from indie games has been further fuelled by reports that Sony’s Tokyo Game Show presentation will chiefly feature big budget games. 

Rumours recently surfaced that “Sony is lining up a bid” to acquire Control and Alan Wake developer, Remedy Entertainment. Whilst this report is also chiefly speculation at this time, a number of coincidences – such as Remedy recently reacquiring the rights to Alan Wake and Sony boss Jim Ryan confirming it was looking to acquire more studios – add a layer of plausibility to the rumour. Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida also recently visited the company whilst touring first-party studios, and staff from the Finnish studio are also believed to have visited other first-party outfits like Insomniac Games and Naughty Dog, leading some to believe Sony may be encouraging its latest acquisition to collaborate with other Sony-owned studios. 

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan recently confirmed the company is looking to acquire new studios, be that via mergers or acquisitions. In recent interview, Ryan reportedly said: “Content is becoming more important than ever before. Companies new to the games industry looking at the market with hope is something we definitely welcome. Sony Interactive Entertainment has 25 years of experience in the games industry and has big assets.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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