In an interview with Edge Online Sony's Shuhei Yoshida said two things that completely endeared him to me forever. The first: Sony's commitment to making the PS4 a games console. The second? A confession of love for Dark Souls.
Of course, the first point is of far greater importance. In a world where it seems that games are becoming marginalised on devices designed to play games, Sony's commitment to actual video games is strangely refreshing. But in a way it makes sense — every device is constantly trying to be all things to all people, and meet all of our multimedia needs simultaneously — it could pay to create a device that does one thing extremely well.
"Recently there has been a lot of talk about smart TV and devices that can also play games," he said. "When we first introduced PS4, we wanted to avoid giving the message that it can also do this and can also do that. We wanted to show a focus on just the most important aspect of the console."
Yoshida then went on to discuss how the PS4 is an attempt to make the process of playing video games a more streamlined, accessible experience. In a way 'accessible' is a word that usually represents shallow experiences, but what Yoshida is actually referring to is an attempt at breaking very specific barriers — things like load times, sharing content. Things that, with this current generation, tend to be clumsy and unwieldy.
A lot of it has to do with Sony's new share button. Which takes us to our second point: Yoshida loves Dark Souls. When he found that he didn't have enough time to play the game he loved, Yoshida sought out videos of the game online. It was this kind of behaviour that convinced Yoshida that easy sharing of video content should be an essential feature of the PS4.
"I wanted to play Dark Souls all day long, but I couldn’t do that because I was too busy," he explained. "So instead I would watch people playing it live on Niconico whenever I had some spare time. By doing that, you can find other ways to play the game and read comments by other users. I felt that sharing videos is a really important part of enjoying games."
Dark Souls. Good taste. Very good taste.