PlayStation Exec Thinks Gen Z & Alpha Want More Personalised Gaming Experiences, And AI Is The Way To Do It

PlayStation Exec Thinks Gen Z & Alpha Want More Personalised Gaming Experiences, And AI Is The Way To Do It

A PlayStation exec thinks AI advancements will create more “meaningful stories” and experiences in video games, something that Gen Z and Gen Alpha players are seeking in games alongside more personalisation.

Speaking to parent company Sony, Asad Qizilbash, Head of PlayStation Productions and Head of Product at PlayStation Studios, discussed the future of gaming as technology and AI continued to advance. He says AI advancements are at the forefront of curating more customised experiences for players and enhancing the “emotional depth” of games.

“Advancements in AI will create more personalised experiences and meaningful stories for consumers,” Qizilbash said. “For instance, non player characters in games could interact with players based on their actions, making it feel more personal.”

“This is important for the younger Gen Z and Gen Alpha audiences, who are the first generations that grew up digitally and are looking for personalization across everything, as well as looking for experiences to have more meaning,” the PlayStation exec added. Gen Z includes those born between 1997 and the early 2010s, while Generation Alpha refers to those born between 2010 and 2024.

Qizilbash also discussed trends in technology and their impact on the future of gaming, with a particular focus on AI cropping up yet again. “In terms of gaming’s future, I envision games becoming more personalised due to advances in technology and AI, enabling customised experiences for each player,” he says. “Moreover, technological advancements will enhance emotional depth in games by allowing characters to be much more emotive and expressive, fostering more evocative storytelling. That’s going to help a whole generation of creators be able to just create so much more emotion in the stories.”

“The focus is going to shift from graphics or visuals to immersive narratives that resonate long after the controller is set down. Regarding PlayStation’s role in this evolution, I see it as a destination defined by community and a commitment to quality, unexpected and memorable experiences,” the PlayStation exec says.

AI has been cropping up more and more in games and gaming discussions as studios and larger companies begin to consider how it can be used in their titles. It’s a pretty fraught topic of discussion within the larger industry, with players also relatively split on whether they welcome or condemn its widespread use. Only recently, Ubisoft showcased their AI-powered ‘Neo NPCs’ at GDC as a way of creating more personalised experiences for players with varied results (one NPC had to reprogrammed after it became a bit too horny). The Last of Us director Neil Druckmann recently spoke to Sony about how AI will “push the boundaries” of storytelling in games as well – although the interview has since been pulled due to “significant editing errors and inaccuracies,” though it isn’t clear if this was relating to his comments on AI or just his comments on Naughty Dog’s next project.

Whatever the case may be, AI has solidified itself within the gaming industry as the next frontier. Whether Qizilbash’s prediction that the technology will actually increase how “meaningful” the stories players encounter are is up for debate, but it looks like PlayStation (or at least some of its executives) is pretty keen to give it a whirl.

What do you think about the widespread use of AI becoming even more commonplace in game development as the years go on? Let us know in the comments.

Image: PlayStation / Sony

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