Phil Harrison on PS3 gaming, Wii and 2007

Sony Computer Entertainment’s Executive Vice President Phil Harrison is known for giving interesting, and perhaps even controversial interviews. Harrison most recently spoke to MTV, and gave his views on his company’s main product, and that of a competitor’s.

When asked for his opinion on the PlayStation 3’s launch, Harrison said, “2007 is the year of software, is how I'll answer that,” perhaps acknowledging the lack of software for the new machine. He did go on to elaborate that the aim for PlayStation 3 games is to break free from the old model of buying a game, finishing it, and then never to play it again. “The video-game business for the past 20 years was about shipping closed experiences,” he said. The new trend, he hopes, is “the start of the relationship with the consumer is when you launch the game … Next year you're going to see user-created experiences in a number of interesting ways on PlayStation 3.”

Questioning then turned to Nintendo and its choice to explore alternative means of inputs for gaming. Harrison said, “Nintendo should be congratulated” for introducing a large number of non-gamers to the industry though the Nintendo DS’s ease of control with the stylus and touch screen. Without mentioning the Wii, he also acknowledged that 2006 is the year of the motion controller.

On the topic of PlayStation capabilities, Harrison said that it takes end-of-cycle games such as Gran Turismo 2 for the PSone and God of War II for the PS2 to full explore a system’s full potential. He believes that the current PS3 launch titles use “less than half” of the system’s computational power, but even more interesting is his bold statement that “Nobody will ever use 100 percent of its capability.” Whether he is implying that the PS3 has limitless potential or that developers will never fully overcome the complexities of the Cell architecture is unclear. In either case, gamers should expect better games in 2007.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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