Shuhei Yoshida gives you his top PlayStation picks
Shuhei Yoshida is The Man. An immediately relatable, warm figure who shines in an industry swimming with faceless suits. The president of Worldwide Studios at SCE is often refreshingly frank in interviews, while he regularly sends out playful tweets to his 138k followers follow @yosp to sample his forever chipper antics. During our exclusive interview, we ask Yoshida what games he feels have defined PlayStation, before letting him pick his favourite first-party title from every Sony console and handheld. Safe to say, his choices may surprise you. Over to you, Shuhei
PlayStation platforms have been home for so many diverse, creative and innovative games from both first and third parties. That diversity, depth and breadth of games defined PlayStation, muses Yoshida. That said, the following are my personal favourite first-party titles for each generation; not necessarily the best selling title, but each had a special space in my heart for a long time
Ape Escape - PS1
During the PS1 days, I had the privilege to work as a localising producer for the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon series for the Japanese market. I also helped Kazunori Yamauchis team to produce Gran Turismo, and start and grow an internal development studio that created Ape Escape, The Legend of Dragoon and Ico.
Among those titles, Ape Escape was the one I had the most hands-on role with as a producer; getting involved in the creative process to discover, try and polish a variety of fun ways to use the brand new DualShock controllers dual analog sticks. We had a lot of fun making the game, and it was received very well.
God of War - PS2
The Santa Monica Studio was formed in 1999 by a small group of industry and Sony veterans headed by Allan Becker. Aside from the continued success of the Twisted Metal franchise, and a collaboration with Incognito studio, Santa Monica Studios struggled to create a hit title from the internal team.
I remember when we showed the demo of God Of War at E3 2004, we noticed people playing the game had a big smile on their face a clear sign that we had something special on our hands. The game eventually became a hit title, got lots of awards, and Kratos has become one of the iconic PlayStation characters. It also provided a solid foundation for Santa Monica Studios to further attract talented developers and grow.
Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee - PSP
PSP launched in Japan in December 2004 with a handful of titles, including this game. I was a fan of the series on consoles, but I found the new Hot Shots game on the brand new handheld device very accessible, beautiful and hard to put down. It supported Wi-Fi multiplayer, so some of us played rounds of golf during long international flights.
Journey - PS3
When I played towards the end of the game, I had tears in my eyes as I was remembering my deceased grandmother. It was a very personal, almost spiritual experience from playing a short but beautiful videogame. I felt it was a triumph of videogame as a medium; showing games can touch our hearts.
"ThatGameCompany had a very special approach to game design, defying conventions and trying to create certain emotions in players. I believe Journey inspired many people inside and outside the industry, and more games will be developed that will move people in an emotional way.
Sound Shapes - PS Vita
I love games, I love music. There have been many games that challenge your ability to tap to the rhythm of music or make you feel like playing musical instruments, but nothing like Sound Shapes. When youre playing you feel like youre recreating the music at the same time. A perfect game to play on a handheld with headphones.
The create mode allows you to be a game designer, music composer and arranger at the same time. The well-crafted editor also makes it a blast to create a good sounding little action platform level. I published a few levels of mine, melodies taken from then-popular Kyary Pamyu Pamyu songs, and it was fun to socialise with other creators.
Infamous: Second Son - PS4
Running up the surface of tall buildings, jumping and flying through the air over a vast and realistic Seattle; what more is there to say? Actually, the Photo mode shows off the beautifully rendered city and characters of the game. Combined with the Share feature, it is an early example of what PS4 games look and feel like playing and sharing gameplay experiences.
So there you have it: the personal gaming picks of one of the most important figures in PlayStation history. If you somehow missed out on any of the above beauties, we suggest seeking em out, post-haste.