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Catching Up With PlayStation: Peter Dille On Sony In 2009
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Catching Up With PlayStation: Peter Dille On Sony In 2009

April 21, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 6 Next

This is the back door to this question, but I'll take it: Social gamers and some of the more family-oriented gamers are more value-conscious than the core gamer audience. So there it goes. How do you feel about the price situation on the PlayStation 3?

PD: Oh, is there an issue on that?


PD: We get this question all the time. I can tell you we just made a move on day one of our fiscal year on PlayStation 2. We're not making any announcements, but we've got what we believe is a great plan for the year.

We've talked about this next year being the most aggressive marketing year in PlayStation's history. It clearly falls into the "we can't comment on rumor and speculation," but we're confident in our plan, and we'll just leave it at that.

Some of the third-parties have now been coming out and saying they'd like to see a move; it's not just the audience or people's suppositions about what the market might or might not want, or analysts. That's got to be a little bit delicate.

PD: We have a big event every year called Destination PlayStation. All the third-parties attend; all the retailers attend. We don't have the press there for a reason -- because we want to be very candid in our plans and not have sort of the implication of having the PR aspects to those conversations.

When we lay out the plans to those folks there -- I think it might be fair to say that some people came into Destination PlayStation curious about what our plans were; I think they all left really fired up about the year ahead because, once they understood what our plans were, we didn't hear any of that grousing that you're talking about -- certainly not from the folks that attended.

And I was quoted as saying recently that third-parties want our hardware to be free. We understand that; we have a business to run, and they have a business to run. As I said earlier, we were marching to a mantra to be profitable, which meant we weren't going to be cutting the price of the PS3 last year, and going forward we'll have a different plight.

I actually wanted to come back to a point -- we were talking about core gamers, and before we get off the subject and I forget about it... A lot of stuff gets thrown out there, and our competition makes a lot of claims; but recently the guys at Xbox were talking about Metacritic ratings on Xbox 360, and it got our attention.

We did a little digging on our own, and when you look at the data [subsequently provided to Gamasutra by Sony], one of three games on PS3 has a Metacritic of 80+, and on Xbox 360 I think it's less than one out of five or about one out of five.

Their quote was, "Oh, we have more games." You've been in business longer, and this sort of quantity versus quality message I think got lost in the shuffle. Clearly, from our perspective, there's two things going. One is there's a quality message on PlayStation 3 when you look at 33% of the games that have been released have a Metacritic over 80.

The other thing gets back to my point earlier about the EA Sports or Street Fighter phenomenon more recently; I think the games that are coming on now onto PlayStation 3 are higher quality than our competition, and maybe they've got some things that are older that they're touting but as you know with gamers it's kind of a "what have you done for me lately?" mentality.

We're seeing tremendous momentum now; we're seeing tremendous game quality, whether it's Killzone, LittleBigPlanet -- as well as sort of the anticipation for the Uncharteds and the Ratchets and the MAGs. When you think about one out of three versus one out of five, I think that's something that didn't get reported as well as we would have liked, so: food for thought.

Sony/Guerrilla's Killzone 2

To get back to this concept of tracking the social gamer, it sort of plays into the blue ocean/red ocean metaphor that Nintendo's been using a lot. Can you attract them away from the Wii, or do you think it's such a broad audience that you can find your own success in it?

PD: I think "both" is the answer. Our view on the Wii: number one, our hat's off to them. They've created this huge phenomenon that's captivated people's imagination -- and captivated a lot of dollars. No one around here is in the camp of "Oh, it's this fad" sort of spin. Again, hats off to them. We think it's good for the business, to be honest.

There's a perspective here that, if we all believe that the Wii and Nintendo are doing something that hasn't been done -- i.e., bringing more people into gaming -- that's a good thing. Now, if those people get hooked on gaming and they want to continue with their gaming habit, then many of them will figure out "Okay, what else can I do?" and "wouldn't a high-definition gaming experience be of interest to me?"

If those people get to that point, we believe we're in a really good position because, if you think about the types of games you're playing on the Wii and the profile of the Wii consumer, and then their choices to get into next-generation high-definition gaming, then the PlayStation is the perfect place for them to end up.

It's always been a platform that's inclusive; it's got something for everyone. We believe that the family that's been involved in Wii gaming -- having a PS3 as the centerpiece of their living room is a great thing that the whole family can enjoy much the same way that you can enjoy Wii but perhaps on steroids; it does so much more.

Again, the Wii is not positioned as the digital entertainment hub in the way that the PlayStation 3. So we think that over time all those folks will migrate back to the PlayStation 3 -- when I say "back," that takes the view that they were PS2 gamers, went to the Wii, and then would come back.

As I said earlier, if they didn't come from anywhere, if they're just new gamers, then that's good for all of us. We believe that we'll have a fair shot as selling them a lot of our products down the road.

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