LittleBigPlanet will be "hardware seller" claims Sony

Consumers are "loving it" according to associate producer Eric Fong

It's certainly one of the more innovative titles in development, but Sony believes Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet will also prove a big driver in hardware sales this autumn as the battle for market share intensifies.

With heavyweight franchises like Gears Of War, FIFA and Guitar Hero expected to dominate Q4, releasing an original IP during the year's busiest period is a gamble, but Sony is placing great faith in the UK-developed title, which invites users to "play, create and share" content locally and over PlayStation Network.

"Our target audience is everyone," explained associate producer Eric Fong, speaking to last month at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego, where the game was being demonstrated to the public.

"It's got enough complexity that people can play it and enjoy it for many hours; at the same time, if you're just a casual user you can run through and play the game and have fun with it. Everything you see in the developer levels, you can create as the player."

Talking up the game's sales potential, he added: "It's going to be a hardware seller. Not only do you have the platforming experience that a lot of other games will have, you have this creativity that really is exclusive to LittleBigPlanet."

But some believe Sony's real challenge is in communicating the game's unique features to consumers, a point which Fong conceded. "How do you explain the game...without getting your hands on it? It's a difficult thing to do."

Therefore events like Comic-Con and Germany's Games Convention, which takes place later this month, have become a crucial part of Sony's aggressive consumer awareness campaign.

"We've been able to get it into the hands of the consumer and they're loving it," Fong said of the San Diego showing, where the LittleBigPlanet booth was well attended throughout the show.

LittleBigPlanet is due for release on PlayStation 3 in PAL territories this October, with a Japanese release confirmed for October 30th.

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