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Wii U a "potential risk" but Sony puts faith in new IP

Making financial commitment to new titles is easier with 64m users, says Ryan

Sony has acknowledged that Nintendo's forthcoming console the Wii U may turn the heads of technology consumers, but it's confident a portfolio of new brands can keep audiences focused on the PlayStation 3.

While many publishers are relying on established franchises and sequels to tread water during the final years of the current generation of consoles, Sony is still investing in brand new IP, evidenced by Naughty Dog's The Last of Us and Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls taking centre stage at E3 last week.

"It becomes economically easier if you've got an installed base of 64 million," said Sony Europe boss Jim Ryan, of creating new intellectual property six years after its console was first released. "Making that financial commitment to this sort of thing is a lot easier than if you've got 6 million."

"It becomes economically easier if you've got an installed base of 64 million"

Jim Ryan

Nintendo tried to dominate last week's E3 with software reveals and more details of the Wii U to a mixed response from attendees. And with price and release details still up in the air for the new console, Sony doesn't yet feel threatened by the new hardware.

"It's obviously a potential risk but we feel really good about our content," said Ryan. "Obviously, it comes down to content. There are people who buy gadgets for the sake of the gadget, but that's pretty niche. We feel good about our line-up that we showed at E3. We're very excited about publishing it. We've got 30 million (hardware sales target) for this year, it's a big number but we've got the tools to go out and deliver that."

While Sony's PlayStation 3 portfolio looked strong, its PlayStation Vita showing was muted during the conference, with only a number of hardware bundles and a brief mention of a new Call of Duty title for release this year - although only a logo and no footage of the title were shown.

"The dating of Call of Duty isn't something I would call a little announcement," offered Ryan. "Yes, there's wasn't any demonstration of the game but having that franchise on the platform before Christmas is a huge bit of news. Obviously Activision is the publisher of the game so what can be shown is down to them but having that, Assassin's Creed, FIFA and LittleBigPlanet, those four blockbuster IPs on the platform ahead of Christmas makes us feel pretty confident," he added.

The Vita handheld has been criticised for a lack of new releases, with the quiet showing during E3 adding fuel to critics who say Sony is neglecting the console so shortly after release. But Ryan insisted that the console will deliver the content demanded from early adopters, and there is no change to Sony's roadmap for the machine.

"Yes, there's wasn't any demonstration of the game but having that franchise on the platform before Christmas is a huge bit of news"

Sony's Jim Ryan on Call of Duty Vita

"Over the balance of this year we see 60 new titles coming to the platform. There is breadth and depth, so I think anyone who has invested in the platform should feel reassured by that.

"In terms of content that's going to release in the rest of 2012 there's no change. Obviously just the time lines for development would mean that if we had made any decisions about changing strategy it would be next year or the year after that it would reflect itself in what's available in the market.

"There is, as with all platforms, the people that you sell to in the first year aren't the people that you sell to in year's five or six, that's the nature of the beast. Have we abruptly changed course in 2012? Absolutely not," he said.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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