Global Game Industry News Blog

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Why Can't VP's Give Real Answers?

I'm serious. Wouldn't it be an oportunity for VP's to give real answers to journalists? Let PR give the standard speil. VP's are the ones that should be cutting through the crap and talking truth.

So, I was especially interested in the comment, "revolutionary rather than just evolutionary on the cheap," which made me wonder about the revolutionary on the cheap, which seems to be what Nintendo figured out. The reason developers are interested in targeting the Wii is not just it's lower price point and inovative controller, it's about production. Developers already know how to develop for the Wii, because most of them have been developing for (or capable of doing so) the GameCube already. Now they've got some more horsepower, capabilities, and a nifty new controller. It's enough to make developers drool.

Engineers might drool over some of the Cell/PS3 capabilities, but the producers, managers, artists are sure that filling up that big a** BluRay disk with content (though the engineers are worried about reading that data at a decent speed) and making something that people will play has a whole lot of people just seing it as a frightening risk. There aren't defined pipelines, people are unsure, it's scary.

The Wii on the otherhand has a defined pipeline. It's got momentum. People know how to handle it, and are excited about innovative control.

So instead of offering us the tired old tripe, Sony VP's ought to be saying, "there is risk here, yes. what we're hoping is that people see us as revolutionizing the living room, not just the game room." Maybe you shouldn't have called it a Playstation then.

United Press International - Hi-Tech - Tech File: Sony's Playstation Portable
WASHINGTON, July 19 (UPI) -- Tech File caught up with Peter Dille, senior vice present of marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., to grill him about the future of Sony's portable multimedia device the Playstation Portable (PSP). With recent announcements that Hollywood studios are pulling out or cutting back on the UMD movie format and complaints from gamers about the lack of games, we thought it'd be a good time to get an update on the system.

Will Sony's Pricey PS3 Pay Off?
At its autumn games preview on July 13, for instance, traditional Sony ally Electronic Arts (ERTS) spent far more time showing off innovative Nintendo games than it did titles for the PS3. EA announced six Nintendo Wii launch titles and showed long working demos for two of those. But it offered only a short clip of a car-racing game for PS3. EA says it's still testing the potential of the PS3. "Many developers think the console's initial high price will lead to slow sales and are holding off on creating games for Sony," Hamamura says.

...

Anyway you look at it, that hurts. Even off the starting block, Sony will be spending more than $750 to manufacture each machine, more than the initial retail price. It's not unusual for console makers to swallow losses in the early years of a new machine's life, making up some of the difference through licensing fees from game developers, and relying on efficiency gains later to turn those losses into profits. Yet Sony could go as much as $2 billion into the red in the PS3's first year, says Goldman Sachs (GS) analyst Yuji Fujimori. With sales of packaged games declining, Sony execs say they're looking to other sources such as fee-based online gaming and downloads, as well as ads for games Sony creates in-house. "Game advertising is likely to be an important part of our strategy," says Izumi Kawanishi, senior vice-president of Sony's Games division.

Sony executives won't comment on the PS3's cost, other than to say they will try to make the machines at a profit as soon as possible. But they note that no one has ever built such a complex console and that the PS3 will feature new technologies such as the high-definition Blu-ray disc and ultrafast Cell chip.

And Stringer says he's happy to take his chances. "The price of the PS3 is high, but you're paying for potential," he told Tokyo journalists in late June. It's the risk of being "revolutionary rather than just evolutionary on the cheap."

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