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Do you feel the way the PS3 has been painted in a negative light in some circles is going to have any real bearing in the future, in terms of mindshare?
PD: We've very confident in the PlayStation 3's long-term prospects of being the dominant console on the market. We talk a lot about ten-year lifecycles. I think Sony proved that we meant business with the PS1, with a ten-year lifecycle. With the PS2, we're approaching year eight, and we just released titles like God of War. We're serious about this ten-year lifecycle now being a reality.
With PS3, there was incredible anticipation, but the product was delayed, and there were some well-documented problems Sony had in rolling it out in its market. I think that resulted in some PR that wasn't optimal. The good news was that the product was worth the wait. It's a wonderful product, and we've gotten fantastic feedback from the consumers who got it. The product reliability is through the roof. PlayStation products have always been extremely reliable, but this is the most of any. Again, we take a ten-year approach. We're seven months into this, and if people want to add up the games seven months in, I think they're missing the point. From our perspective, we're just getting started, and when all is said and done, we're very confident that the PlayStation 3 will emerge as the victor.
I might have to call you on PlayStation products always being reliable - when the PS2 came out, the first iteration did have some bad drive problems.
PD: It did, right. But they've always had a high level of quality, and we stand behind them. And this one is the highest of any. The PlayStation 3 is a terrifically engineered product.
To what degree do you think the price cut is going to increase sales?
PD: We're already seeing a 2x lift. Sales have doubled at our top five accounts since Monday.
That's fast results!
PD: We get sales results every day, and we're in direct contact with our retailers. And we're talking about the middle of July, and before even the advertising has kicked in on the Sunday circulars. We're seeing an immediate, favorable impact. I think that can only go up from there, as retailers get behind it and as all the content that we talked about at the press conference starts rolling out between now and the rest of the year.
Konami's PS3 exclusive Metal Gear Solid 4
How is Sony going to go about retaking [the lead]? There's a lot of skepticism -- how is that going to be alleviated? Is that going to take a little time?
PD: The confidence that we have in the PlayStation 3 is really very high. There are a couple of things that people were hoping to see coming in to E3. One of them was a price cut, and we've addressed that. Another thing that we hear a lot is, "Do they have good games to drive this thing?" The reality is that we had a pretty good launch lineup; in fact, we're very proud of the launch lineup. After that, I think we went a little bit dark. It took awhile, and then things like MotorStorm showed up, and that's great, but then we didn't have anything for a little bit after that. It's fair to say that gamers wanted to see more games.
So then you fast-forward to E3, and you've got the price cut, and there are more than 200 games coming out this year. We're delivering Killzone, and [despite skepticism], the Killzone event didn't disappoint. You've got Metal Gear Solid as an exclusive. We've got a development organization that is larger than Nintendo's and Microsoft's combined that is able to crank out 15 exclusives up and down various genres, from RPGs to shooters to Little Big Planet, which you can't even put in a category. We're very confident that gamers are going to respond to the product offering going forward, and the passion that they have for that PlayStation brand will be there in spades.
Are you confident that Metal Gear Solid 4 is going to stay exclusive?
Konami recently cast a little doubt on that.
PD: There was something that came out prior to (the Sony E3 keynote) announcement. Our folks have talked to the Konami folks, and until the announcement was out from our side, I think they were being a little bit cagey. But the agreement calls for exclusivity, the announcement's been made, and now people know the real story.