Sony’s Japan Conference Was Nuts And It Was Great

Ever watched a press conference for video games and thought it was all a bit dull and dry? Don’t worry. Sony Japan has got you covered.

If you didn’t catch it last night, Sony Japan held a press conference ahead of the Tokyo Game Show. It was largely an opportunity to advertise the PS4 Pro to the Japanese and Asian market, along with PSVR and a whole suite of titles that we probably won’t see in the West for ages.

As a result, the entire affair was put together by Sony Japan. And when Sony Japan does a conference, shit goes off the rails real fast.

That WOW! NEW! sequence was how Sony opened the conference. And that was to the backing music of English and Japanese rap, something you’d never hear at E3 or Gamescom.

You’d certainly never hear rap with sped up classical remixes over the top of Battlefield 1 at E3 or Gamescom.

Keep in mind: this is still within the first four minutes. And those four minutes also happened to include what might be one of the most unintentionally funny descriptions given to a Call of Duty game.

No skill. That’s Infinite Warfare, apparently.

The conference then calmed down a bit — you can’t go for 90 minutes of hybrid rap straight, as awesome as that would be — with a brief rundown of the PS4 Pro’s upgraded hardware.

Things weren’t completely manic, of course. But it was fascinating to see what you get when you take the same properties and ideas and just run in the complete opposite direction.

After all, Horizon: Zero Dawn looks good no matter what you do. And then there’s a whole bunch of things that make you wish Sony would bring them to Western audiences.

Like virtual golf. With golf buggies that go at 100km/hr.

And then after being treated to another reminder about how nuts the Earth Defence Force series is, we finally got to experience how PSVR is being marketed in Japan.

It’s a little different.

The range of experiences were broader than the inside of a schoolgirl’s bedroom, of course. And perhaps the most stark depiction of PSVR was how everyone was pictured sitting down. There was also a shot of a father sitting on the couch with the PSVR, seated next to four children who had PS4 controllers:

It was the clearest representation of how people will physically and practically interact with PSVR in their living rooms. It’s the kind of imagery Nintendo used to deploy when promoting the Wii and the Wii U.

That stuff was cheesy, and at times laughable. But for consumers, particularly those that don’t engage with the day to day grind of the gaming world, it’s a helpful communication tool. It shows that they don’t need a large living space to enjoy VR; you don’t really need any more space than you would normally require to enjoy the PS4 as-is.

They’ll still be giving press and gamers plenty of PSVR hands-on time at TGS this year, of course. And major retailers will undoubtedly have their own test kits and demo sections for PSVR. But the messaging from Sony Japan seems a little clearer.

Then again, maybe it’s the sort of thing you can only do in the Japanese market.

And then stuff got weird again.

A theme Kojima helpfully continued. He was actually giving out useful information about Death Stranding, but if you’d switched to the Japanese stream (because the English one crashed right when the Ubisoft logo appeared after the Watch Dogs 2 trailer) you just would have seen, well, this.

“I’d like to offer the next step, the future of gaming,” Kojima proclaimed. It was an intriguing image to ponder, particularly considering I’d had a chat with someone in the office earlier that day about small children, Call of Duty and Xbox Live.

Wonder what they’d think about a future of gaming where everyone is holding hands.

And then for good measure, there was some HoloLens-level stuff.

Things started to peter out from there, but it was already a markedly funnier, more interesting, more engaging conference than anything Sony’s European or American divisions had put together. Sure, a lot of it was dumb beyond belief, as the trailer for Dragonball Xenoverse 2 illustrated.

But good God it was fun. That’s what you want out of your console, after all. That’s the whole point of buying the thing.

Sony Japan knows how to sell that. They’re advertising fun.

And just for good measure, they showed off their latest TV commercial. Which had this.

If only all conferences were this nuts.

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