Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, answers questions submitted on the official PlayStation Forums.
Will more of the PSP back catalogue be arriving on PlayStation Store? (Babaoriley3, righin, England)
Absolutely. We are committed to providing consumers with the choice between disc based games and downloadable games and as such will continue to improve the digital offering.
What is the schedule for expanding the Video Store to other countries in Europe? (Haraldo, Rafyk, Lord_Gremlin, natedenver, hevane, Greyder, Knigochey, LiveriuS)
We launched stores in Australia and Italy on 18 May 2010, which was stage two of the roll-out. For the next stage, we are looking at appropriate timing to launch further stores in many of the countries we are responsible for, but at this time unfortunately, I don't have any more information to share with you. All I can say is that we will be rolling out more stores later this year.
Where do you see the future of content delivery on the PlayStation platforms; will it go towards a PSPgo type method, or sticking with a PS3 method, offering digital and optical media at the same time? (DeathroW22, pintito6, MOKOVITA06, Stratege, natedenver)
At the moment, disc based content is still very much what the consumer is used to and wants. However, there has been a change in attitude and technology that is making digital delivery far more feasible and far more attractive. It is our job to ensure that consumers have the choice between the two where possible. How this area will evolve, I can't really say at this time, as we are relying on many things outside of our control, such as broadband speeds. Things are changing quickly and we have to make sure we are ready for those changes.
Do you think that any of the games released to date have fully utilised the potential the PS3 has to offer or is there still scope for developers to take their games even further? (Blupip)
As with all consoles, as developers spend more and more time on the platform, they learn more, resulting in an improvement in the quality of the games. If you look at PlayStation 2 as an example, it took God of War II, eight years into the lifecycle, to fully utilise the potential of the console. Already with PS3, you can see how games have evolved quickly in the three years since launch, with games such as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, LittleBigPlanet and Heavy Rain really exploring the potential and the power of PlayStation 3. I think it is unlikely that any developer has fully utilised the full potential of PS3 yet, but they are getting much closer everyday.
What are your views around stereoscopic 3D gaming? (RhesusVX, squall595, cicciopiccolo, RX12Hidro)
3D is a very exciting technology that has the potential to redefine how people consume their entertainment. More specifically, games are a perfect fit with 3D and I truly believe that it will be games that will lead the way in consumer understanding of how 3D enhances the entertainment experience. Games can be adapted into 3D relatively easily and with this technology we can add depth and make games more immersive than ever. As well as the games that will be available in June, WipEout HD, Super Stardust HD, Pain and a demo of MotorStorm Pacific Rift, we have some very exciting games on the horizon.
When will we have cross-gaming chat? (KillerBread, Jalvarsan, Snake17x)
We know that cross-game chat is something that the community wants and hopefully we will have an answer for you very soon.
What kind of games will come to PlayStation Move? (LarsGrostad)
The aim with PlayStation Move is to offer a wide variety of games, so that there is something for all types of gamers and all moods. For the more hardcore gamer, there will be games such as SOCOM 4 and The Fight that use the precision of the controller to make the experience more immersive than ever before. For the more social gamer, there will be games such as Move Party (working title), which takes advantage of augmented reality, actually putting you in the game and Sports Champions that will take competitive gaming to a whole new level. We've got some great PS Move games still to be announced and I look forward to sharing them with you.
Why is FirstPlay only available to the UK and not the rest of Europe? (Trondp007, maggi 85)
FirstPlay was initially developed by Future Publishing in the UK and as such, we felt that it would be prudent to trial it in the UK before we could roll it out further. We are in discussions with publishers in other countries about offering local versions of FirstPlay and hopefully we will have some positive news for you soon.
Which game is going to be the "big one" after GT5? (Spurvugle)
I think we have a fantastic line-up of games coming out later this year and into 2011. We have just announced LittleBigPlanet 2, which is very exciting. The original game changed the way developers now look at developing games and the things Media Molecule has done with the sequel are truly incredible. I can't wait for LBP2 to come out and can promise you that it will be great.
Which games will be available for the release of stereoscopic 3D? (Eddy4ever, maggi85)
To coincide with the launch of the new 3D BRAVIA TVs in June, anyone with a PS3 will be able to download WipEout HD, Super Stardust HD, Pain and a demo for MotorStorm Pacific Rift all in 3D. We have some great games coming out both this year and next in 3D, but you'll have to wait a bit longer to hear about those.
Are you aware of the degree to which users complained (forums, news, etc.) about the decision to remove the Other OS Install option? Could you comment on the situation? (Haraldo, Sbiky, FelcKior, Vodka7up, ams010, Raxar)
We are very aware of how vocal the community has been about this. I can assure you that it was a very difficult decision for us to take, but one that we fully believe is in the best long-term interest of PlayStation and the PlayStation community.
I wonder if Sony will continue its strategy of acquiring of development studios as talented as Media Molecule. (Mektoub_93)
Our acquisition of Media Molecule clearly shows our commitment to our first party studios, to ensure that we continue to offer by far the most compelling, innovative exclusive games. Over the years we have done this with developers such as Guerilla Games and Evolution Studios and now with Media Molecule. I think it is clear that we are prepared to invest where there is long-term creative benefit to our platform and our consumers.
Will PlayStation Network become a paying service? (tako2008, natdark)
I can assure you that the current PSN as you know it will remain a free service. It is something that our competitors don't offer and something that shows our loyalty to the PlayStation Community. However, Kaz Hirai stated a few months ago that we were looking at a premium service to sit alongside the current free service and that objective has not changed. You'll learn more about it very soon.
Sony has recently been very active on the stereoscopic 3D television and videogames front. The PS3 will be able to manage it. Don't you think it is still premature to link video games and 3D technology? Won't the price of the 3D TV screens be prohibitive? (Triku25, city-XTI, Eddy4ever)
It is important to us that we are always moving forward with new technologies, especially where there is the potential to redefine the entertainment experience. As far as 3D is concerned, the potential for 3D gaming is huge and we are only scratching the surface. Of course, as with all new technologies, initially there are barriers to entry, such as the cost of the TVs. Regardless of that, we feel that it is our responsibility to offer all consumers a choice. If you want to spend the money on a new 3D TV, then we will provide you with 3D content to play. That is not to say that out priorities have changed. Our priority is still very much our key traditional Blu-ray Disc titles, and that does not mean that we can't offer some 3D fun as well.
Is Gran Turismo 5 just a myth? (Nukem79, Macasfaj, yankien, NICKY_OM_13)
Absolutely not. It's looking amazing and will be out soon.
Will you ever release some limited edition PS3 systems; a God of War themed one would have sold well or even just different colours like silver would be nice? (NERO125, baby19doc)
We are always looking at different opportunities and limited editions is something that frequently pops up in conversation. All I can say on this subject is that to produce limited edition hardware is very expensive as you have to change the manufacturing process. Therefore, we have to look at demand very carefully to ensure that, financially, it is a worthwhile venture.
What have been your stand-out gaming moments to date on the PS3 or other gaming hardware? (nikolastation, Smelck)
From a business point of view, I have to say that the stand out moment for me has to be the launch of PS3 slim at 299 euros in September 2009. We know that for a long time, PS3 was expensive and therefore holding people back. When we launched the slim PS3, sales exploded and haven't really slowed down since. Obviously it has been helped by the incredible line-up of first party exclusive software such as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Heavy Rain, MAG and God of War III. Since that day, momentum has been firmly in our favour and we have no intention of giving that up.
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