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PS3 can appeal on a social games level - Sony

Jamie MacDonald believes that flagship console can emulate PS2's success

The PlayStation 3 can appeal to a broad audience range with social gaming, despite its current premium price point and strong competition from Nintendo and Microsoft.

That's according to Jamie MacDonald, VP of Sony Worldwide Studios, who believes that the console will follow a similar lifecycle path to that of its world-beating predecessor, the PlayStation 2.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz he denied that he felt it was harder for the PS3 to appeal on a social games level than it was for the PS2.

"I don't actually, no," he said. "If you cast your mind back to 1999 when PlayStation 2 came out, I remember being completely awestruck when I first saw it, watching Gran Turismo 3 and just thinking, 'Wow - how do they do this?'

"Its price point then was similar to the PlayStation 3 when it came out. The difference between PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 1 is similar to that of the PS3 and PS2, and the lifecycle and demographic that the platforms appeal to will be broadly similar."

And he cited the other benefits that the PS3 enjoys that help to make it a better platform for an all-round living room experience, despite the premium price tag.

"[It's] not just price point - that is a driver, but I think at the same time it's more about how ubiquitous the platform becomes," he explained. "Part of that is to do with price, but it's not only price, it's about platform position, and the PS3 having a Blu-ray Disc player - so it's more likely to be in your living room than anywhere else.

"So it's all about working out where the demographic is for any particular platform, and our brief is to help the process, whereby we expand the audience for any of our platforms over the lifecycle.

"Other studios, other organisations in the US and Japan - who are very good at doing titles which appeal, to use that phrase 'teenage boys in their bedrooms,' - and they're great at that, and absolutely needed. But they come at a certain point in the lifecycle, and we just happen to have found ourselves in a niche really, where we are good or have been good thus far in social gaming.

"That's a point in the lifecycle of the platform. Now, for example with PlayStation 2 it's going much younger, so we're still doing social titles for PS2, but it's a much younger audience. For the PlayStation 3 it's the other way around - we have social titles which are appealing to a more adult, sophisticated audience."

The full interview with Jamie MacDonald is available now.

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