Outline of Tokyo Game Show 2011 Keynote Speech held on September 15, 2011

*This keynote was made by the president and CEO of Square Enix Holdings in his role as chairman of the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association.

(Continued from previous page.)*

In the last twenty years of the games industry, both designers and users have developed a knowledge-base of implicit assumptions. For example, the user interface. And there are a lot of hardened assumptions in role playing games (RPGs). In Japan, we think of rock-paper-scissors when it comes to party roles, like with mages and fighters. There are so many different assumptions a user has to be familiar with. Many casual users are entering this gaming world not knowing anything. From the mid-2000s, games which were designed to allow first-time gamers to play easily increased. Of course, I don't think they will continue being so simple. As new customers get used to things, the standards they demand will increase. And this is something we need to be acutely aware of from the perspective of game makers; as I said, we should be conscious of our assumptions.

*

Now then, let me move on to my second point.

Here, we'll talk about how a driver of growth shifts among gameplay experiences. Please look at the slide (Figure 2). I've drawn four axes. Processing Power, Input, Communication, Output, exactly in that order. This story is not guesswork but actually quite logical.

First, as I said earlier, in the beginning, video games were applications which could not be run on regular machines, and the industry was in competition for processing power. Consider the CPU-based competition of game consoles: in the 1990s we had the 16-bit competition, then the 32-bit competition, etc.

This axis stopped being the primary driver around the year 2000. Until recently, there continued to be plenty of talk about processing power, but we now understand that processing power was no longer the driver of growth in the market. Of course, this does not mean that processing power has stopped or will stop increasing. Processing power will continue to increase. Next year, the year after, and the year after that- it won't stop. For AI and physics, the bar will be set to grow even higher. But when we speak of a driver expanding the size of the market, it won’t be processing power. The creative side has to fulfill the demands of the customers, who thus have higher and higher expectations, but that is not the same as saying that the market will expand; it’s a simple necessity of sustainable technology.

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