And no, I don’t mean games involving Harrison Ford or (shudder) Shia LeBeouf. Sony has announced that they intend to support ‘garage developers’ wholeheartedly in the future, and that the PlayStation Vita development kit has been designed around ease of use to encourage innovative games from smaller studios. “As an industry, we have to support those smaller teams, and let them try out their ideas,” stated Shuhei Yoshida who manages Sony’s own in-house studios.
Sony has already dipped a toe into these waters with their range of ‘PlayStation Minis’ and seem keen to change the perception of their consoles as being difficult to develop for. In addition to the ease of use of the Vita development kit, the existence of the PlayStation Suite will hopefully also lead smaller developers to Sony’s door. Announced at the start of the year, this will enable android games to be playable and tailored for Sony systems including the Vita and Xperia Play smart-phone, also enabling some Sony titles to be redeveloped for Android gamers.
In an interesting diversion from the current iOS standard, where console-like experiences are being worked on by smaller developers, Sony’s focus seems to be on different types of experiences being available on their hardware, with the bigger developers focusing on perhaps the more console-like AAA games. Yoshida also commented that “because Vita has capability to do wholly touched-based or AR-based games, lots of things can be done using just a small portion of the technology.” It seems like the Vita could be home to titles that you can easily imagine playing on its big daddy console and sink multiple hours into, as well as ‘quick-fix’ cheaper games. Fun times ahead for sure.