Sony's PS4 A Hit With Indies
With just 42 days until the North American launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony is in Culver City trying to cement its street cred with a blossoming group of creatives.
The cozy Los Angeles town is home to IndieCade from October 5th-6th, a high-profile festival celebrating the works of independent video game developers.
Admission is open to the public for a fee of $20.
Both Microsoft and Nintendo have a presence at this year's IndieCade, but it is Sony that's aggressively courting indie developers. The hope for the embattled Japanese electronics giant is that indie developers will become kingmakers in the battle for the living room.
Sony pulled out its Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations, Adam Boyes, to speak to a nearly packed house at IndieCade. Boyes worked hard to sustain an image Sony has brilliantly crafted - that of a benevolent corporate giant wanting to forge personal relationships with indie developers.
The tone is a total departure from Sony's policy during the launch of the PlayStation 3, Boyes telling the audience that Sony's "personal relationship" with indie developers has fundamentally changed the past six years.
"It is no longer just a corporation to corporation exchange, it's a real sort of, almost friendship," Boyes said.
Boyes acknowledged that Sony's efforts to attract indie developers is a result of a fragmented marketplace "competing for eyeballs." With the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, Sony is aggressively pursuing a future where indie games cannot be distinguished from mainstream games.
The total embrace of indie games is a company policy that Sony hopes will pay off over time.
"As long as we bring visibility to these games, it will drive more creativity, more innovation and that will drive people to play the [PlayStation 4]," Boyles said.
SEE ALSO: The Future Of Gaming Is... Linux?
With Microsoft's Xbox One console launching just one week after the PlayStation 4, the push for indie games on Sony's platform is also a matter of generating user-playable content.
"What happens when we have this great relationship with developers, we have more games," Boyes added, "When you look at the PlayStation 4 launch, we have way more content than the other guys because of great independent content."
Positioning itself as an indie and community-friendly alternative to Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony's efforts reveal IndieCade not as a mere festival, but a battle for hearts and minds.