For the second time
in a week, EA’s CEO Larry Probst III speaks out. This time he spoke to N'Gai Croal of Newsweek
magazine about the Wii and PSP and made a few choice comments about PS3 hardware delays.
Talking in a bizarre future/present tense hybrid Probst kicked things off by discussing PS3 availability, saying:
"I don't think that they would catch up in the first quarter of 2007, but at some point in calendar '07 I think they catch up to demand. I don't think it takes until the early part of 2008. It doesn't happen in early 2007, but it happens in that year."
As well as giving the recently revealed (and sickeningly sweet looking) Wii Sims
a mention, Probst alluded to "some things in the pipeline that are Wii-specific". (Easy, Larry. If you're not careful you might reveal something of actual substance…)
He was also keen to point out that EA will have a number of Wii titles "in the low to mid-teens" planned for the next fiscal year in a bid to increase its support for Nintendo. Glib comments aside, we're pleased to see the largest third-party publisher in the world throwing a bit of weight behind the Wii.
Moving on to the PSP, Probst contradicted recent comments made to N'Gai Croal by EA Chief Creative Officer Bing Gordon that EA is keen to produce original titles for the PSP, stating:
"I'm not so sure that I agree with the premise that we're strategically focused on building original product for the PSP. That's news to me. It's more likely that we would target platforms like the PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii if we had an original in mind. Our strategy on PSP has typically been to take the franchises that we build on other platforms and exploit them on the PSP. I think the price point needs to be lower, and I think you're going to see that next year, along with a different form factor."
He added that he wouldn't be surprised to see a basic PSP at $149 (£75) along with a more upscale model at $249 or $299 (£126 or £151). Although Probst stressed this is not insider knowledge, it's still worth noting when it comes from the mouth of the man in charge of EA, the world's largest games publishing house.
Finally Probst had something to say about criticisms levelled at EA claiming it lacks original intellectual property. He pointed to the fact that last year 40% of EA's output was it intellectual property, while next year it hopes to move that figure closer to 50%. He highlighted titles such as Spore
, Army of Two
(also a late 90s song by the Dum Dums if we remember correctly) and the soon to be revived Command and Conquer