Sony Imagesoft

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

In April 1991, the former CSG Imagesoft was renamed to Sony Imagesoft when Sony had set up Sony Electronic Publishing as its North American label. The first releases were Altered Space and Hudson Hawk. The division published games for 16-bit consoles, and rarely 8-bit consoles, even localizing titles from Sony Music Japan. In 1994, it started using the name of its parent company, Sony Electronic Publishing, when they expanded to PC products. Soon after, it was merged with the development branch of Sony Computer Entertainment into Sony Interactive Studios America, due to Sony's shifting attention on the arrival of the PlayStation.


1st Logo (December 1991-May 26, 1995)


Visuals: Against a black background, the stylized white feather falls from the top, swirling and making the place with its point down. Colored light rays are emitted from the point, and then it zooms out to reveal it was on a box. The text "SONY" fades in, and the text "IMAGESOFT" is shown below the logo.

Variants:

  • A later animated version has an improved look and quality.
  • The first still version has the logo appearing on a grey background
  • The second still version, seen on games from 1994 to 1995, is more graphic and has shadows.
  • There is a print version of this logo made in black. blue (or green) colors and similar to the previous logo.
  • There is a simple version used on Gear Works where the blue rectangular part is gone, leaving only the feather and the rays.
  • The feather animation is superimposed against the studio of Jeopardy! and the top part of the titular wheel in Wheel of Fortune on PC versions of those shows' video game adaptations. After that, it transitions to the opening titles at the time of release.
  • On ESPN Speed World, the logo is inside a white rectangular box. Plus, the logo is crushed by the game's title logo.
  • On the Game Gear version of Cliffhanger, the logo is on a gold background.
  • On some NES games, the logo is on a gray background.
  • On the Game Gear and Game Boy versions of Last Action Hero, the logo is surrounded by a striped border. On the latter, there is a drop shadow.
  • Most Game Boy games have a thinner "SONY" text.

Technique: 2D animation. None for the still versions.

Audio: A soft orchestral tune with piano. None or the game's opening theme on the still versions.

Availability: The first still version is seen on the SNES games of Hook (also seen on the Genesis version), Chuck Rock and Equinox, as well as Game Boy and Game Gear games, and the NES games of Last Action Hero, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Cliffhanger. The second still version is common and seen on various games like Frankenstein, Mickey Mania, No Escape and ESPN series. The animated version was used on several Sega CD games, like Wheel of Fortune and Johnny Mnemonic for PC. The blue version can be found on Skyblazer. The black version appears on the NES and Game Boy games of Hudson Hawk. The green version appears on the NES game of Hook, and the SNES games of Extra Innings and Smart Ball.

2nd Logo (September 1993-November 1, 1994)


Visuals: Very similar to the still version of the last logo, except the box is black, and the picture appears much darker. Plus, the logo is on a black background, and it has a red tint onto the logo.

Variants:

  • On Last Action Hero, the logo is stretched to screen.
  • On SNES games, the logo is darker.
  • There is an animated version of this logo, which is seen on Bram Stoker's Dracula (the Sega CD port at least). It carries out like the last logo with some differences: the feather drops slower and points all the way to the right corner, while remaining red throughout the logo, and the box coasts to the center as it appears.
  • A different animated version is seen on the Sega CD port of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The feather noticably swirls a little more before pointing dead center, and the box just rotates up after a bright flash.

Technique: None. CGI on the animated versions.

Audio: None.

Audio Variants:

  • The Dracula animated version features a distorted low-pitched version of the last logo's music.
  • The Frankenstein animated version has a low-tempo vibrato theme playing throughout.

Availability: Seen on the SNES and Genesis games of Cliffhanger, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Last Action Hero. It's also seen on the SNES and Sega CD games of Championship Soccer '94 and the Sega CD game of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

3rd Logo (August 1, 1994)

Visuals: It's similar to the regular logo from the era, but the background is more purplish with the colors in the feather over it more gradually fading, the light rays are shown as black cuts, and the company name is in 3D. The logo gets crushed in from the title screen.

Variant: On the Sega CD game of ESPN NBA HangTime '95, the logo takes place on a basketball court.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: None.

Availability: Only seen on ESPN National Hockey Night and ESPN NBA HangTime '95 for Sega CD.

CSG Imagesoft
Sony Imagesoft
Sony Interactive Studios America
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