Shuhei Yoshida, a PlayStation legend, was in Bilbao to answer some questions and receive the BIG Conference Honorary Award. Gamereactor was also there as an official media partner to cover all developments, including many interviews that will appear on our frontpage in coming days.
Yoshida spoke about his early days at Sony, as well as his time at the Computer Entertainment Division a few years later. Gamereactor asked him about PS VR2 and he shared his thoughts on it. But first, we want to recapture his words about a turning point in the company’s history.
The first negotiations to add more games to the system were not very successful. It was a very basic concept, and every actor tried to understand how real-time 3D graphics work. Yoshida recalled then how the PSX’s first major achievement was the “dinosaur demonstration”, which was a famous “dinosaur” demo. With it, “we visited large and small companies to prove that what we were doing was true”.
“Come back after you have sold a million PSX.”
Namco is traditionally seen as being related to arcades such as Sega. The Japanese executive stated that Namco was one the biggest companies that supported the idea. Other people asked where the sprites and background were. Or admitted that they liked the idea, but it wasn’t what they were used too. Many people were skeptical. Video games are not easy to master. Yoshida actually admits that “one publisher told me when we visited: Come back when one million PlayStations have been sold’. This became our internal goal. Actually, the marketing department created a television commercial with the tagline “We’re going sell one million units”. It was funny. We went back to the publisher.
It wasn’t easy, nor was it an instant success in their homeland. “If you know anything about Ken Kutaragi’s vision, Ken is enormous!” (laughs)”. The PSX was already on the market and “Sega Saturn” celebrated its second year by having a strong Christmas. This was thanks to Virtua Fighter 2 (and another blockbuster)! We didn’t have a strong line-up so we were struggling in Japan. However, we were able to launch the game in Europe and the US with additional titles. However, things changed when I was part of the third party relations team and helped convince SquareSoft… SquareSoft and Enix were two separate companies at the time, and Square had Final Fantasy, while Enix had Dragon Quest. These RPGs are now the most popular IPs in Japan. They were also talking behind the scenes [things] It is hard to tell but I can tell you that both of them agreed to bring their games to PlayStation. This was a major turning point in our lives. Finally, we had the games we needed to make PlayStation a success.
The rest, like Shuhei Yoshida, is PlayStation’s live history.