Here’s some more quotes from Phil Harrison which’ll appear in the official PlayStation mag which launches on November 15. We hope to get a further instalment of this online tomorrow.
When asked which game they’ll rely on to sell the PS3?
"I think we saw this with the PS1 to a certain extent, that a lot of people talked about the ‘killer app’ and actually it’s the killer catalogue you want. It’s not about having a single title like a Mario or a Sonic on which you rest the entire platform personality on. It’s about having a wide catalogue that satisfies a number of different consumer tastes and styles. If you’re a sports fan in America, NBA and NFL available from day one means you will buy a PS3. If you are a first-person shooter fan it’s going to be Resistance: Fall Of Man. If you are a more cerebral player it might be Untold Legends - or it might be Motorstorm if you’re more of an action and exhilaration fan. I think there’s something for everybody in there. The games are outstanding quality and I think will satisfy".
PS1 saw the shift to 3D, PS2 had the explosion of free-roaming games after GTA III…. what changes do you expect PS3 to trigger?
"You can see sparks of change in individual games today. On the visual side, there’s full 1080p HD and what that means. You can see the artificial intelligence side of things in F1 and especially Resistance. You can start to see games doing some more interesting and unpredictable things on the physics side – particularly the kind of chaotic experience you get with Motorstorm. You can join those dots together and start to see how game development trends are going to be influenced. Its understandable why, day one, there isn’t a single game that incorporates everything, but I think it will happen shortly".
What do you think is the most interesting use of the Sixaxis pad so far?
"There’s a couple. The fake on NBA; if you want to fake past a player you just tilt left or right, that’s really intuitive. Flow is very intuitive, once you understand the control mechanism, which takes about three seconds. F1’s steering, looking around Resistance… We need to get thinking about the experience of a game and not the interface. I think that we’ll see the e-Distribution games making some really innovative uses of it".
Is rumble feedback really gone for good?
"I’ve been very consistent on this. The rumble feature was a great, impactful way of the machine talking to the user on PS2. But you had no influence on it; you just received a single channel feedback from the game. Sixaxis gives you greater influence over the game environment, enabling you to do things you could never do with buttons and sticks alone. That will yield way more sophisticated gameplay benefits and therefore more value to the player than a vibrating pad could ever do. Saying that, I don’t believe we’ve got definitive examples of how great it could be yet, but we’re close".
If, further down the line, there was a way of marrying the two technologies, would Sony consider it?
"No, because we’re making a standard controller. With the PS2 we made 160 million controllers. Once you’ve defined the format, you stick to it. Now, that doesn’t prevent third party steering wheels having force feedback and obviously [Gran Turismo creator] Kazunori is going to be keen to have that. There will continue to be vertically integrated controllers like that, which a specific to an individual game".
Is there any way players could record their own gameplay footage on the hard drive and then share it online?
"[Laughs] We’re actually already working on it now. There are two ways to do it. One is as pure video actually saved direct from the gameplay experience, but that creates quite a large data cloud. The more efficient way of doing it is to record game input and then share that to each user. We are doing that in a very innovative way on a game that we haven’t shown anybody yet".
How often do you expect PS3 firmware upgrades to happen?
"Right now we are focused on day one. I would imagine that there would be a firmware upgrade in time for the European launch. European consumers will probably get a step-up firmware upgrade, exactly as we did with PSP".
Presumably the PlayStation Store will be well-stocked for the UK-launch, and we’ll have the benefit of the extra content?
"Yes, although the stores are managed regionally, built on the same framework, you’re right. There will be greater supply of content and availability of non-game content".
Is there any way word on European price for the 20GB model?
"We’ve never announced the price in the UK. The answer is no, but I’m sure it will be announced in due course. However, retail has told us that the vast majority of interest is in the 60GB model. But now the 20GB has HDMI as well there’s no effective difference in the machines whatsoever, because all of the other functionality is available through a USB card reader".
How’s Killzone coming along?
"With Killzone, the expectation internally and externally is very high – and I won’t show it until it’s going to exceed people’s expectations. It will be next year before we show it again, but it’s coming along very well. The team are working very hard, they know exactly what they have to do and there’s no doubt they will achieve it, but there’s nothing to be served by something that doesn’t satisfy my goals for the project. I can tell you, though, that some elements already exceed the trailer".
Can you describe the typical day on PlayStation network a year from now?
That’s a great question…Checking in with my clan to see what the plan is for tonight’s SOCOM or Resistance games. Searching out the latest trailers, downloadable demos, skins for my desktop. Downloading a new album, reading a fine editorial of Official PlayStation Magazine, watching stuff on YouTube that my friends emailed me about…You only have to look at the Cross Media Bar to see how everything is going to fit into a Network environment. Obviously you’ve got your friend lists, the ability to chat directly with them, you’ve got your internet browser and the Store with downloadable games".