Engadget managed to snag Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Jack Tretton by the coattails at E3 and ask him a few questions about Sony’s PS3/PSP strategy going forward.
Sony does seem to have shed a lot of the arrogance that caused them to stumble out of the gates with two press-shattered shins with the launch of the PS3. And Horner’s being frank about gamer sore points like removing backwards compatibility from the PS3: “I would like to have had it in there, but Sony’s collective strategy determined we could afford to lose it. We’ve now gone down that road, and we’re not going back.” I admire that. It’s sincerely regretful, but also makes clear that they feel it was a smart business decision they aren’t going to waffle on: backwards compatibility doesn’t really sell consoles, and it’s a good choice of features to trim to get prices down.
But this comment about why the PSP doesn’t have any damn games on it anymore is just stupid:
What’s preventing PSP software sales: Three things. Title ports from PS2 games (people don’t want to buy the same title twice), and the PSP’s media functions. But Jack put the most emphasis on “piracy in the hundreds of thousands of units are preventing software sales. it’s a problem that affects our software sales right now.”
So the loss of hundreds of thousands of totally imaginary, theoretical sales are preventing developers from generating hundreds of thousands of real ones? That’s not what’s going on. If that were true, the DS (which has a far more easy-to-access piracy scene than the still-difficult-to-hack PSP) would be a total ghost town.
No. The truth of the matter is that Sony bungled the PSP and there’s some behind-the-scenes reason why the summer of 2008 has been almost entirely empty of notable PSP titles. And most of the reason is likely the obvious one: the DS is easier and cheaper to develop for, with a substantially greater install base. But corporate hubris makes piracy easier to blame than (perceived) inferiority.
SCEA CEO Jack Tretton dishes [Engadget]