As Sony celebrates its Christmas sales success story for the PlayStation 3 (even though reports suggest the gaming giant is still losing money on each console it sells) Pocket-lint posed some questions to John Koller, the director of hardware marketing for SCEA about the high-end console's immediate future.
3D is set to be big in 2010, and Sony is not standing still in this market with 3D BRAVIA TVs due to hit this summer, which incidentally is when the PS3 is due its firmware update that will turn it into a fully-fledged, stereoscopic 3D-capable games platform, not to mention separate updates also due that will bring support for 3D Blu-ray.
Read on for our Q&A covering 3D, a 1TB PS3 and an App Store for the PlayStation Network...
Pocket-lint: How big is 3D going to be in the PS3's future? And how does it compare to 3D possibilities on rival platforms?
John Koller: 3D is a major part of our initiatives in 2010 and we’re currently developing 3D stereoscopic games to come in conjunction with the launch of Sony's 3D compatible BRAVIA LCD TV in summer 2010. The amazing thing about the PS3's technology is that all PS3 units that exist in homes and markets will be able to play 3D stereoscopic games as well as 3D BD movies through separate firmware upgrades - something that other platforms are unable to do. We'll be announcing actual game titles separately later, but we think that 3D stereoscopic gaming has a ton of potential, particularly in placing consumers within the actual experience. With 3D gaming and Motion Control technologies just around the corner, 2010 will show just how PlayStation is leading the innovation curve in the industry and that the PS3 truly does everything.
P-L: As consumer's appetite for digital content grows, do you see a 1TB PlayStation in the future?
JK: PS3 owners have downloaded an incredible 829 million pieces of content through PSN to date. Digital content will undoubtedly continue to be on the rise, so having a larger hard drive will better accommodate a user’s growing digital content library. Specific to a 1TB PS3 system, consumers can technically have one today. We recently launched the 250GB PS3 system, but since the beginning consumers have always been able to purchase and easily install a commercially available hard drive. The flexibility of PS3’s design enables you to have a 1TB PS3 if you wanted. Ultimately, our goal is to provide options to PS3 users so that whatever their entertainment choices are next year or the year after, they’ll have the storage space to accommodate the way they want to use their system.
P-L: Can we expect to see the PlayStation Network, as a connected platform, get some kind of app store in the future?
JK: PlayStation Network is constantly evolving and we’re always looking into bringing additional services and features to PlayStation Network. We have made no announcements at this time but we’ll keep you posted.
P-L: Could we see all content saved to PlayStation accounts in the future, perhaps with cloud storage eventually replacing physical hard drives?
JK: Right now, we’ve found that a built-in hard drive is still an important driving factor in PS3 purchase decisions. That being said, we plan to continue providing PS3 users with options so that whatever their entertainment choices are next year or the year after, they’ll have the storage space to accommodate the way they want to use their system.
P-L: Do you expect to see the "Cinema Mode", as seen in Uncharted 2, to become popular across more titles?
JK: With the incredible talent and creativity behind each of SCE’s first-party studios, don’t be surprised to see more ground-breaking features like Uncharted 2’s Cinema Mode. The PS3 is incredibly powerful and with upcoming technology like 3D gaming and our motion controller, both first and third party developers have the ultimate canvas to create innovative features that will change the way games are played and how we interact with them. Specific to Cinema Mode, we don’t have any plans to announce at this time.
P-L: How will a 250GB hard drive, as seen in the new PS3 Slim, benefit users as regards the coming-soon motion-controlled games for the PS3?
JK: In terms of the amount of hard drive storage required to install or stored saved game files, games designed to use the upcoming motion controller technology will not differentiate from games that don’t. Obviously, a larger hard drive will allow you to download more gaming content as well as give you plenty of overhead to download and store all of your other digital content without having to worry about running low on storage space.