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  1. #1
    shiftfallout.com Shiftfallout's Avatar
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    Sony Strikes Back

    Interview with Game Pro. (THE NAME OF THE INTERVIEW IS THE NAME OF THIS THREAD) http://www.gamepro.com/sony/ps3/game...s/107456.shtml
    This is EDUCATIONAL. If you respond concerning the conent, be objective or be civil please.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    03/28/2007


    The criticism Jack Tretton says is unfounded. "The thing that frustrates me is that there is a whole different level of gaming fans who are haters... I'm not saying the PS3 launch was perfect, but let's try to be a little objective here." Tretton is the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. And he would rather focus on what's going right with the PS3 launch. "We're very pleased with how things are going. It's very much according to plan. The next stage is to crank up production and get millions of units to Europe and Japan."

    GamePro: Can you tell us something about the PS3 that will surprise us?

    Jack Tretton: I think the machine surprises me every day. I've been in the industry for a long time and I consider myself a gamer, so even though I work for the company and was aware of the features, I wanted to pop Resistance: Fall of Man in there and start playing. So that's what I did, and that's all I did for the first few weeks I had the PS3. I'm a creature of habit -- I went through the same thing with the PSP. I started playing games, and I started discovering other applications.

    "I tend to talk in a narrative, as opposed to a media-trained 8-word sound bite."

    The short answer is, consumers will be surprised with how much the PS3 can do outside of gaming, and how intuitive it will be. Will they download digital pictures for the first time? No. But they'll see how much easier it is on a PS3 compared to what they've done traditionally on a PC. How intuitive and how all-encompassing the machine is will surprise consumers who already own it, and those who haven't bought it yet.

    GP: How well do you think that message is getting out there? That the PS3 has more going on than just gaming?

    TRETTON: The honest answer is that it's a struggle for us as a company, and it's a struggle for any gaming company. You want to stay true to your roots as a gaming company. At the end of the day, the reason why this machine will be successful is because it's the ultimate gaming system. But I think we do the industry and the technology an injustice if we assume that all gamers care about is gaming and that they don't do anything else with their time. Because our roots have been in creating hardware and software and peripherals, we rely on other companies within the Sony corporation to help enunciate that vision. I think the learning experience through PSP is, "we're the ones who care about it most, and we're the ones who have to drive the message." So we're finding ourselves wearing more hats than we have before.

    And I'll be the first to admit that it is not our field of expertise [to explain all of this]. I think creating the technology is something we do well, but explaining the applications of that technology is something we've gotta get better at.

    GP: Switching gears here, but there's a topic I've been thinking about: media coverage of the PS3. The example I always give is this: before the launch, Sony was criticized for not meeting supply. But now that it's launched, you can find them in stores and suddenly the critics say PS3 isn't selling out. It almost seems like Sony can't win.

    In short, do you think the PS3 is getting a fair shake from the media, particularly internet blogs?



    TRETTON: That's a great question. As I look out at the world in general, leadership comes with a price. People admire leaders, but there's a fair degree of envy, of wanting to see [leaders] stumble. I think you're right: there's a definite case of "you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't" in that the glass is always half-empty.

    The good news is, [the criticism] isn't an accurate reflection on the success of the company, or of consumer's satisfaction with the PS3. I think if you talk to the million people who bought the PS3 in North America, you'll find overwhelming satisfaction.

    We have a new phenomenon as well in recent years, something we didn't have during the PlayStation or PlayStation 2. And that is everybody is a journalist - if you have a PC, then you're a journalist. There are a lot of people weighing in with opinions who are just individual consumers, a very small and vocal group of consumers, that just want everything for free. I'd love that to be the case, but that's not how the world works.

    GP: What's your view of the next-gen landscape? Where are Nintendo and Microsoft at now, compared to where PS3 is at?


    TRETTON: I've been doing this for a long time. And while I've always been pleased by what we have to offer at Sony, I'm always envious of any competitive advantage or creative opportunities that our competitors bring to market.

    One of the things that I always admired about Nintendo, with its portable strategy, is that they could attack the consumer from many angles. They aren't just in the console business; they're in the portable business. I really feel like Sony is in a better shape now than we've ever been in terms of having a solution for all consumers, whether they're budget-conscious or cutting edge, whether they're hardcore gamers or casual gamers, or on-the-go or [stay-at-home gamers]. The big advantage that we have is that these are completely related experiences; You start with the PS2, a $129 investment, you've got this huge library that spans from the hardcore gamer with God of War, to the very casual gamer, to the physical gamer with Singstar.

    The thing that was amazing about PSP is that people were spending a lot of time playing it at home. It's a great freedom-wielding device that has a nice relationship with PS2. You really have a family of products -- You don't have your console sitting in a closet gathering dust. They play off each other nicely.

    I don't know that everybody goes out buys all three platforms on day one. But from 2000 to the present, we've had some very nice consumer offerings that tie in very nicely. With PS3 and PSP, we're at the very early stages. With the PS2, it's the opposite message: we're seven seasons in, we're a long way from the end of the line.

    GP: I've been seeing more kids with PSPs, which surprises me (it's expensive). People are still out there buying the PSP. That says a lot.

    TRETTON: We try to take a long-term view. This is an industry where people panic -- everyone just runs to wherever the momentum is. Grand Theft Auto comes out, and everyone wants to make a free-roaming game. Before that, it was Tomb Raider rip-offs. I think one of the reasons that Sony has had so much staying power is that we've had that 10-year vision. Can you unveil the fruits of that 10-year vision the first 60 days of launch? No, you can't. But [we're] willing to take some lumps in the short-term, because in the long-term it will pay dividends. We've done that from the day we launched PlayStation, and I think the PS3 is very consistent with that vision.

    With the PSP, we didn't try to be everything to everybody. We didn't sell four-year-olds little pink PSPs. We targeted the mid-20's audience, hardcore console gamers. And we did a nice job of carving out that market, to the tune of over 25 million PSPs worldwide in less than two years.

    But we'll soon start the second phase, where we reach down to the teen market, and ultimately to the younger consumer [with the PSP]. But if you try to be everything to everybody from day one, you'll alienate a significant portion of the population. When I look at people in the street, it isn't surprising for me to see somebody in his twenties playing a PSP. I am surprised to see a little kid playing a PSP. Conversely, I've never really seen many adults playing [the DS], but I see a lot of little kids. We've always felt that people want to be like their older brother; they don't want to be like a little kid. I think in time, as the PSP matures, you should reach out the younger consumer. We like to start out with the early adopters and branch out from there. You can take the shotgun approach and go after everybody from day one. But if you intend to be the leader and you want to be around for ten years, you need a little more patience and perspective. It leads to criticism and a lot of second-guessing, but in the long run it really pays off.
    Last edited by Shiftfallout; 04-11-2007 at 10:46 AM.

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  3. #2
    shiftfallout.com Shiftfallout's Avatar
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    GP: PS2 was the leading-selling console this holiday. We were surprised. Can you speak to that? How did you do that?

    TRETTON: It started with the original PlayStation, and we said "ten-year product lifecycle." [Before that], no platform had lasted more than five years. We were rolling a boulder up a hill [with the PSX after five years], because the industry assumed you abandoned the technology after five years no matter how successful it's been.

    But that effort has now paid dues on the PS2, because the developers see the continued relevance of the PS2, and consumers do, too. A gamer's original $299 investment for PS2 is still paying dividends seven years later. Many of those consumers like PS2 so much that they bought the new one when we redesigned it. I think we'll be doing the same thing with PS3 -- it's just that we're looking at a 60-day window compared to seven years with the PS2.

    The PS2 is extremely relevant. Some of the best games that have ever come out came out in 2006, and will be coming 2007. God of War II will stack up to any game on any system, and will attract hardcore types who are on the leading edge of technology. I think the PS2 is a great machine. I have access to every game on every platform, and I still find myself gravitating towards PS2 games. What it lacks in state-of-the-art technology it more than delivers in value and quality gameplay. That means a lot to consumers.

    GP: Who are these people who bought a PS2 this year?

    TRETTON: This holiday season, I think they were a lot of the same consumers. With the launch of the PS3, I had the privilege of being at the register and meeting some of the first people in line. Guys would introduce themselves to me at the Metreon and said "I don't know if you remembered me, but I was number seven in line for PSP and number four in line for PS2. And I'll be here for PlayStation 4 and I hope you will be, too."

    We've never let the consumer down, and that's one of our advantages. Can I guarantee that every PlayStation game anybody ever bought was an investment that they cherished? No. But I think the vast majority of the PlayStation owners really [feel as if] they got their money's worth, so there's a confidence level that PlayStation will deliver for them.

    Before we entered the games business in 1995, critics said that games are for 12-to-17 year-old boys. I think the PlayStation brand has ushered in people who, ten years, would never have considered themselves gamers. We're really contributing what is now a form of mainstream entertainment, rather than a niche audience.

    We're clearly expanding the marketplace. It's not just happening in North America, it's happening worldwide. We've got 102 million for the PSX; we're at 115 million now on the PS2, and there's a long way from end of the line. This year will be as robust in terms of interest and hardware as last year. Clearly we've brought a lot of new people to the party, and PS3 will bring more people.

    Devices like PSP and PS3 will be a real Trojan horse for the gaming industry. We have consumer data that says that there were technophiles who bought the PlayStation 3 because it was the best Blu-ray player on the market, and far and away the best value. They didn't buy it as a gaming machine, but in a year or so I'll bet you big money that they'll be gamers and we'll all sell them software for years to come. It's tough to get a controller into somebody's hands, but if you provide them with a great experience, you'll hook 'em.


    GP: What does Sony need to do to make the PS3 as big as PSX and PS2?

    TRETTON: Never resting on our laurels. We got lightning in a bottle with the PSX. We ushered in a new demographic, a more diverse gaming experience, and 3D graphics where people were used to 2D. And we could have said "we were successful there, so let's do a [PlayStation 1.5] and see if we can milk this audience a little bit longer." But we decided that we really needed to go back to the drawing board and provide that wow factor for PS2.

    Consumer expectations keep rising higher and higher. The easy job would be making a PlayStation 2.5, and it retailed for $199 or $299 and was clearly improved over the PlayStation 2 but only marginally better. We could have said, "We're already the market leader, we've got the momentum, so why take risks?" But we've never been about that. So we're going to take some risks and give consumers the technology that they'll need for the next ten years.

    A lot of people in early 2007 are saying "Well, I don't need PS3's technology." But we know, given where technology's headed, that they're going to want it. And they'll want to invest in it, and they'll pay more for it than [they would with] the PlayStation 3. You're already seeing it now, where people are adding new configurations to hard disk drives, movie players, and so on. Technology that we integrate into the PlayStation 3.

    GP: Let's talk online strategy. What does PlayStation Network have that Xbox Live doesn't?


    TRETTON: First and foremost, it's free. And there's no "free, but..." You plug it in, log onto the network and you're immediately downloading demos and movie content. You're able to play Resistance: Fall of Man against people all over the country. You're having a robust online experience without signing up for some service [like Xbox Live]. There's content available for purchase, if you want to download something like Blast Factor, but that's your choice. There's no cost of entry.

    But the caveat is, we're only a few months into the PS3 online experience. By no means have we revealed our entire hand in what we intend to bring to consumers. That promise requires consumers to take a leap of faith. But the best proof points are, "were you satisfied with your PS2 or PSP?" The research we get is overwhelmingly positive.

    The online experience is very robust right now, but honestly it's nowhere near where we want it to be. It's still in the very early stages. It's the grand opening of the store and the paint's still drying, we're still hanging up all the merchandise. You'll see that evolve very quickly. Ultimately, the consumer will be able to choose what interests them, and they won't be force-fed: they can go from publisher to publisher, from business model to business model, and find the one that interests them. Some players may only care about SOCOM, and they don't want to pay for another game that they're not interested in. That's not to say that everything will be free on the PlayStation Network, but it is not force-fed to you in a subscription format. As a consumer, that's how I prefer to buy. I don't like to order my food before I go into the restaurant, I like to look over the menu and decide how hungry I am and what I want to eat.


    GP: In the future, what's in store for PlayStation Network online? Can you give us a sneak peek?


    TRETTON: We have some key advantages that other competitors can't provide. First of all, the PlayStation heritage lets us tap into thousands of games from the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. We can give consumers to games they've never seen, games that were only released in Europe or Japan. For another company to do that, they'll be limited in their resources.

    Another thing is we're putting a serious effort behind development of downloadable games, to deliver content in a non-retail environment. Games with full 1080p, games that may be a bit smaller in scope, but from a technology and pricing standpoint are very attractive. A significant effort there, with 30-plus games in development from our worldwide studios group alone.

    And another one people tend to discount. You can't ignore those four letters that are on the outside of the PS3: S-O-N-Y. Sony Pictures is the number one box office company in the world, and Sony BMG is a leading music publisher, and we have access to all their content and technology and strengths. And home theater technology, too. Sony is sitting at the sweet spot of the [entertainment industry] better than any company in the word. It's a matter of us taking advantage of our internal resources, and we're just starting to flex our muscles in that area. But it's not hard to imagine us taking advantage of that.

  4. #3
    shiftfallout.com Shiftfallout's Avatar
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    GP: Looking back, is there anything you regret about the PS3? Anything you'd change?

    TRETTON: No question about it: [the delayed PS3 launches]. We're a big believer of under-promising and over-delivering. But we're a technology-driven company, so we don't take the safe road and the easy off-the-shelf solution. When you stick your neck out like that, you have aspirations that are difficult to deliver on.

    The biggest frustration was not delivering the PS3 in spring of 2006. That would have taken a near-miracle and we weren't able to pull it off. Another challenge for the entire industry is to do a world-wide simultaneous launch. But the manufacturing ramp-up is so difficult that no company has ever pulled it off, including us. I would have rather said, "Coming in 2006" so that if we got it out on December 31st, we'd have delivered on the promise. And [if Sony had not promised a worldwide launch we could have been] given accolades for getting Japan and North America out at the same time. But if you say "worldwide" and you only get two of the three regions out, then you left yourself open. It's like making a Super Bowl prediction at the beginning of the season -- you're setting yourself up to fail. But that kind of bravado and confidence is what makes leaders.

    Clearly we had less units than we wanted at launch, but we did catch up by the end of the year. But that's a lot of heavy lifting that we didn't necessarily need to do. I don't think the consumers held us too responsible for those early shortages, but we took our lumps from the press and those are lumps that I think were unnecessary, and I would have liked to have done it differently.

    GP: What are your thoughts about the PS3's price? Is it too high?

    TRETTON: A lot of the technology that we offer consumers they may not realize they need yet. But to show them the kind of games that we'll ultimately show them, then they need this technology: the Blu-ray drive, the 60 gig hard drive. $599 is a lot of money, but it's the world's worst-kept secret that we're selling it at a significant investment from Sony. The consumer is investing for $599, but we're investing along with them. We're hoping that investment will return profitability to us over time as we manufacture more and more units.

    For $599, the consumer will see that paid off in time in spades. You could get a machine that costs less money, but if you're not happy with the games or if the system becomes obsolete in less than five years, you won't think about how much you saved but how much you wasted. Those PlayStations and PlayStation 2s paid off for ten years, and so will the PS3. I'll stack our $599 price tag and our technology against our competition all day long. In the end, consumers will find they got a great deal of value. I won't deny that $599 is a lot of money. It's clearly an investment. I won't tell you I've got $599 in my back pocket. But I'm also a big believer in "you get what you pay for."

    GP: If it's three, four, five years, will we ever see the PS3 any lower than its current price point?

    TRETTON: There's different ways to go there. People tend to [compare historic price drops with the PS1 and PS2] and assume that's what will happen with the PS3. You can look at something like the iPod: the iPod has evolved, but the price hasn't necessarily come down. Do you really need a $99 dollar iPod to get people to buy one? People will pay more, but now their expectation is a 20, 40, 80 gig hard drive.

    There's different ways to go, and there are different consumers out there. For PS3 I think you'll kind of see a dual-layer approach: there's something that drives the latest-and-greatest technology, and a value offering for those with more limited budgets. More than likely it's a multi-SKU offering, depending on their level of interest. Given the complex technology and the multimedia capabilities, that's a natural road for the PS3 to take.


    GP: In five, ten years would we see a more premium version of PS3, as Apple might do?

    TRETTON: It's something that's in consideration, but again, it's very early on in the PS3's life cycle. We believe that every consumer should have a hard drive, and they absolutely have to have 50 GB Blu-ray drives. For the gamer, Blu-ray video may not be desired today, but we went through the same thing with the PS2. People didn't buy it for the DVD player, but in many instances the PS2 was the first DVD player they ever owned. A lot of them still use it as their DVD player today. I don't think Blu-ray is the reason why gamers would buy the PS3, but I will guarantee you that every consumer will see value in that over time. You may not own a 1080p television today, but how many of us have HD TVs now when we didn't even know what it was three years ago? Technology moves quickly, and people tend to live in the here and the now.

    With including the Blu-ray in the PS3, we're taking some lumps in the short term so we can say "I told you so" in the long term.

    GP: Are the PS3 sales what Sony has expected to see?

    TRETTON: Absolutely. That's another thing -- perspective. We've talked about the tremendous numbers on past PlayStation systems. Considering those lofty sales heights, our initial PS3 numbers hit one million faster than the PS2. So I would love to fast-forward to the end of the story. But critics are microscopically looking at the first sixty or eighty days. In reality, the fact that people were paying thousands of dollars for the PS3 on eBay supports the message that they see the value in it and they want it.

    We're getting a lot of inventory out there, and some good sell-through numbers. We're very pleased with how things are going so far.

    GP: So this is exactly what you expected to see? Fast-forwarding a few years from now, these recent PS3 numbers are absolutely in keeping with a monster hit system?

    It's very much according to plan. The next stage is to get production cranking and get millions of units to Europe and Japan. Ultimately we want to cost-reduce the system to the point where it's profitable, and ideally to the point where we could enhance the technology at the same price, or reduce the price.

    That's the goal, to build that large install base that keeps developers excited. Now that the technology and tools are out the door, we want to go into high gear. That's what we hope to do this year: get the production up to speed, get the greatest games, and evolve the online experience. We still have one launch to go -- Europe -- so really we kick into high gear in April, the start of our fiscal year. That's when we get past the launch stage and to the execution stage.

    GP: Who's buying a PS3 right now? Early adopters?

    TRETTON: We're getting new consumers. You've got a lot of young families who are shifting from hitting the nightclubs to marriage and more time at home, playing games on Friday nights. Or they've got young kids. We continue to expand into a wider and wider demographic. It's more and more becoming a form of family entertainment.

    GP: Now that consumers have changed so much, is it easier to sell systems?


    TRETTON: Definitely easier. With PlayStation 2, the biggest challenge is just to manufacture it. We just upped our PS2 production numbers another couple of million. Sometimes you can doubt yourself. We said, "yeah we're doing great with the PS2, but new competitive systems are coming out." But[outside of next-gen, a lot of other consumers think that, right now, PlayStation 2 is what works for them.

  5. #4
    shiftfallout.com Shiftfallout's Avatar
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    GP: Would Sony ever consider releasing an updated "pro" controller, maybe with offset analog sticks and rumble support at a slightly higher price?

    TRETTON: We used to have a narrow approach to controllers. If you really wanted to move outside the standard controller, we left it up to third party manufacturers. But now we're moving to a regional approach. You will see peripherals coming from SCEA that will address the interests of the U.S. consumer. I don't have anything to tell you specifically, but we're certainly open to changing the Sixaxis controller if it addressed North American gamers.

    GP: As a gamer, I'd love to see offset analog sticks.

    TRETTON: When you reach this many gamers, it's very difficult to provide a "one-size-fits-all" solution. As we reach this more diverse audience, you'll see more products specific to hardcore gamers, or role-playing gamers, or younger gamers. We actually have a lot of disabled fans, who have limited access or can only play with one hand. We'll try to address more and more of these markets.

    GP: Is it true that the original plan for the Cell processor was to have it render all graphics? Why the switch to the nVidia graphics?


    TRETTON: I'm not a technology guy and didn't play a large role in the design of the PS3. I can tell you that we did have a shift in direction for graphics technology. When, and how, is something I don't recall. It's also not really public information beyond that.

    GP: Are there any plans to add upsampling or upscaling to PS1 and PS2 games so they support HD resolutions like 720p and 1080?

    TRETTON: I don't know whether that's technically possible with gaming. The biggest challenge is risk versus reward: development teams move on to other projects, and the code base resides somewhere...to answer your question, I don't think it could be done automatically by the PS3. It would probably require some enhancements, and a development team to go back to the drawing board. Then it would be a cost/benefits analysis.


    GP: Is it possible you might sell HD upgrades for old games, maybe just for big games, online for a few bucks?

    TRETTON: I think you will see enhancements of PS2 and PS1 technology. You'll see multiple games combined with maybe video or other enhancements, episodic additions to previously released games. I don't have anything specific that I can talk about, but you will see that on PS3 and PSP. A publisher might re-release something, re-purpose it, enhance it, maybe combine previous games into a compilation. I know that's not directly related to your question, but yeah, [adding HD ability] is a possibility. It's not definitely coming, but it's possible.

    GP: Do you have any questions for us?

    TRETTON: The thing that frustrates me as someone in the industry, [is that] there seems to be a whole different level of [gaming fans] who are haters. I don't know if they're even necessarily gamers, or the people who have driven this industry to a $12 billion dollar industry. If there wasn't gaming, there wouldn't be GamePro, and if there wasn't a PlayStation this wouldn't be a 12 billion dollar industry.

    So I guess my question back to you is this: in recent years there seems to be a closet journalist around every corner. How does that affect your ability to report to the consumer, and how does it affect the consumer's ability to sort through credible journalism and people who are mad at the world and want to knock everything? Is that a good trend for the industry?

    GP: Well, we struggle with that all the time. Particularly regarding blogs, which is one of the key groups we're all talking about here. It's interesting from a free speech perspective that people can go out there any say whatever they want, but are they being responsible? And are they being fair? What's frustrating to me is that we're essentially in competition with these folks...if readers come to expect a blog-like approach I have to craft my editorial and process it in such a way that people want to read it. It's a juggling act, and it frustrates me, to be honest. And yeah, I think there are some incredibly irresponsible bloggers out there.


    That's why I wanted to ask you whether you thought the PS3 has gotten a fair shake in the media, because frankly I don't think it has. It frustrates me as a gamer, though I've had my gripes with the PS3...

    TRETTON: ...yeah, I'm not saying it's perfect, but let's try to be a little objective here...

    GP: It must be hard for you guys. Let's say you've got Gaming Blog X, and they slam on PS3 and are very snarky but they get a lot of hits. Some of these guys are pretty good writers, too. But what kind of position does that put Sony in? Because you either ignore them, and they become outlaws and get even bigger, or you try to bring them into the fold and give them access, and you're almost rewarding them for being sensationalists. Honestly, I don't know what you'd do.

    That's the conundrum of our business. We have to have as many eyeballs on our web sites and magazines as possible. But what I think we have going for us is our longevity and our credibility. Hopefully, we have some credibility out in the world as a journalistic organization. But it's an ongoing challenge, because the internet has opened up the world to so much information...

    ....for better or worse.


    TRETTON: Hopefully the consumer can see through the fog and we don't turn them off to games. It may be a bad analogy, but this industry did collapse once before. It was when the consumer couldn't sift through a good game and a bad game and everyone was publishing and [the whole infrastructure] just imploded. I'm not saying that's a risk going forward, though.

    I don't believe this is PR spin. We do believe in a ten-year product lifecycle. I think consumers will get frustrated [if you pull the rug out from under them with rapid new product successors].

    I guess my question to you guys is, are we on the right track? Or is it all about getting them with the sizzle? There's a sucker born every minute? Is it all about the here and now, and tomorrow doesn't count?

    GP: There are so many types of people out there, and they all have their own different interests. We'd all like to play games. I guess if I worked for Sony or Nintendo that what I'd try to figure out: find these niches and give them entertainment that speaks to them. I think that means, by definition, multiple platforms catering to the widest possible audience. That gets back to our challenge: how to cover all these platforms? They're all good.
    How do we cover PS2? It's huge? But the sizzle is next-gen, that's what's expected to be covered.

    What happens when Madden football is available for every platform, and they all came in today?



    TRETTON: We tell our third-party developers that...there had be some very distinct reasons to sell a PS2, PSP, and PS3 game.

  6. #5
    shiftfallout.com Shiftfallout's Avatar
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    GP: When does PS3 "kick in" in terms of what's possible with that platform? When does it start to exert its muscle? As it is now, many of the games are similar to their Xbox 360 versions.

    TRETTON: That's why we made such an investment in our worldwide studios. We have to carry the flag and show consumers and developers what can be done on the PS3. I think Resistance: Fall of Man delivers on that technology, and I think MotorStorm will too.

    When you're talking about the launch window, it's all about just getting product on the shelf and being one of the launch titles. As a launch-window developer, if there's an existing technology, [you'll find yourself using that for efficiency]. We suffered from that even internally on PS2, where the first PS2 games we shipped were based on PS1 engines. The games that came to the forefront were from developers who invested in the PS2 technology.

    Some publishers will force the others to be honest. EA wants to remain the leading software publisher. They're gonna say, "we want to own the PS3, we're going to invest in the PS3 technology," and that will force their competitors to do the same. If we ever breed this mediocrity, this industry dies. I think the unfortunate message for consumers is, everything comes with a price. The good news is I can get you $29 and $39 games forever, but the bad news is they'll never look any better. If you want publishers to invest $30 million in development, you may have to pay $50 or $60. You can do cute one-offs and 1.5 technologies, but you won't have the staying power -- you're just buying time.

    That's what we hope to prove with the PS3. When are we going to see it? You're seeing parts of it now...but again, these are 17 launch titles among, hopefully, thousands.

    If we were maxxing out the technology now, we'd have nothing new to show you a year or two years down the road. The reality is, we're just scratching the surface [with the PS3]. [Some people say], "oh, you had a bad launch library." In fact, I think we had an impressive launch library, but it will pale in comparison to what you'll see from us one or two years down the road.

    GP: What upcoming games really showcase the PS3? What should we keep an eye out for?

    TRETTON: It comes down to personal taste. I'm somewhat of a sports gamer, and I'm excited about what the MLB title will look like on PS3. And MotorStorm is something that everyone's been talking about for almost two years. And once you get the controller in your hand, it's a lot of fun. Gran Tursismo HD demo gives you a glimpse of where that franchise is headed.

    Japanese developers will be far more relevant this time than they've been recently. And you can't discount Electronic Arts -- they're right down the street, and we see their code quite often -- and they move in leaps and bounds. Some really good stuff coming from Capcom, Konami, Square Enix, Koei, as well as Electronic Arts, Activision, and Ubisoft.

    GP: Third-party games are switching alliances like crazy. Does this make first-party more important?


    TRETTON: I think that if you put your fate in somebody else's hands, you're dependent on them buying into your message. We like a balance. Maybe it's not fair, but we look at our competition and Nintendo is almost solely dependent on first-party, and Microsoft is almost solely dependent on third-party. We like a mix of 75 to 25, where we take risks and lead with some flagship games, but third-party is still very important.

    GP: What's up with Nintendo and the Wii? Do you see them as a competitor?

    TRETTON: We've gone down a very different road from those guys since we've entered the gaming business, and I haven't seen our paths cross much over the last decade. If we're on divergent paths, it's probably more divergent now than it ever has been. The Wii is very different from the PS3 and the DS is very different from the PSP. I think we reach very different consumers. There may be a time when they start to cross over, but it won't be any time soon. We've carved out very different areas. I don't think any company wants to give up their high ground, but there's no debating that Sony is aimed more at more traditional console gamers and Nintendo is aimed at more casual, younger consumers.

    GP: But do you consider Nintendo competitors?

    TRETTON: Well, it's a great question. Competition is relative. Ideally and selfishly, you want 100% market share and you want to eliminate your competition. We came very close to doing that in Japan a few years ago. But the reality is, a rising tide lifts all boats. Anything that gets people interested in interactive entertainment ultimately bodes well for Sony as market leaders.

    The reality is we compete with movie theatres, consumer electronics, books...you're competing with any other form of entertainment. We should look at them as relevant competition as much as you would another gaming company.

    I am waiting for the day this industry matures and stops cannibalizing itself. People thrive on failure here: failed games, failed hardware platforms, failed companies. We almost root for failure. And I think that stems to the consumer as well [with too much polarity and politics between platforms]. Ultimately, this industry needs to be successful long-term and in very large degrees through technology evolution, or people will say that there's too much upheaval to be taken seriously and they'll move away from it. That's the problem we've faced in retail for years, is getting them to look at video games the same way they'd look at other areas in their stores. When retailers don't take games seriously, the consumers suffer. When publishers don't think long-term, the consumer suffers. I'd like to see the industry stop cannibalizing itself and support the industry as a form of entertainment that has staying power. But I don't see that happening any time soon, unfortunately.

    You can't do a one-size-fits-all for consumers. You can spot the classic Nintendo fanboy from a mile away. They've been loyal, but they are a bit outside of the mainstream.

  7. #6
    Special Olympics Medalist BrandonMcAuslan's Avatar
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    Thats a lot of Sony Propaganda right there...

    Anyway I'm interested in the whole "10 year cycle" thing. Think back 10 years ago. What did games look like? Would you be happy still playing ps1 games?

    In 10 years will the PS3 still hold its own in terms of power/graphics? I mean when the X-box 720 (hypothetical name) comes out in 3-5 years won't that look a lot better? And the wii2? Is this a clever strategy to have? I mean imagine a 10 year old pc?
    Last edited by BrandonMcAuslan; 04-11-2007 at 09:08 AM.

  8. #7
    Error Getting Statistics E7ernal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRETTON
    We didn't sell four-year-olds little pink PSPs.
    Yeah you did
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    PlayStation Portable is currently available in 6 colors: black, ceramic white, pink, metallic blue, silver, and champagne.

    Strikers: 017280 524282

  9. #8
    shiftfallout.com Shiftfallout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E7ernal
    Yeah you did
    i wouldnt recommend using wiki as an accurate source as its user based and has been wrong plenty of times.

    However, yes a Pink psp did emerge, as a limited promo for the music artist PINK. So a colored psp edition showed up as a promo for the music artist pink.
    I highly doubt Pink as the music artist is marketed towards 4 year olds, though the target audience was gamers in their 20s and up.
    http://www.yourpsp.com/pink/

    But yes they did release Pink's pink PsP, just theres a twist on it. Limited and as a Promo for a music artist.

  10. #9
    No.1 Smurf Wii_Smurf's Avatar
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    You can buy Pink PSP's I've seen them in shops LMFAO!



    No Longer Have A Wii


  11. #10
    Blades Of Steel CrowTRobot's Avatar
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    What a weak interview.
    "Kids, let me tell you about another so-called "wicked" guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas, and he didn't always do what other people thought was right. And that man's name was... I forget. But the point is... well, I forget that too. Marge, you know who I'm talking about. He used to drive that blue car?"

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