Global Game Industry News Blog

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Getting Hit with the "No Sh*t" Hammer...

This is an exciting prospect for game developers. Much of my criticism of the game industry comes around inability for developers to honestly and openly communicate, and an inability to plan. Hardware road maps are a big part of this, and it was exciting to see (via GameDaily.Biz via Newsweek) that at the behest of Sony of America this might be changing. It's still got Nintendo by the neck, and in part I understand why, if they were all sharing, each new console would end up with all sorts of features of it's competitors. At the same time it tends to leave all but those developers on the extreme inside loops with these companies with their pants down come time for a change in hardware.

Apple ought to learn from this too.

Harrison: We Should Be Sharing Our Road Map

"There is a cultural thing about our approach in Japan that has to change. Our approach in Japan is, 'Once it's perfect, we'll share it with everybody else.' Whereas I think in order to engender trust in our users, we have to share some things that might be not quite perfect, but are ready to give you an indication of what's coming," Harrison explained. "So we could say, 'You know, we're not sure when it's coming, but we're going to have DVD upscaling on Playstation 3.' There you go. There's a scoop for you. In my view, we should have a slide on a Web site, or a blog. We should have [Playstation head of platform development Izumi] Kawanishi blog his road map for the Xross Media Bar for Playstation 3. I think he would probably have the biggest blog after yours in the world."

He continued, " ...we have to become more comfortable in sharing our road map. We have to get more liberal in the ways we experiment with some things. Because some things that we think are important may not be important to our consumer. Conversely, something which is lower down on our road map may be the most important thing to a consumer, unexpectedly so. And we need to be a little more open in that regard."

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