I hope you’re enjoying our official SCEA blog. Personally speaking, it’s great to finally have a place where we can talk candidly about the things we (and you) care about. While it’s no substitute for a one-on-one conversation, I’m excited to have a chance to listen and talk with you here. With that said, everything communicated in any form these days has to be considered an “on-the-record statement” so as much as I’d like to, I can’t completely throw my corporate hat out the window.
From where I sit, this industry has the most passionate consumers of any I’ve ever encountered. For some, gaming is a way to kill some time, for others it’s a favorite hobby, but for many it’s a way of life. As a gamer myself, I fall somewhere between a low to mid level enthusiast mainly because of free time. My day job is ironically eating away at my gaming time, although lately I’m finding the PSP has helped me reclaim some of this lost time on long plane trips.
For twenty one years I’ve worked exclusively in the industry. The last twelve have been with Sony Computer Entertainment. It’s been just over six months since I became President and CEO here and I can assure you that gaming is clearly my life. Now that we’ve got the hardware to drive the business, we’re putting all our efforts into insuring that we help create the best games possible for you to enjoy. My pledge is that we will continue to put you first and foremost, to understand what you really want from us. In fact, this blog is one way that I’m hoping this happens.
In 1995, when we launched the PlayStation, the majority of the gamers were twelve to seventeen year old boys. 2D platform, fighting, racing, and sports games were the norm. Platforms were born and died within five years maximum. There was minimal difference between hardware platforms. We here at Sony championed 3D graphics, CD based technology and a more mature diverse library of games. We believed that our platform had a lifecycle that should survive well beyond the traditional five years. Some of the initial criticism we received was that the hardware was a bit pricey, the system was hard to develop for and the early software line-up needed some work. When we introduced PlayStation 2 in 2000 we received much of the same criticism. When we introduced DVD based storage we were told that CD had more than enough capacity to store game data. In a few short years DVD had all but replaced CD and that storage capacity was being squeezed by the development community. In 2006 the song remained much the same. Most of you know what transpired: 100 million PlayStations and thousands of great games later, the PlayStation had a ten year run and could still be selling today. PlayStation 2 left our original success in the dust and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
We fully realize that past success is no guarantee of future success, but it does give you some perspective. We have to bring the games to market that will showcase what the PS3 can do and ultimately entertain you like no other games have. We need to provide proof of what the PS3 can do for you and work tirelessly to improve the value and justify your investment. At the end of the day, it’s always been about the games. To push the boundaries of gaming beyond where they currently lie takes a great deal of risk. I think all the hardware manufacturers are doing that in some way. We could have easily produced PlayStation 2.5 at a slightly increased price over the older model, and driven some nice profits and marginal innovation for a few years but that’s not how we got where we are today. You have to gamble and make major investments in the present that will pay dividends in the future.
We’re working hard to put the best tools in the hands of the development community so they can take you places you never imagined possible. We have more than 15 games coming from our own internal studios alone this year for PS3. Our third party partners will weigh in with a host of great games giving us more than 100 titles by year end on that system alone. At our Gamer’s Day event a few weeks back, we announced 18 exclusive games for PSP. This year, PS2 owners will get a little something for everyone with games like Buzz! and Singstar. Oh, and you certainly can’t forget the PlayStation Network. Right now, we are working on a slew of games and game packs that will be offered through the PlayStation Store in the coming months, including Warhawk, which personally speaking, is the PS3 game I’ve been playing most lately.
We are heading into one of the biggest shows of the year for the videogame industry. E3 is only a month away. Everyone here at SCEA is working very hard and is dedicated to pushing the development envelope to show you not only new stuff for games like Heavenly Sword, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, but also a few surprises we have up our sleeves that no one has seen. You can check in here for updates as we head into the show, and I will be sure to report back once E3 begins.
So, that’s it for now from me. I really hope you enjoy our new blog. I think it is a great way for us to share information and for you to communicate back with us. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and posting more here in the weeks to come!