PlayStation Experience

Jun 13

A Quick Look Back, A Strong Push Forward

Jack Tretton's Avatar Posted by Jack Tretton on Jun 13, 2007 // President & CEO

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!

//Add Your Own


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+ Jeigh on June 28th, 2007 at 3:45 am said:

I have 100% faith in you! Keep giving me the tools and I’ll continue to give you the gamers!


+ Psychedelicide on June 28th, 2007 at 10:53 am said:

Its great to finally have a blog that keeps us informed with first-hand information.

For me, the greatest thing U guys have done with the PS3 so far is “region free” game releases. Its great to see U recognising this as a global community.

This means that I can finally play baseball video games here in Australia, even if they are not released here.

Whatever happens with BD movie titles in the future, please make sure PS3 games stay region free.


+ FaustsHausUK on June 28th, 2007 at 12:16 pm said:

You say:

“Platforms were born and died within five years maximum.”

– The original Atari system (VCS and hardware revisions) was released in around 1977 and I believe the last game for it was released in the early ’90s.
– The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985 (1983 in Japan) and the system was officially discontinued in 1995.
– The Amiga 500 (technically a home computer but predominantly used for gaming) was released in 1987 and games were produced for it and its hardware revisions until the mid-’90s.
– The original GameBoy was released in 1989. It’s last game, Pokémon Yellow, was released in 1999 but Game Boy Color titles produced after this date were often compatible. Its true successor, Game Boy Advance, was released in 2001.

While I am very glad the original PlayStation was released, bringing with it 3D graphics, CD-quality audio and better mainstream acceptance of video gaming, Sony didn’t end any supposed short hardware life cycle – it instigated it by disrupting the industry.

Not necessarily a bad thing, because increased competition and innovation is benefitting us gamers, but at some point it’s going to have to slow down again. Because as consoles get more complicated and thus more expensive, people will be more reluctant to upgrade so frequently.


+ The_Jump_Off on June 29th, 2007 at 6:50 pm said:

Wow. I couldnt have wrote this speech better. Seriously. Because I wrote the exact same thing millions of times all of the Playstation 3 boards, Gamespot, IGN, PSU lol. Whatever. Im just happy to finally see SONY SAY SOMETHING so people understand. They don’t take the average joe’s (me) word for it even though i already know what needs to be known about the Playstation. Quality. Period.

Its good to see people (teenagers) and other adults around my age who actually lost contact with video games feel safe buying a PS3.

Me myself, I always went for Sony. PS1 did great. PS2 did Excellent. PS3 will be extraordinary to say the least.

My father told me once when i asked “Dad lets the the RCA TV, its a big screen and same price as sonys littler screen”, he replied “true son, but its not quality, Sony is quality, Next year that big screen TV will be broke, and the Sony Tv will last 10 years”

He was right and wrong. We ended up getting both (he wanted to prove a point).

The RCA did brake in the next year.

But the SONY didn’t last no 10 years.

It lasted 15 years, and is honestly displaying ESPN perfectly as it did brand new out the box 15 years ago right next to me as i type this.

Sony. Never stray away from Quality. Learn from History. Too many companies get so much money they get greedy, make cheaper stuff, lose quality, lose face, and lose business. You guys haven’t. So please keep up the good work!


+ The_Jump_Off on June 29th, 2007 at 6:54 pm said:

Editor Comment”””

“Dad lets get the RCA TV”

^^^ Correction (also this was way back in about 1993)

Also it will be 15 years in Jan 1. 08


+ chug20 on June 29th, 2007 at 8:33 pm said:

I’m sure nobody is going to read this way down here, but if you at Sony are working so hard to get the best games to us, and are doing so much to help the development community, why do i CONSTANTLY read stories like this:

It’s talking about the fact that Madden ’08 will be running at 60fps for Xbox 360 and only 30fps on PlayStation 3. For a console that’s supposed to be SO powerful, this is insane, and I’m sick of it. I hate having to have my nose rubbed into the fact that my favorite piece of hardware can’t compete with Xbox 360.

I have been a faithful Sony fan for a long time, and all I ask for is a little appreciation in the form of better dev kits for third parties, and the tools and instructions to allow those developers to better utilize the PlayStation 3. I understand that the PlayStation 3 is newer and a little more difficult to program for, but for a system-selling game like Madden to arrive on PlayStation 3 in terrible shape compared to other versions is nuts.

What makes it worse is the fact that this isn’t an isolated incident. Just about EVERY cross-platform game looks or plays better on the Xbox 360, and that is inexcusable. Something needs to be done, or I will be using my purchasing dollars to buy what Sony’s competitors put out there.

Thank you.


+ Ivan on July 3rd, 2007 at 5:38 pm said:

Mouse and keyboard support would be really nice. Many PC gamers waited for PS3 believing that it will end their decade-long suffering with hardware upgrades etc, and now there’s still a big obstacle as there’s no m/k support yet. I know that maybe it’s not that important in playstation philosophy, but it’s nothing special for you to do, and i guarantee :) that thousands of PC gamers will end up buying the PS3. Or some nice alternative controller for FPS and RTS titles…

Thank you


+ bambu on July 6th, 2007 at 5:59 am said:

Hey the following was pulled from an industry news source, it shows how Microsoft again is losing money on an inferior product, this is just the kind of slip-up we need for PS3 to start kicking their butt!

Home > Sci-Tech > Technology

Xbox 360 repairs will cost Microsoft USD 1 Billion

Los Angeles, July 06: Microsoft Corp. said it would take a more than $1 billion charge to fix “an unacceptable number of repairs” to its Xbox 360 video game consoles and had missed shipment targets for the end of June.

Microsoft is under pressure with mounting complaints about Xbox 360 failures on the Internet and growing expectations that Sony Corp. could slash the price of its rival PlayStation 3 console at a video game exposition next week.

So far Microsoft has the lead on Sony in the battle for high-end video game machines, but it shipped only 11.6 million 360s by the end of June, compared with a target of about 12 million, Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said during a conference call with analysts on Thursday.

Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft`s entertainment and devices division, said the timing of the announcement about the charge for the quarter ending in June and a new extended warranty were unrelated to any potential move by Sony. “This is just one of those things that happens when it happens,” Bach said in an interview. “We reached our conclusion early this week and because it`s a financially meaningful issue we had to announce it immediately.”

The hardware issue has marred a string of successes for Xbox 360, which has built an early lead over the PlayStation 3 with Microsoft`s strong lineup of games and popular online service. But it is also finding increasing competition for some parts of its business, such as Apple Inc.`s incursion into television shows delivered over the Web, which is also a feature of the Xbox online service.


Microsoft said it had investigated the sources of hardware failures indicated by three red flashing lights on the console and had identified “a number of factors” that can cause such failures. Bach said many of those factors took time to show up in the consoles, explaining why the number of repairs had grown in the second year of the Xbox 360`s release. He would not say exactly how many Xbox 360s had been returned due to hardware issues except that “the number is too large.”

The company said it would extend warranty coverage to three years to cover the problem and would reimburse customers who had previously paid for repairs related to the three-flashing-lights error message. It also said it has made improvements to the Xbox 360 console. The charge will be in a range of $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion, before taxes, for the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft said.

Microsoft had already cut its forecast for Xbox 360 shipments in January. It had previously forecast shipments of 13 million to 15 million by the end of June. “What you have to ask yourself as an investor is, should Microsoft be in the hardware business?” said Kim Caughey, senior analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, which oversees about $1.2 billion, including Microsoft shares, for clients. She added, however, that the charge should not be a concern for long-term investors.

“It`s a lot of money, let`s not say it isn`t,” Caughey said. “But if you`re a long-term holder, I don`t think it`s going to have that great an impact.” Bach said the new warranty would not impact the Xbox division`s plan to turn a profit in fiscal 2008, which started this month.

He was also mum on the issue of whether Microsoft would announce a price cut for the Xbox 360 console if Sony made a similar move. “We will assess what we do with pricing and other aspects of our business based on our own business,” he said. Microsoft shares dropped slightly to $29.91 after closing at $29.99 on Nasdaq.

Bureau Report


+ ewilliams on July 10th, 2007 at 10:52 am said:

I have a psp and love it. 3 days ago I was playing it and the joystick poped off. I was in the hospital waiting for my wife to get out of sugery. I pulled out my psp and fired up some Texas hold’em. I didn’t even get past the menu when the joystick poped off. The next day after I got my psp I went out and bought the metal carring case to protect it. I have treated my psp like a baby. I have owened the ps1, ps2, and a lot of the ps gear. When the ps1 broke I called the ps company and they stated, ” we’re sorry, send it back and well fix it.” The samething with the ps2. I have always felt good about spending my money with the Playstation company, because they have always taken care of their customers. Now today I called to get my psp fixed and they told me that to get my $300 dollar psp fixed. I would have to spend $89 more dollars and I would only get a refurbished one. Mind you there would only be a 90 day warranty on the refurbished one, and the joystick is not covered in any warranty offered by playstion. The Playstation representative then went on to tell me that the joystick just don’t pop off so I neglected my psp somehow. So now I have about $600 dollars of psp gear that is no longer usable unless I pay $89 more dollars to get my psp fixed. The represenatative went on to say that there were no othe options but to send my psp to them to fix it, because there is no other company that can fix it. Now if this is were Playstation is going I may have to look at another gaming system. I deffinatly don’t want to, but it seems like your not making enough money from us already. I have no problem spending money for a new game or gear, but not to fix something that I don’t even think I broke. Is it possible that out of the thousands of psp’s that you have made that one my be defective?


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