GS: Do you think that as the market changes, and when the PS3 is out, will there be room for that sort of thing in the PS2 market?
DK: Well we do think the PS2 is going to continue to sell. It’s still the number one selling console this year, and it’s outsold the Xbox 360 hands down the last couple months. There’ll be a place in the market for that, as that’s what we saw with the PS One as well. There’ll probably be a place in the market for all types of new looks at how to sell games, and new kinds of games. I mean, you’re seeing in the life cycle of this product, the PS2, more of those party games that you were talking about, more casual gamer-type games. That’s typically what you see as the life cycle of a hardware matures.
GS: The reason I’m pushing this is because I really love these crappy budget games. When my coworker and I separately went to London, we bought a whole bunch of those games, like by Phoenix and 505 Gamestreet.
DK: Yeah, well another thing that’s cool, not related to PS2, but the PS3 and the online delivery ability, you open up a world of possibilities for smaller developers. We’ve got Blast Factor, and I think that was maybe five people working on that title. You open up a world of opportunities for people at, again, whatever prices the market will allow in the downloadable category, and that kind of shifts it away from the retailer in terms of people having to spend all that money on a boxed product. They can just put it up on the downloadable side.
GS: What kind of support will you be giving those independent developers? Will you be seeking them out, or simply make it easier for them to come to you?
DK: I think we’re making it incredibly easy for them to come to us. And the distribution of 10,000 development kits as well, which is twice as much as we did for the PS2 and PS One, so that’s obviously seeking all comers to show us what they’ve got. I think people are so excited about the hardware that there’s a lot of people coming out of the woodwork with some interesting ideas. And again, if you’ve got an interesting idea that’s kind of been floating in the back of your head, you can turn around and make it incredibly cheap, put it on the downloadable side, and your investment, even if it doesn’t sell one million units, can be recouped.
GS: With the 360, the approvals process, among other elements, has made it so that games are released in measured batches. What’s your feeling on that for the PS3 in terms of how the downloadable games will roll out – will there be a high volume?
DK: I’m not sure at this point what the review process is for the games, but I can say that the folks in EDI have a ton of games for review, and they’re taking a look at what looks best on the system. I think what you won’t see is just a flood of games that some might consider to be throw-away games. We’re going to populate the store with true, good games that show off the hardware, so it’s not just going to be a bunch of redos and hacks.
GS: I know that the PS3 is essentially region free – will the downloadable content also be available worldwide, or region specific?
DK: All of the online stores are region-specific, so that’ll dictate where you can download the games.
GS: How do you feel the PSP is doing, and I’ve heard rumor of a second model?
DK: Yeah, that was a rumor, just that. The PSP is doing incredibly well, and I think that you’ll see even more interest behind it now that the PS3 is coming out, because the inner-connectivity between the two, I mean you saw the demo in terms of accessing your PS3 harddrive through your PSP. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with that. Once that system is set up through wifi, you can do things like anywhere in the world, go into your MLB 07 and check your fantasy baseball league through your harddrive.
And then think about downloadable content, as well. If you utilize the PS3 as your base for downloading content, and then transfer it over to your PSP, which is incredibly easy to do, the more content that’s made available through the online store will increase the usage even more.
GS: I guess the PS3 is designed to be always on?
GS: Don’t take offense to this, but is the system going to be able to hold up to being always on?
DK: (laughs) Yes it is! No issues, you saw Gamer’s Day, it was kind of nuts and we didn’t have any that were dying. We had a lot of unfinished software that was dying, but not hardware.
GS: I picked one up and almost burned myself.
DK: Yeah, I don’t think it runs as hot as the 360, but I haven’t done a side-by-side.
GS: When we start getting fire reports we’ll see if we can compare and contrast. Getting back to it though, how important do you think the Sixaxis controller is going to be for the PS3?
DK: The idea was that developing and incorporating technologies that are actually interactive, rather than passive. I like rumble, and when it came out I thought it was pretty cool, but if you really think about it, it really is a passive technology. You hit something, you feel rumble in your hands. But I was just playing Lair yesterday, where you fly your dragon by tilting the controller, and it becomes incredibly intuitive, so I think that as more people, particularly third parties start harnessing the power and the idea behind it, you’re going to see stuff that just makes sense to do. At the same time, the stuff that we’re doing feels right with the controller that we have, so like tilting it to fly a dragon feels absolutely right, using it to do spin moves in NBA 07 feels absolutely right.