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Sony exec admits PSP more about media than games

Dave Karraker, new PR head for Sony, was recently confronted by Gamasutra in a pretty intense interview. While it focuses mostly on the upcoming PLAYSTATION 3, Karraker had a few interesting things to say about the PSP:
The PSP is doing incredibly well, and I think that you'll see even more interest behind it now that the PS3 is coming out, because the inner-connectivity between the two, I mean you saw the demo in terms of accessing your PS3 harddrive through your PSP. That's just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with that... I'm not just talking about games, I'm talking about entertainment content as well. Already the TiVo-to-go option for the PSP is turning into a huge hit for us, as people discover that they can take the shows they've already stored on their TiVo and put it on their PSP and while they're riding the bus to work or to school, they can watch television shows on the PSP, I mean that's huge. You can't do that on anything else. So again, I think when you compare the two products, the Nintendo product versus our product, it's kind of apples and oranges. We're providing more of an entertainment system, and they're focused more on gaming.
While the Nintendo fanboys may criticize Sony's approach to creating a media convergence machine, I highly applaud it. I do a lot more things than simply game on my handheld, as I have no desire to carry around a huge laptop to watch movies, listen to music, and use the internet.Karraker says that the company has to create more games that appeal to the Japanese demographic.
Yeah, you have to realize what games work best on the PSP, like action games work really well, sports games work really well...those aren't the most popular games in Japan – it's RPGs. And RPGs don't necessarily lend themselves to the PSP, although I think we've got some really great ones. And it's just a matter of getting the consumer in Japan accustomed to the idea of playing an expansive RPG on a handheld device.
I somewhat disagree with Karraker on this point. The PSP has a lot of expansive RPGs, and the Japanese love well-designed, large RPGs on handhelds (Pokemon, anyone?). The PSP has failed to really get a great RPG that uses the PSP's unique features, and cuts down on the load times. Hopefullly, something like Jeanne d'Arc will change that.

Oh, and two more things:

GS: And how do the emulated downloads work for PSP? Have you announced pricing?
DK: Basically you just download them to the PS3, and bounce it to your PSP, and those will all be under $5. And then there will be downloadable content from hotspots.

GS: As an ex-Saturn person, do you think there's any chance of that downloadable content there?
DK: Oh, absolutely!

[Via DS Fanboy]

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Reader Comments (Page 2 of 2)

Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas21

11-07-2006 @ 1:33PM

Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas said...

bxbailey,

as long as you admit its your "opinion" and not "fact", i respect you for saying so.

i only disagree with people who claim its a fact that a 9.0 rated game is amazing and anyone who disagrees with the 9.0 rating is an idiot.

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pixelator22

11-07-2006 @ 1:33PM

pixelator said...

"It's chassis is still too big for music, and the screen is too small for movies."

Then I guess the Archos devices are all too small, too. That's the point of the 'P' in PMP, dude. Portable. Not everyone wants a 9" DVD player screen to lug around. And yet again, a Nintendo fanboy tries to say that since the PSP isn't as tiny as an iPod Nano, it's worthless as an MP3 player. You miss the point behind a multifunction device, entirely. Would you want to game on a screen like the Nano's?

Player1, you hit the nail on the head.

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pixelator23

11-07-2006 @ 1:58PM

pixelator said...

"like i said before, good or bad games can only be determined by the gamer because its a subjective preference. game sales and game reviews are not the final word."

So then according to your 'logic', sales determine how 'good' a game is, not the reviews. There's room in any critique for subjectivity, but it doesn't change the fact that among the game critics, PSP games rank higher on average than DS games. Downplay that as your Nintendo devotion mandates, but don't expect everyone else to agree with you that say, Cooking Mama (meta 66) is 'better' than Every Extend Extra (meta 82).

"I think this shows that most gamers dont find the PSP game library to be attractive, relative to the competition."

No, it shows that those 14 Nintendo DS games have enjoyed better hype and marketing. It also reflects the higher DS system sales.

"marketing isnt the dominating factor in determining successful game sales"

Dude, you have absolutely zero clue as to what you're saying. Were this true, then the endless crappy Pokemon spinoffs and godawful licensed kiddie garbage on the DS like wouldn't sell anywhere near what they do.

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Ladsaber24

11-07-2006 @ 2:13PM

Ladsaber said...

I just get it for the media stuff but mainly for MK Unchained.Anything else is just an add on.

I would get a nintendo handheld the day they stop making the screen small.With backwards stuff so i can play elite beat agents!!!.The only ds game that worths it since is a Psone rip off yay!!!!.

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Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas25

11-07-2006 @ 2:44PM

Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas said...

pixelator,

Perhaps I should have been clearer. I said, "game sales and game reviews are not the final word."

You responded with, "So then according to your 'logic', sales determine how 'good' a game is, not the reviews."

According to my logic, sales do determine how good a game is to its particular owners. When a game like Nintendogs sells over 8 million copies, I think its safe to assume most Nintendogs owners like the game. However just because 8 million gamers like Nintendogs does not mean every gamer likes Nintendogs as well. I dont like Nintendogs! Perhaps you dont like Nintendogs either! But those 8 million gamers that bought the game love their puppies! That was my point.

Let me try explaining myself a bit further. Just because a particular game got a 5.0 rating out of 10 does not mean the writers opinion on the game is fact. Its a subjective opinion. Perhaps I think the game should be given an 8.0 rating. Perhaps you think the game is worthy of a 7.0 rating. A 30 year old female might enjoy a cooking game more than a FPS game perhaps. Similarly, a 50 year old might enjoy Brain Age more than a wrestling game.

As to your argument about marketing and hype, lets just say we both have different opinions on the matter. Obviously we dont agree with each other on that topic.

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pixelator26

11-07-2006 @ 5:23PM

pixelator said...

"According to my logic, sales do determine how good a game is to its particular owners."

What logic? There's no logic whatsoever in that statement. Sales and how good a game is to its owner have zero to do with each other - unless that owner's primary sense of a game's quality is SOLELY derived from its unit sales - a preposterous notion.

"When a game like Nintendogs sells over 8 million copies, I think its safe to assume most Nintendogs owners like the game."

It's not 'safe' to assume anything of the sort. This shows that 8 million people BOUGHT INTO THE IDEA of the game and/or the marketing hype. Maybe a few buyers read the (overall good) reviews, but I doubt the main demographic for Nintendogs does much surfing of Gamerankings or Metacritic.

"But those 8 million gamers that bought the game love their puppies! That was my point."

This has nothing to do with saying that the DS library is better simply because it has more games that have sold over 1 million. Ratings aren't the end all, but neither are sales. The only absolute truth here is, the PSP has highly rated games that aren't selling as well as the DS games.

"Just because a particular game got a 5.0 rating out of 10 does not mean the writers opinion on the game is fact. Its a subjective opinion."

And nowhere have I said that the PSP has more highly rated games on ONE PARTICULAR SITE. I always use the Gamerankings or Metacritic comparison. That's not just one subjective opinion of one person, but many - dozens or more. And given these findings, the result is clear - DS games sell better not because they're inherently better, but because the DS system is hot right now, has sold more systems and their marketing/hype is working.

Anyone who works in the games industry will tell you that while not the ONLY factor in a game's success, marketing and hype factor do play a MAJOR role in the ultimate outcome, even with games that aren't rated that highly (like the DS Pokemon games, for example).

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Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas27

11-07-2006 @ 5:58PM

Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas said...

pixelator,

you are dumb. plain and simple. i tried to get through to you, but no point in trying to have a constructive discussion anymore. either you are purposely in denial, or you are stupid. i dont go by game ratings, but just to burst your bubble, visit GameSpot and IGN. Compare DS games with PSP games in the 9.0 to 10.0 range. You'll find many more DS games in that range. I'm done with you. Dont expect a reply.

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Marco Cano Jr28

11-07-2006 @ 6:09PM

Marco Cano Jr said...

Kudos to "Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas" (why don't people use they're real name?) for being respectful in his writing, Ninty Fanboy or not.

At any case, is it fare to say that most of these best sellers are from japans non games? Last I remembered, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow or Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was never on the top spot. So is it safe to say that the ones that made it to the top spot are non-games, predictable nintendo top selling games, and other predictable games (Final Fantasy)? (I think I argued this with Pix)

I agree with Orlandito, from the looks of it, the PSP will become the next Dreamcast. Its not going to die off like it because this is Sony were talking about but I think it will have its cult following like what Mr (or Mrs!) Torres said.

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Marco Cano Jr29

11-07-2006 @ 6:14PM

Marco Cano Jr said...

Yeah pix, what happened? lol. I remembered you used to be better then this. Kind of disappointed.

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Pal30

11-07-2006 @ 7:27PM

Pal said...

"GS: This is a bit of a stretch, but I know there’s a very good Saturn emulator for the PSP [the GiriGiri emulator has been officially licensed for PSP, and was used for Atlus' portable version of Princess Crown]…?

Why isn't anyone reporting the Saturn emulator ported to the Saturn?

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cyberrtaptor195831

11-08-2006 @ 11:02PM

cyberrtaptor1958 said...

Marco Cano Jr states:

"Kudos to "Wii Wish KAZ a Merry Xmas" (why don't people use they're real name?) for being respectful in his writing, Ninty Fanboy or not."

And Wii stated:
"you are dumb. plain and simple." and "I'm done with you. Dont expect a reply."

Maybe is it just me, but that does not sound respectful, sounds more like name-calling.

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