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Sony: We don't need the "senior citizen" gamers

SCEA's Scott Steinberg explains why the company is relaxed over Nintendo's users

Sony Computer Entertainment America's Scott Steinberg has told GamesIndustry.biz that the company has no desire to mimic Nintendo's strategy to hook in the older demographic of people who have never played videogames before - because by getting PlayStation 2 users to upgrade to PlayStation 3 will give them a "hands-down" next-gen victory.

"I think the reality is that we will win hands-down if we convert the PS2 owners to PS3," he said. "When we look at the total available market, we salivate at the notion of converting our existing PS2 universe.

"Every million units we drop into the PS2 is an annuity that's going to pay out later on for PS3 upgrades, and we've got some interesting ideas on how to reach out to those PS2 owners in the US and convert them up.

Responding to a question about the success of Nintendo's Wii remote in terms of accessibility - something that's not daunting to non-native gamers - Steinberg stressed that the company has no plans to introduce a copycat device.

"I think the notion of that controller is a non-trivial point that you've brought up, that control and that familiarity is like comfort food - from my perspective, we lead, we don't follow," he said. "And as a brand, Nintendo's got their thing, and we're not trying to get the senior citizen group to get into gaming, we're looking to convert the PS2 owners and the tens of millions of installed base that were playing DVDs and playing games on their PS2, to now play Blu-ray movies and Blu-ray games with their PS3.

He went on to underline the company's ten-year plan that saw the PlayStation 2 dominate the previous generation of games consoles, and still sell well today.

"We would look at technology that helped enable that, as oppose to trying to iterate or be derivative off of somebody else's vision," he said. "Ten years - it goes back to our mantra of ten years. Technology that's associated with the PlayStation has to have future-proof qualities to it."

And in a slight dig at the company's rivals, Steinberg stated his belief that other platforms were already starting to show their relative age.

"I think that we're seeing, graphically, PS3 games starting to create some distance and some of the other competitors are going to feel that they're getting long in the tooth, looking quite dated, because they haven't created that ten-year vision from a horsepower standpoint."

The full GamesIndustry.bizinterview with Scott Steinberg is available now.

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Latest comments (1)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
I know it's just PR but no console is future proof and the PS2 dominated in the fashion it did not because of some "10 year plan" but because it sold 20 million units before the GC and Xbox even released and in the process garnered some incredible exclusive 3rd party titles.

It should also be noted that almost every single winning console has lasted 10+ years on the market. Atari, NES, GB, SNES, PS (PS2 will be next).

The PS3 no longer has the 20 million unit head start like the PS2 had and the competition is much more contested this generation. This generation will last longer than previous generations because development cycles take longer and publishers need time to recoup some early R&D dollars but that's industry wide and not just PS3.
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