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Japanese Game Makers Sound Off On Next-Gen Consoles

Japanese Game Makers Sound Off On Next-Gen Consoles

July 7, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

July 7, 2006 | By Jason Dobson
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The Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) held a press conference in Japan on Thursday to discuss the video game industry's future. The meeting featured representation from several prominent video game developers and publishers, including Square Enix president Youichi Wada and Namco Bandai vice president Shin Unozawa.

During the meeting, which was covered by Japanese publication Famitsu and partially translated by popular consumer website GameSpot, Wada shared his thoughts on the possibilities for online payment structures in the next-generation, including the possibility of offering games as a set of chapters. In such a scenario, Wada explained, the first chapter would be made available for free, while players would need to pay in order to play each subsequent chapter.

He also added that with many players now taking advantage of "always-on" internet connections, it is feasible that development costs associated with "debugging" could be driven down up front by the application of regular software updates. The report also noted such updates would also make it easier to "insert advertisements into games." Unozawa reportedly echoed this belief.

In addition, with regards the upcoming release of Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3, Unozawa noted that be believes that "there will be no power struggle" between the two companies. The report also noted that while Unozawa appreciates the Wii's user-friendly design, he added that he is "unsure about its appeal to the main users, namely middle- and high-school students."

Turning to the PlayStation 3, which is scheduled to launch globally this November, and will carry two separate SKUs, the high-end of which will cost $599, a price $200 above its nearest competitor, and twice that of the initial cost of the PlayStation 2, Unozawa was reportedly undaunted. "The PlayStation 3 will sell, without question," he affirmed.


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