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Denny: Move will "absolutely" sell PS3 consoles

Mon 15 Mar 2010 8:00am GMT / 4:00am EDT / 1:00am PDT
Publishing

Worldwide Studios Europe boss believes motion control system will enthuse both new and existing users

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony Worldwide Studios European boss, Michael Denny, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes the forthcoming PlayStation Move motion control system will be instrumental in boosting sales of the PlayStation 3 when it's released later this year.

Speaking shortly after the brand was unveiled during a press conference in San Francisco last week, Denny explained that the release of Move echoed the business strategy previously seen on the company's last generation console.

"It's interesting - you look back at PlayStation 2 and it was about the same time in that console's life cycle that we started introducing new casual/social games and new interfaces, like SingStar, or Buzz!, or EyeToy before that," he said. "It's not new to PlayStation fans having physical gaming, or having new interfaces.

"If you look at where we are with PlayStation 3, and where we can get to, this new system that has genuine new appeal in both vision technology and motion technology - and the experiences it can bring - I think it really will not just attract new audiences to PlayStation, but re-excite some of the existing PlayStation fans in the experiences we can give them."

And when asked if the motion control system would boost hardware sales, or simply appeal to existing PS3 owners, he was very clear.

"It's going to do absolutely both of those things," he said. "If you've already got a PlayStation then it's a great additive experience. It can add to existing games, or existing franchises that people already know. We'll bring new IPs, new experiences for it - but as I said before, the stage we're at in the life cycle with PS3, it can help us broaden the audience now, as we'd expect to do at this time anyway."

The full interview with Michael Denny is available now.

28 Comments

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
I'm sorry Denny but the PS2 had 2 things going for it the PS3 does not. A much lower price and market dominance.

The Wii already has the casual market locked in a head lock and doesn't appear ready to relinquish it back to Sony any time soon.

I can see Move grabbing the attention of a portion of current PS3 owners, a few disenfranchised Wii owners (most disenfranchised Wii owners already now own a PS3) and maybe a few X360 owners turned off by Wii but looking for a more tangible motion control system than Natal.

But I can't expect a Sony Worldwide Studios European boss to say anything different than what he stated.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Simon Peter

9 0 0.0
"vision technology and motion technology"

Technology doesn't sell games. Entertainment does.
If they can make software as popular as the "Wii ___" series, I guess people would like it, and they would sell as much as Nintendo, but it is more difficult than it seems. When third parties did this, on a great existing userbase, they ended up with "shovelware" games that barely sold a few thousand units, even though they appeared to be proper casual games.

Maybe I am wrong, but I have the feeling that the content of "Move Party!" and "The Shoot" were made with the philosophy that "they are colorful, and simple, so even these retarded casuals should like it", and are closer to these dumbed-down imitators than to proper mainstream games.

Though I don't know enough about them to decide that, this is just based on previous experiences.

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Nick Burcombe
Games Design Consultant

6 0 0.0
Well, the "Technology Doesn't Sell Games" isn't really true. It very much depends on what type of technolgy you're talking about. If the technology you design into your system is not based around high end graphics (and the X360 and PS3 have done), but instead based around transforming the input mechanisms, you can clearly see that Wii and DS have both used 'technology' to sell games.....and sell A LOT of games indeed.

I just hope that Sony's "Wii Sports" moment - i.e. 'Move Party' is sufficiently refined and different in gameplay execution from the Wii style experiences. Otherwise, I wonder if those people who had a Wii, got bored of it and who might be looking to get into the HD console side of things, would see the "Move" products and think to themselves - nah, I think I've already done all that....just a thought.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

945 161 0.2
Technology can 'sell games' but that alone isn't good enough.
Yes Wii and DS have both used technology as you say to sell games but they haven't splashed out on the latest technologies and they're selling very well without breaking peoples wallets.

Like the DS touchscreen is hardly ground breaking technology, touch screen devices have been around for ges before then, so they've used long existing technology to move forward really that's all. I doubt many gamers (in relative terms) would think 'Move sounds cool, so this is why I need a PS3'.

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Simeon Paskell
Free Lance Writer

6 0 0.0
@ Jimmy Webb
Re 'I'm sorry Denny but the PS2 had 2 things going for it the PS3 does not. A much lower price and market dominance.'

When the PS2 was at the same point in it's life span as the PS3 is now, was it really much cheaper? I bought my PS2 fairly late, and I'm sure I paid around 200 for it (though, to be fair, I should probably have researched this a little more before posting!).

---

I could see Move shifting some PS3s to more casual gamers - all Sony need to do is really push the augmented reality side of it; this is something that would really help to differentiate Move from the Wii. I've witnessed the impact that augmented reality gaming can have (Eyepet left my nieces and nephews and, by extension, their parents utterly enchanted); if Sony approach the marketing (and software) correctly, Move could be huge.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Simeon Paskell on 15th March 2010 1:36pm

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Tim Ryan
Producer

10 0 0.0
Sony Europe (SCEE) had made similar statements about EyeToy, but at the time there was no market for camera or motion-based controllers. Maybe the market is ready for it now.

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I think two things will be instrumental in Move's success: the software and the marketing. The first is obviously unproven until journalists or the public can get their hands on Move, and the second is an area in which I think Sony have been flagging this generation, although they do seem to be marketing the PS3 and its games much better of late.

They definitely need their own success like Wii Sports though, and I don't think simply cloning the Wii's big hitters will necessarily be enough.

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
@Simeon.

At this point in time the PS2 was $149.99 in the US vs the PS3 currently at $299.99.

Price will be a big issue with the casuals. They can get a Wii for $199.99 or the casual focused PS3 for $299.99 + "under $100" Move Starter Bundle. Is $200 more dollars worth augmented reality for casual gamers?

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Simeon Paskell
Free Lance Writer

6 0 0.0
@ Jimmy
Oh...ok. Fair enough - good point then re the cost!

But it's not $200 more for just augmented reality is it? For $200 casual gamers would also be getting all the other stuff that the PS3 has to offer. Only time will tell, but add Move to everything else the PS3 does and who knows, maybe it will be enough to tempt a ton of casual gamers to lay down their cash.

Obviously, this is what Sony have been banking on with the PS3 ever since it came out (ie, bung enough stuff in it, and it will sell), but there's a chance that Move could be the straw to break the camel's back. And let's face it, the PS3 is a much better place price wise now than it was a year ago!

Whatever happens, it's going to be an interesting year!

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Consider it this way, it's a $400 investment of a product casuals are not very familiar with vs a $200 investment they've been inundated with for over 3 years. While that may tempt a few brave casuals, the majority are going to stick with what their friends, family, Oprah and Ellen keep bragging to them about and that's going to be Wii.

Even if Sony pushes Move hard (and they won't push it harder than their core market), they are up against a 70 million unit army of casuals (hyperbole alert) that Sony's marketing simply can't stave off.

Will Move succeed? Likely more so than their previous camera based peripherals but not so much that is challenges the Wii's position as the console of choice for casuals.

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Andrew Jakobs
Lead Programmer

223 83 0.4
The biggest problems will be the steep price and not being shipped standard with every PS3, also it still has to prove itself compared to the wiimote(+).
Another thing I never understood is why the wiimote is never supported by any developer on the PS3, it's nothing more than a bluetooth device, it already works perfectly under YDL.

At least I hope the boomblox game will come to the PS3, or any House of the dead games..

Posted:4 years ago

#11

Nick Burcombe
Games Design Consultant

6 0 0.0
@Andrew - I doubt Sony would have approved any software that would require a Wiimote as the primary input device. Just doens't make business sense. Can you imagine Sony approving such a thing? Hmm. I think not.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Haven Tso
Web-based Game Reviewer

255 8 0.0
It really comes down to the execution I reckon. The last minute six-axis movement control was not successful at all so copycat ware from Move will not make a stir unless Sony shows new potential with the hardware. That's what Nintendo did with Wii and DS - they showed the potential of their hardware using first party software as a trigger / catalyst. That's what Sony needs to do with Move

Posted:4 years ago

#13

James Verity

132 25 0.2
Sony appear to be grasping at straws to sell there products... shame they didnt bring out something that hasnt already been done yet... should have pushed the 3D release forward...

Posted:4 years ago

#14

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
If only they thought of this and had the technology back 5 years ago like in...2005?

But then, nobody back then would have thought we would have what we have now.

Don't really see this as selling more consoles than what has already been sold before, but then again some casual owners who were into the Singstar on the PS2 might give them enough confidence to move to the PS3 4 years after the console had been released.

Posted:4 years ago

#15

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,132 1,039 0.5
I'd say the main thing Sony has to worry about is budget-priced shovelware such as the tons of it found on the Wii (which gives it a rep among some folks as a "granny" game console when it's not). Obviously, Move isn't for every gamer and fortunately, Sony isn't making it MANDATORY for all future titles. I've read SCEA is indeed concerned about junk titles, but we'll see how well they do at "controlling" the overall quality of what sort of games we end up waving at on out TV's.

However, I wonder if they've been tracking Wii software sales since the console launched or realize that there hasn't been a PS Eye title that's done all that well. Of course, the combination of the Move/Eye setup and the various bundles will definitely get some new consumers moving to shops this holiday season, but I'm not sure how many of those buyers will be deciding between a PS3 and a Wii.

Having worked in retail for about 4 years back (1999-2003), I can safely say cost will still be the first consideration, sometimes even over brand loyalty. Nintendo still has an edge on the price point, but i can see some clever arm twisting in some game shops.

Move will sell PS3's (and Natal will sell 360's) mostly because they will feel "new" to those NEW buyers who'll be sold on either system by shifty sales clerks that state that the Wii is a few years old and the games don't look as shiny as what's on the other consoles. Yes, it's unfair to judge the more powerful consoles against the Wii (it's all about the games in the end), but since everyone's on the same motion-based gameplay field now, it's going to be one of the first things that comes up.

Posted:4 years ago

#16

Stephen McCarthy
Studying Games Technology

205 0 0.0
This is just a wii copy as you can get, the ad thing they show look just like the wii one.
+this will cost more to get so only people who have a guy who hard core gamer with a ps3 in the house will get this.

Posted:4 years ago

#17

David Vink
Audio Lead

2 0 0.0
I wouldn't be surprised if this turns into the default mode of control for most PS3 titles within a year or two. I can see Move becoming a great success, provided some great developers are on board (and it seems they are) and they manage to create cool games with it.

Yes, Nintendo was the first to do it, but it was like that with a lot of tech (suchs as rumble). No reason why motion control also shouldn't be adapted successfully by the competitors.

Posted:4 years ago

#18

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
David, that will never happen. You have too many PS3 owners and game developers staunchly against using anything but a Dual Shock controller.

Plus the extra hardware it requires would reduce Sony's lowest price point and profitability.

Posted:4 years ago

#19

Stephen McCarthy
Studying Games Technology

205 0 0.0
sony had to low the cost the ps3 to start with it, so people people will buy it.

I hear that they lost cash when one got sold. ((no idea about the new ps3 but it was like that with the old one))

They are just trying to get more people to get one so they can get more cash back faster.

But I like the Dual Shock controller over the wii one, when i had a long day. less moving ((unless it SSBB))

Posted:4 years ago

#20

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Stephen, Sony is still losing money per PS3 sold as of their most recent quarterly financial records. They make their money back via software (PSP and PS2 as well).

Posted:4 years ago

#21

Kevin Prier
Game Designer

4 0 0.0
I suppose there's logic in their assumption that since peripherals revived PS2 it should work for PS3... I just find it a strange notion that a console that doesn't sell well because of its price will sell better if there are over priced peripherals available. From the consumer perspective, PS3 doesn't have enough IPs to justify the expense over the Wii. Peripherals that increase the cost aren't going to offset that effect, they will increase it.

Posted:4 years ago

#22

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Kevin, what peripheral revived the PS2? And at what point has the PS2 in the duration of the previous console generation needed reviving to begin with?

Posted:4 years ago

#23

Kevin Prier
Game Designer

4 0 0.0
Jimmy,
I was commenting on Michael Denny's statement,

"It's interesting - you look back at PlayStation 2 and it was about the same time in that console's life cycle that we started introducing new casual/social games and new interfaces, like SingStar, or Buzz!, or EyeToy before that,"

I took that to mean, that it was the point in the console's life cycle when sales begin to naturally decline and the introduction of the new interfaces brought interest back to the console(PS2).

It seemed like he was trying to justify the same approach with the PS3. They want to use the new peripherals and interfaces to broaden the market for their console.

I'm just trying to understand his reasons for believing that the motion controller will boost sales of the console. Don't get me wrong, I hope the motion controller is cool, and does sell consoles. More gamers equals more customers. It just seems strange to me to spend the development money on a new controller, rather than strong IPs and really making PSN shine.

Posted:4 years ago

#24

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
The whole point is to steal some of Wii's pie. On the most fundamental corporate strategy level, that's what it amounts to.

Nintendo did all the proof of concept work and created a workable business model. Now Sony wants to utilize the technologies they've been fiddling around with behind the scenes for the past several years based on the business foundation Nintendo has laid out with similar technology.

The fact that the time frames are similar between PS2 and PS3 with regards to the introduction of their more casual peripheral offerings is more coincidence than having been planned before PS3's launch. I'd venture to say had the Wii not been the success it has been, Move would have stayed behind the scenes.

Posted:4 years ago

#25

Kevin Prier
Game Designer

4 0 0.0
Thanks for clearing up Sony's approach for me. I appreciate it. :)

Can Sony actually assume that there will be casual gamers that buy a PS3 over a Wii when it doesn't actually make sense to choose the former?

Posted:4 years ago

#26

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
It does appear to be their initial marketing approach. I suspect this is due to the nature of game development in that low budget casual titles will be first to market with more complex titles that require a much longer development cycle coming later on. So it might make more sense to initially push that angle given it might be what largely constitutes the Move line up for the first year on the market.

Though I don't doubt that they do believe they will garner a large casual following given that they've incorrectly pegged many market factors this generation already.

For their sake, they would do well to maintain the corporate direction they've been moving in instead of trying to expand into a market that's not as receptive of the costs, marketing styles and software most prevalent on PS3.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 17th March 2010 7:35pm

Posted:4 years ago

#27

Kevin Prier
Game Designer

4 0 0.0
I agree completely. The casual/social market may be booming right now, but in many cases it could prove detrimental to shift focus to try to reach that market.

Thanks again for your insight.

Posted:4 years ago

#28

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