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Do you think the changes that are being made to the PSP are going to convince non-believers or people with a "wait and see" approach to come over the fence?
PD: If you're interested in playing portable games and having access to video content and Internet access on a device, there's nothing to wait for. If that doesn't appeal to you and you're not going to be gaming on the go, you're probably not going to be convinced by this form factor. I think what might convince those people would be the advent of a service that allows people to put content onto a PSP in an easier fashion. There's been a lot of speculation as to when we were going to offer a video download service for either the PS3 or the PSP, and I think that could be more of a killer application that could get people off the fence. I don't necessarily think that this will get us there yet.
I have been wondering when that's going to happen. Can you speak to that at all?
PD: No! (laughs) I don't have a problem bringing it up, but we didn't have any announcements about that at the show. What I can tell you is that we're working on it. It's something that we see as critical, not just for PSP, but also for PS3. It's something that we know is super-important to get right. You're not going to have a second chance to make a first impression. If we launch it and it's not right, we're going to get creamed. We want to make sure we get the consumer experience right and get the right content, and we're working really hard on it. I don't think we're talking about years. This will be something we can get behind real soon.
Are you using the PS3's downloadable stuff as kind of a trial, in a way?
PD: No, because that would suggest that the PS3 is just...
I didn't mean just as a testing ground. Are you taking any experiences learned from that in order to build?
PD: Yes. The pipe that the content comes down already exists, so the PS Store exists for downloading content right now. It would be very easy to add a tab or whatever to access other content like movies, music, TV shows, and so on. It's really just a matter of getting that whole thing wrapped up in a bow and making sure that everyone believes that it's the best service it can be.
Has the battery life changed [on the PSP]?
PD: It's the same battery life via a lighter, more efficient battery. There's no loss of battery life, but the benefit of it is a small battery.
From your personal opinion, how much longer do you think the PS2 is going to keep going?
PD: A couple more years, easily. Again, it's the ten-year lifecycle, and we're around year seven or eight. We're going to do 11 million PS2s this year worldwide. It's a huge number. What we've told our third-parties is, "Don't get off this year, and certainly don't get off next year either." There's another couple of good years left, and then we'll see. Does the PS2 extend longer than ten years? I think that's possible, but [it'll have] at least ten years.
I feel like it may have a longer life in Europe, somehow. They're still going a little more aggressive with the casual or different markets than the U.S. is. I've actually been wondering why it's not being tackled as much here.
PD: We're tackling them now. It represents a bit of a shift for us, but I think it's the right shift. Our hat's off to SCEE, who did a great job with things like SingStar and Buzz!. This fall, we're getting behind both of those brands in a big way. I think God of War II will probably be the last core gamer game that you'll see from us, and going forward, there will be a shift to more social gaming experiences like SingStar and Buzz!. We need to launch those the right way this year.
Casual karaoke game series SingStar
It seems to happen toward the end of a console's life. Sony's policies get a little less stringent, and then more content can come out on it. There have never been many straight budget releases here (in the U.S.), which has always distressed me, because I love those less high-quality games because they're quite fun, like the stuff that D3 publishes in Japan with their Simple series. They've got 120 of them over there, and the first one just came out two weeks ago [over here]. It's called The Adventures of Darwin -- it was one of the highest-rated ones, in Japan and only just came out over here.
PD: It's an interesting question from the third-party view, but your premise is correct. I think the standards do go down a bit, and you see more content that maybe wouldn't have passed muster earlier. Whether that means it's stuff that you're looking for would make it or if it would be a wholesale shift in the approach, I couldn't say.