Yeah, I think you're probably
going to be made fun of for the rest of the system's lifespan for babies crying
oil. [laughter] It was like, what? But
whatever; live and learn.
So what we haven't talked about really
much at all is the PlayStation Portable. The thing that's always been very
confusing for me, at least, is that the system sells well all the time -- it's
selling better -- you never see software in the top 10. Ever. Can you give any
insight into that?
PD: Yeah. I'm glad you brought up PSP because it's another platform that we're
very excited about. We actually spent a lot of time at Destination PlayStation talking about the
PSP and the big year it has in store for it.
about the software picture, I want to go in the wayback machine for a minute, 18
months or so. Prior to the PSP-2000 getting introduced and the resultant
surge in sales from a hardware perspective, it's safe to say that most
third-parties were just about ready to jump off the cliff and pull support for
a lot of time over the last 18 months evangelizing the platform, helping them
understand what types of games make sense because there was a perception that
-- because the PSP was so close in architecture to the PS2 that you could do a
don't want ports on a portable system; they want a different game. A lot of
these people owned PS2s as well, too, and they didn't just want one for home
and one to go; they want a different experience. That was something that we
didn't do a good enough job of explaining at the outset; once we did start to
explain that third-parties got on board.
2008, the development pipeline was such that those titles weren't showing up
yet; they're going to show up in 2009. We were talking to retail about -- we
spent a lot of time with the third parties in advance at DPS even though it's
not a PR event; we wanted to make sure we cleared the decks.
we usually can't announce our third-party publishers' titles for them, but we
wanted to make sure in February that they weren't saving these announcements
for E3 because the retailers needed to understand what was coming and the
fruits of our labor. Another long answer, but it was a complicated problem
because of the development timeframes.
I think you're going to see one of the best years on the PSP from a software
perspective that we've ever had, and I think we'll have games like Dissidia [Final Fantasy], Assassin's Creed, Rock Band... again, I
should go on and on about some great, great support for PSP.
have those games last year, and I hope that if we're sitting here next year -- let's
make a date of it -- that we're having a different conversation about the
performance of the PSP. There's
another aspect, though, that I want to touch on, and it's something that we're
very concerned about and spending a lot of time thinking about, which is piracy
Sure, you beat me to it. [laughs]
convinced and we're convinced that piracy has taken out a big chunk of our
software sales on PSP. It's been a problem that the industry has to address
together; it's one that I think the industry takes very seriously, but we need
to do something to address this because it's criminal what's going on, quite
good for us, but it's not good for the development community. We can look at
data from BitTorrent sites from the day Resistance:
Retribution goes on sale and see how many copies are being downloaded
illegally, and it's frankly sickening. We are spending a lot of time talking
about how we can deal with that problem.
Sony's Resistance: Retribution
It's a difficult problem to solve
because the hardware's fundamentally on the market and has sold millions. So even if there's a solution, there's 50 million
potentially compromised units out there already.
numbers are correct. There's a lot of hardware out there; toothpaste is out of
the tube. We're not going to get that hardware back into the toothpaste
hopefully we can have a multi-pronged approach -- it's going to require legal;
it's going to require education. I think gamers, if they understood if this
meant that a platform would go away, can we convince gamers to pay for their
naive, but I do think that most people are inherently honest. We learned a lot
from the music business, and it became so easy and so common to download
illegal music -- everyone was doing it. It's almost like people lost sight with
the fact that, well, "If everyone's doing it, then it can't be that bad."
actually is bad; it's bad for the platform. Again, I'm not saying that that's a
magic wand; I think that we have to make sure from a technological perspective
that it's not as easy as it is to do that.
If you look at some of the games from
last year from PSP, they did sell well -- Crisis
Core and God of War, I think, are
probably the two big examples of successful games on the platform. Is there
something that you see in those games that is a lesson?
Absolutely. It goes back to this to show, games that were made specifically for
the platform... Gamers will respond to things that they like, and if something's
good enough they're going to go out and spend money for it. So the first job is to make sure you make a
again, whether it's Rock Band on the
PSP -- which is such a terrific adaptation of that IP for the PSP platform -- Assassin's Creed, Dissidia... There's
just some really, really great stuff coming that I think will show off the
platform very well, and I would expect those titles to sell very well.