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GDC 2006: "Platform Keynote: PlayStation 3: Beyond the Box"

Platform Keynote: PlayStation 3: Beyond the Box
Phil Harrison, President, Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment

I didn't take notes during this session, so this entry is an opinion piece and not a transcription.

Of course, we know that audiences never remember more than three points in any given presentation. Sony kept this in mind and so they had three points they wanted to make. As far as I could tell, they were:

  1. We sure have sold a lot of units of the PlayStation 1 and 2!
  2. Look at our shiny new hardware. Look at it!
  3. We're thinking about network services. No, really!
Yes, the PlayStation 1 and 2 have been phenomenal successes. I'd be touting them were I in Sony's shoes. But we all know that. So that leaves the hardware and the network.

I must be jaded, because the PlayStation 3 demonstrations didn't do all that much for me. But then I feel the same way about the Xbox 360. It's not that they're unimpressive platforms -- it's just that we as consumers, and even we as sometime-game designers -- have become jaded by seeing platform transitions that were phenomenal, like from the Super Nintendo to the PlayStation 1. The leap from Xbox to Xbox 360, or from PlayStation 2 to 3, simply can't be as impressive as past leaps forward -- it's impossible.

As to Sony's network strategy, it reminded me of when the government wants to announce that they're concerned about something, but they're not ready to actually do anything about it as yet. So what do they do? Announce that they're studying the problem. Try as I might, I couldn't actually discern anything new in Sony's talk on their network strategy. They're going to have one. It's really important to them. They're thinking about it a lot. They'll tell us more later this year. It will all be ready when PlayStation 3 ships.

Coverage of this keynote can be found on Gamasutra and GameSpot.

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