Interviews// VP of Sony's Worldwide Studios, Jamie MacDonald

Interview with Jamie Macdonald, Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios

Posted 17 Aug 2007 16:27 by
SPOnG: Moving on to talk more generally about PlayStation 3, which has had a pretty difficult gestation period over the last six months since launch in Europe, are there any parallels you can draw between the PS3 launch and the launches of the previous two machines?

Jamie MacDonald: Well, itís interesting you should say that because from our point of view we have had a very successful launch. Weíve met all the sales targets we had. Itís outselling PS2 and PSOne at the same point [in their lifespans] by some margin. So, weíre very pleased.

SPOnG: Maybe one of the problems for Sony is that Wii has been such a phenomenon in terms of sales that there is perhaps a tendency for people to compare PS3 sales unfavourably with Wii.

Jamie MacDonald: Could I just point something out - that PlayStation 2 is still outselling Wii in all the major markets. End of story.

Wii is a great platform, donít get me wrong, and as far as Iím concerned the more the merrier. The bigger the market we have for videogame entertainment, the better it is. But as far as Sony is concerned we are very happy with the sales of PlayStation 3 and we are very happy with the sales of PlayStation 2. In terms of our market share weíre doing very well.

SPOnG: Chris Deering [SCEE founder] reminded me that PlayStation, when it originally launched in the UK, was priced at £300 Ė when at the time you could buy a pint for around a pound! Which put the PS3ís price into a slightly new context for me!

Jamie MacDonald: Exactly!

SPOnG: One of the things this time around that is different is that third-party exclusive games are becoming less important. Itís much more about first party games.

Jamie MacDonald: Yes, although Iím not really qualified to talk about third-party games. Thatís not really my bag.

SPOnG: Okay, what about first party games though? Weíve talked about SingStar and Home, what are the main AAA titles we have on PS3 this Christmas?

Jamie MacDonald: Heavenly Sword, and there are going to be some announcements at Leipzig next week, so weíll be talking to you about those out there.

SPOnG: What about Little Big Planet?

Jamie MacDonald: No launch date has been announced. Itís not a title that Iím directly responsible for, but Iím fairly closely involved in it. From our point of view itís a hugely exciting title.

We were talking about the ĎFour Csí this morning: Community, Creativity, Competition and Commerce Ė and Little Big Planet really hits the spot on all four of those. A fundamental part of its feel is Ďcreative gamingí as itís known. The idea is users being able to create an entertainment experience which is then published to the rest of the world and other users will be able to vote with their feet, as it were, if they think the thing that youíve created is better or worse than anybody elseís, so itís very much in that vanguard of Ďcreative gamingí.

SPOnG: One of the games announced at E3 2006 that weíve not heard so much on recently was Eye of Judgement.

Jamie MacDonald: Yes, thatís going to be one of those titles talked more about at Leipzig. So watch this space! Itís very much still up there, making use of the new PlayStation Eye camera in a very new way.

SPOnG: And what other plans have you got for the PlayStation Eye camera?

Jamie MacDonald: Lots. It was developed out of London Studio, as was the first one, we have a lot of plans for it which will be made public soon.

SPOnG: Going back to SingStar, a big part of the business model is giving users the ability to regularly be able to download new tracks and videos. How much will they cost?

Jamie MacDonald: The pricing model hasnít been announced yet, so I canít really comment, other than to say it will be competitively priced alongside disc-based product.

SPOnG: So, similar pricing to iTunes, say?

Jamie MacDonald: We prefer to compare it to our existing SingStar product, but clearly iTunes is the big elephant in the corner of the room!
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