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A Chat With Phil Harrison 27

Next Generation sat down with Phil Harrison after the Sony keynote last week, and they discuss the PS3, the PlayStation Network, and Harrison's place in the company. From the article: "Q: Aren't retailers going to be slightly annoyed that they're selling this hardware for next-to-no margin, just so the software can ultimately be sold directly via downloads? A: I completely disagree with that. The software business for PlayStation 3 will continue to grow. PlayStation 2 has more software on it than PlayStation 1 - more units sold in more countries to a wider demographic of consumers. PlayStation 3 will continue to grow the market and will generate a bigger opportunity for everybody - retailers, developers, and publishers alike. So I do not accept your statement that retail is going to be in any way affected by this other than positively."
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A Chat With Phil Harrison

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  • you can't download the hardware yet, so they should just be happy Sony's using them for anything.
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bwcarty ( 660606 )
      And there's a lot more hardware than just the base console for retailers to sell...3rd party controllers, skins, faceplates, etc. I'm sure they have a better markup than the actual consoles.
  • by SteveX ( 5640 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:23PM (#15019862) Homepage
    Q: How is PS3's new distribution model going to affect retail?

    A: PS2's old distribution model was great at retail, therefore PS3's new model will also be great at retail.

    Seems like a valid question to me, but then again, I'm really looking forward to not having to stand outside EB at midnight to get the hot new game of the month. (But I'm also not looking forward to waiting a week for it to download because they don't have adequate bandwidth.. let's hope Valve's streamed release of Half-Life 2 taught the industry some lessons).
    • by Doytch ( 950946 )
      I don't think Sony can afford to have much(if any) complete works distributed as digital download. Think about it, they're using this thing as a trojan horse for BluRay. How is that going to work if you can download stuff without using BluRay at all?
      • Exactly, I'm sure it will be very similar to what you see on the Xbox and Xbox360 now. Many small downloadable mini-games. But full games will still be packaged for the forseable future.
        • I really hope Sony makes a way for indy and hobby developers to create their own games and release them through the service. That functionality alone would guarantee my dollar.
        • Naturally enough because with out a burner for the Sony "Work & Play" station, who wants to be stuck being able to play the game only on the original console. Sony obviously want to push MMO's and download additions to the MMO after the original game was purchased at a retailer.

          Although unlike xbox the Sony console is likely to offer full internet access allowing people to do everything they would normally expect to do with a computer connected to the internet and not be restricted to one self promot

    • Star Wars Galaxies, anyone?

      -Eric

  • "Not everybody has broadband or will have broadband for quite a while."

    Sure, but most people are going to have the Hi-Def TVs that make the blu-ray component useful. I don't have any numbers, but I would imagine more people have cable/DSL than HDTVs. That's just what I think though.

    "Clearly, you are not going to use a keynote by the head of first party studios to announce the price of PlayStation 3. I don't think anybody was surprised yesterday when I neglected to include that slide in my deck."

    May

  • Gads! (Score:2, Funny)

    by BigCheese ( 47608 )
    I thought it said a chat with Phil Hartman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Hartman [wikipedia.org] and I pictured a seance.

    So what's this PS3 thing? Did IBM make another PC?
    • So what's this PS3 thing? Did IBM make another PC?

      Heh...that comment doesn't bode well for Sony's marketing department.
      • Heh...that comment doesn't bode well for Sony's marketing department.

        Yeah, if I was at Sony, I'd hate to see my brand recognition amongst the dead take a nosedive.
      • It was a joke. I know what the PS3 is. I just don't care. Since their hardware quality has gone so far downhill I just don't see myself buying a PS3.
    • Yeah, I read it as Phil Harris [wikipedia.org].

      My first thought was "How the hell is he still alive?" followed quickly by "What the hell is he doing making video games?"
      • It must be tough to have a name that close to so many others. Could be worse, his last name could be Johnston.

        Missed the "t" didn't you?
  • by Miraba ( 846588 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @03:48PM (#15020082) Journal
    The software business for PlayStation 3 will continue to grow. PlayStation 2 has more software on it than PlayStation 1 - more units sold in more countries to a wider demographic of consumers. PlayStation 3 will continue to grow the market and will generate a bigger opportunity for everybody - retailers, developers, and publishers alike.

    Looks like Sony is banking on increasing market penetration. (At the price they'll be charging? Are they insane?). Nintendo says that the market is pretty much tapped out and a new market needs to be targeted in order to grow.

    (Yeah, -1 for obviousness, but I find it interesting.)

    • What price is that, exactly?

      Do you have information that nobody else has and only a few dare to make-up authoritatively?
      • From Kutaragi himself:

        I'm aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can't be offered at a price that's targeted towards households. I think everyone can still buy it if they wanted to... I'm not going to reveal its price today. I'm going to only say that it'll be expensive.

        Reference here [joystiq.com].

        I don't know about you, but I don't see those comments as indicating the potential for higher market penetration. How many casual gamers are going to fork over the dough for a system that's already received a pri

  • So will Nintendo be releasing updated dev kits for their older consoles? I see a lot of potential in this. Especially if Nintendo steps in and helps with the online distribution of these games.
  • This guy doesn't seem to get (probably on purpose) what the interviewer was getting at. Sony's business strategy in electronics has always been to cut out as many 3rd parties as possible (much like Apple). It is obvious this is happening right now in games, and that some day not far off Sony will not be selling anything meaningful through Gamestop, having created their own distrobution channels online and with branded stores.

    That, and what kind of video game executive plays golf in the afternoons?
    • I knew this was coming the instant Sony acquired Zipper Interactive.
    • No, he gets it. He's just dodging the question. Why piss off the retailers until you have to? Sony can just smile and tell retailers that they're going to be fine, that Sony still loves them--right up until the morning they announce they're no longer shipping out physical discs to retailers.

      -Eric

  • Aren't retailers going to be slightly annoyed that they're selling this hardware for next-to-no margin, just so the software can ultimately be sold directly via downloads?

    Game retailers have rolled over and taken it up the... well... you know.. for publishers thus far. Why should they think they won't continue to do otherwise? There isn't a single big gaming retailer that hasn't done whatever the publishers have asked out of fear that they'll go WalMart only and cut the game stores out. Places like EB and G

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