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Sony to Back All Its Platforms

26 Oct, 2006 By: John Gaudiosi

Sony is committed to all three of its platforms for the long haul, said Peter Dille, SVP of marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Sony will support the launch of PlayStation 3 while continuing to market and release new games for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. A key factor in the marketing of PSP will be its interconnectivity with PS3.

Sony's PlayStation Network will allow gamers to download original PlayStation games to PS3. Sony's PSP site offers these games for download on PSP.

“If you have both a PS3 and a PSP, you'll be able download the game on your PS3, play it there, and also download it over to your PSP and play it there,” Dille said. “You can look at any of your content from your PS3 hard drive via your PSP through a Wi-Fi connected home.”

That includes movie trailers, music, games, and, eventually, movies and TV shows.

Dille said that in the near future, another PSP firmware upgrade will let consumers access this PS3 hard-drive content from any Internet hotspot in the world.

“That just opens up tremendous opportunities, and I think it's going to be very empowering to consumers,” Dille said. “It will also be a great tool for us to sell not only a lot of PS3s, but also a lot of PSPs.”

Dille said that PS3 is a very powerful entertainment device, and the ability to use the PlayStation Network to download movies, music and TV content will play a large role.

“PS3 is going to be positioned as a game console, and that's our bread and butter,” he said. “But we made a big point of downloading movie trailers in high-definition and standard-definition through the PlayStation Network. There's also a tab for music, and you can imagine what consumers will be able to do with a download music tab.”

Dille said the technology exists now to download movies and TV content to the PS3 hard drive.

“I don't think it will be that long before you see this type of content available,” he said.Dille said the Blu-ray Disc technology used by the PS3 has several advantages.

“First and foremost, it has significant advantages for gamers,” he said. “Resistance: Fall of Man is a 16GB game. You only have 9GB on an HD DVD disc. Here's a launch title that couldn't even be done on the competitive platform.”

Dille said that Sony's ability to combine Blu-ray with Cell technology and its ability to chew through vast amounts of data also is a bonus for gamers.

“We talk a lot about what the PS2 did for the DVD marketplace. We see the same thing happening for the PS3,” he said. “For a lot of people, the first exposure they get to BD will be through the PS3. … We see it as a big Trojan horse to usher in that technology.”

Dille doesn't see the PS3 price — $500 to $600 — as an issue.

“We believe that there are a lot of very passionate PlayStation loyalists out there,” Dille said. “We're not seeing price as a barrier at all. These guys are ready to shell out their money on Nov. 17.”

He said many of the price concerns with PS3 were around for previous consoles when they were launched.

“Everyone wants the price to be $99 on day one, and that's just not the way the business works,” Dille said. “We're focused on a 10-year life cycle. We won't get there overnight. I think we'll demonstrate that we have a responsibility to the consumer and to the industry to manage the business in a smart and effective way. Over time there will be price drops.”

Sony has had great results with the PS2 price drop to $130, as that six-year-old console continues to outsell everything in the marketplace, including Xbox 360.

“We're very bullish on PS2,” Dille said. “It's a system that's still incredibly relevant. We're focused on a couple of different ends of the market. We're going to look to broaden the PS2 market further with things like SingStar and games like Guitar Hero II. This brings the social aspect of games and might attract new families that haven't jumped in yet. At the same time, we're very committed to core gamers, which is why you're seeing new “SOCOM” games and the March release of God of War II.

The Sony philosophy is to stick by its platforms and its consumers and not just turn its back on them after they buy a new platform, Dille said.

“We firmly believe PS2 will have a solid 10-year life cycle just as the PS one had and just as we believe the PS3 will have,” he said.

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