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Posts with tag johnkoller

Koller talks PSP to MTV: reveals US GPS plans, downloadable PSP games, and the fate of Dark_Alex


Sorry, Colin! The headline simply can't reveal how many small details were revealed in Stephen Totilo's incredibly extensive interview John Koller for MTV News. In the interview Koller revealed that all upcoming PSP games developed by Sony will take advantage of the system's full 333MHz speed, with no negative impact to battery life. Other accessories for the US include the upcoming GPS peripheral, which is currently being "tweaked" with an expected release in the next 10-12 months. The PSP camera "may get a spec change" before coming to America -- but the TV tuner will never make its way to the US.

Bringing downloadable games to PSP is one of the next things to tackle for Sony. echochrome was originally meant to be a downloadable PSN game for PSP, but it became much larger than anticipated. "It was initially going to be a download-service-only game," Koller said. "We changed it to a UMD because it's a very rich game. That's where their mind is. They're developing that kind of game." Thankfully, other downloadable PSP games are in the works. When can we expect them? In the next six to eight months.

In regard to the homebrew scene, Koller says that there were no talks between Sony and Dark_Alex, saying that "I think he's taking a hiatus." For even more, please visit MTV News for more.

Joystiq interview confirms Home amibitions for PSP


At E3, we had a chance to talk to SCEA Senior Vice President Philip Rosenberg and John Koller, Senior Marketing Manager of the PSP. We talked to these two Sony executives to find out more about Home, possible PSP integration with Home, the redesign, and more.

When John was asked why PSP integration with Home wasn't on display at Sony's press conference, he noted that "It's absolutely roadmapped. It's certainly on the agenda. I think the point of the cell phone was just to show you can bring other products into play. But the PSP is certainly roadmapped at this point. Like Phil was saying, it's all about bringing together the PlayStation portfolio of products together and using them the right way with Home."

Thankfully, Philip Rosenberg was able to give us a few hints at things to come. "But being able to access leaderboards, or community, or find out which of your friends are in Home, or in-game via hotspot, I think is realistic. As far as timing? I think that there's more to come."

To read the complete interview, visit Joystiq.

Added RAM makes PSP games load faster


The redesigned PSP makes games load faster. But, how? In a private demonstration with Joystiq, John Koller explained that the new PSP includes more than just good looks. The redesigned system also includes more RAM, which is used to increase the load speed of upcoming PSP titles. In addition, the system has much more efficient battery life. Koller promised between 8 to 10 hours of battery life in the new system, a seeming impossibility when remembering the original design.

See also:
Joystiq hands-on with the new PSP

More PSP "exclusive titles" remain unannounced

E3 is right around the corner, and Sony's getting the PSP ready for the big show. In a great interview with GameDaily, John Koller, senior marketing manager for PSP, had a couple of key things to say. Of particular note is his response to what he thinks the key titles of PSP later this year:

"There are a number of exclusive titles coming from a third-party perspective, but without getting into all of those since many are unannounced, I think the three big games for PSP are Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron (again, a fantastic game), SOCOM: Tactical Strike (a huge franchise for us on the first-party side) and then God of War."

We're excited as-is by the upcoming PSP library, but to think that even more exclusives are coming is tantalizing. We were surprised by Star Wars Battlefront becoming a PSP-exclusive ... could any more big hitters be coming our way? Read the full interview at GameDaily for more info on the PSP/DS war, UMD sales, and more on why this is the "year of the PSP."

Sony tells teens: "Dude, get your own PSP"


Is the "love at first sight" ad a part of Sony's new marketing campaign? We're not sure, as Sony hasn't responded to our e-mails yet. As reported earlier, we do know that Sony's finally changing their approach in targeting the teen segment. Thankfully, this means we won't see a repeat of the "All I Want for Xmas" debacle. John Koller told GameLife: "That campaign clearly did not work." It was an attempt to "identify ways of speaking and marketing to that 13-17 year-old consumer. It was an effort to be able to target that individual in a more quiet manner and not go out and promote it and have it be something that was found. The way it was done is not correct ... In the future, we'll be more clear and transparent to the consumer."

Their new slogan will be "Dude, get your own PSP." They will try to focus on the portability of the system--a draw that appeals very strongly to the teen crowd. "The teens that are doing this value the ability to utilize the portability," Koller explains. "I can play it upstairs while my parents are watching the TV downstairs."

Free use of T-Mobile Hotspots was just the first step in capturing the teen market. PSP's firmware will be regularly updated with unnamed features that will specifically cater to the teen market. Something related to PSP's porn functionality, maybe?

[Via Joystiq]

Koller says UMDs "always been a steady growth"


Senior Marketing Manager John Koller has had a lot to say about PSP in the past few days. The system, which is now two years old, has seen its share of successes and problems. One undeniable truth has been the lackluster sales of Sony's proprietary movie format, the UMD. Although the format is considered dead by most, Koller claims that the format has "always been a steady growth."

The problem with UMDs, he notes, is the inappropriate selection of movies in its catalog: "There hasn't been the drop off that's been reported. The movies that have had some selling problems, quite honestly would in any environment, are the ones that weren't targeted against that 16-24 year old demo, or even now as we get a little bit younger the 13-24 year old demo. They're not looking for the older catalog late 70s early 80s kind of movies. A lot of them weren't alive then."

Looking at the top UMD movies (pictured, above), it's clear that successful UMD movies target a very specific demographic. However, considering the scarcity of movies in our weekly PSP releases, it's clear that the format is not experiencing the "growth" that Koller is hinting at. There's more to read at Game Informer, but note that the interview reiterates many points that we covered at GDC.

GDC 07: Firmware gains inspirations from homebrew

Although the PSP hardware may not change anytime soon, the system will still continue to evolve through software. John Koller reminded us that PSP has the ability to continuously expand its functionality. "We have released 13 firmware updates since launch."

I asked him about his stance on incorporating features from homebrew, and he admits that Sony actually watches what the scene does. "RSS is actually from homebrew," he admitted. Future firmware revisions may incorporate some of the additions that custom firmware users have been able to enjoy for months.

Unfortunately, full resolution AVC support doesn't seem to be on the table any time soon. Phil Harrison was actually surprised when I told him that the resolution was locked. John Koller, on the other hand, discussed how the perpetually-delayed PSP movie download service would be one way for fans to (eventually) watch full resolution videos on their handhelds.

GDC 07: PSP won't get redesign; new colors coming soon?

People have been longing for a PSP redesign. It's not happening. John Koller explained that there are currently no redesign plans, regardless of all the rumors that have been on the Internet for ages. One of the main reasons PSP won't get a redesign comes from the issue of screen size: Sony will never make the screen smaller. In fact, the generous screen size of Sony's portable is considered one of the system's greatest advantages.

Rather, Sony is looking to continue to add more value to their existing model. Eventually, Sony of America does plan on releasing new colors, but they're waiting for the right opportunity. It's no secret that handheld owners purchase multiple systems, Koller explained. Especially if they're of new colors. Undeniably, launching a new color will spur sales of the system, even if it doesn't necessarily expand the audience.

GDC 07: Less than 15% of PSP owners have a DS


John Koller, Senior Marketing Manager, revealed an interesting internal statistic in last night's blogger panel: according to his research, only 11-14% of PSP owners have a DS. Although the system may be selling less than Nintendo's dual screened portable, it's clear that Sony's device is targeting a completely different market from Nintendo.

"We're not just competing against Nintendo," Koller explained. The platform has to compete against the iPod, the Zune, and a plethora of other multimedia devices. When asked how Sony will attempt to differentiate their offering even further, Koller simply smiled and hinted that the XMB will become much more fleshed out in the coming months.

GDC 07: PSP will realize its potential this year

In tonight's blogger meeting, I had a chance to talk to Sony president Phil Harrison about his keynote and the suspicious absence of the PSP device: "We didn't talk about the PSP because [the keynote] was 45 minutes," he tried to explain.

John Koller, the man responsible for the marketing of the PSP, then joined in: "We're absolutely not overlooking the PSP." He hinted that the future of the PSP looks very similar to what has been planned for the PS3. "We could start talking about PSP in the same manner as Phil."

Sony recognizes the potential of the system, and promises that in May, they will be revealing some more exciting news. "The promise is there ... [yet] we're well aware of the market realities." What specifically the PSP will be evolving into is still unclear, but it appears as though downloadable media and PS3-style Network features are in the works. From the smiles on their faces, it's clear that some truly exciting things will be happening to the PSP this year.

Sony follows Nintendo's steps and starts targeting moms


The Wii has been a huge hit at my house over Thanksgiving. Even my mom loved Wii Sports, and is thinking about buying a system for herself. Absolutely mind-boggling. Sony is eager to capitalize on the burgeoning gaming mom market, and has expanded their newly revitalized advertising campaign to less traditional media sources. A quick visit to marthastewart.com (pictured above) will reveal ads for the PSP with a tagline "Sugarplums aren't the only things dancing in their heads." Whatever that means. This campaign will also run on parenting.com and AOL's Parenting channel.

The new campaign is "fairly unique for us," said John Koller, senior marketing manager. Sony plans on going for a more organic advertising approach, avoiding the very teen-oriented animation that defined the PSP's first year and a half. Finally!

[Via Ad Week]

Zune & its impact on PSP's identity crisis

Rocky Mountain News recently sat down with senior marketing manager and friend John Koller about the current state of the PSP, and how it faces an identity crisis. "We looked at (the PSP)... as a strong portable game system with multifunctional limbs... It's still a gaming system at its heart." The article notes that Sony wanted to highlight the games of the system first and foremost, and with an excellent library of launch games, the gaming critics and community at large embraced the handheld.

However, with a lack of consistent high-profile original games for the system, many PSP users demanded the media functions of the system to be up to snuff. With the failure of UMDs, and cumbersome media restrictions, the PSP has failed to reinvent itself as a defining media platform as well: "The PSP consumer has turned out to be a different consumer in many ways than what we have targeted," Koller admits. By focusing on firmware upgrades, the upcoming GPS and camera peripherals, Sony has a chance to redefine itself. Some other highlights of the article include:
  • As mentioned before, Sony is working on a DRM that can deliver video and music to the system. They are considering how to deliver content, whether it be through Connect, or even a third-party service.
  • "Future iterations of the PSP are likely, Koller said, but Sony is counting on the current version to be around for 10 years, much like their consoles. Sony typically releases a new console about every five years, while continuing to support previous models for another five years."
  • While Nintendo will be Sony's direct competitor, Microsoft's upcoming Zune appears to worry Sony. "I am assuming, we are assuming, that the Zune will eventually have game play," Koller predicts. He expects Zune to have "a huge impact" on the industry.
[Thanks steve, Via Kotaku]




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