EGTV: Midway boss backs Blu-ray

Zucker defends PS3 price, too.

With Sony continuing to come under fire from critics over its Blu-ray strategy, the Japanese giant's next-generation DVD technology has received a boost from Midway boss David Zucker.

Speaking exclusively to Eurogamer TV, in an interview broadcast today, the US publisher's CEO and president dismissed fears that PS3's Blu-ray-inflated price tag is a significant issue, while predicting that success for Sony's next-gen console will provide a major leg-up for the new DVD format in its war with Toshiba's rival HD-DVD standard.

"There's a lot in the PlayStation 3; think about the fact that you get Blu-ray, the next-generational leap in DVD - you get a Blu-ray player in the machine," Zucker said. "When you think about that and some of the feature sets that come with it, including the hard drive, it seems like a reasonable price for the early launch. Presumably that price will come down over time as they move through the console cycle."

Asked how significant a bearing the next-generation DVD battle would have on the console market, he added: "I think it's an important part of the puzzle. The other side is, if PlayStation 3 is huge, the gamer helping to drive that, that's going to have a big impact in helping Blu-ray DVD technology. It's going to work both ways."

Following a solid E3 showing, spearheaded by stunning next-gen action title Stranglehold, Zucker was also keen to highlight the dramatic turnaround in product quality the publisher has achieved, following a period of extensive reform.

"We've improved the quality of our games over the past couple of years; we're doing a much better job on the marketing side now," he commented. "You're going to see as we go into 2007 fewer, bigger, better titles that really move the dial in terms of quality and their impact on the industry."

Elsewhere in the interview, Zucker stressed the importance of Europe to Midway's global ambitions, and praised the achievements of territory boss Martin Spiess, who joined the publisher in May 2005.

"Martin Spiess has done a great job over the past year," Zucker enthused. "We've actually now got our own offices in the UK, France and Germany, the biggest three markets over there, so I'm very happy with the progress. Europe's a big focus and we're expecting big things for Rise & Fall over there - we're very excited.

"In 2004 (Europe's share of our overall revenue) was 18 per cent. Our goal is to get to 35 per cent by 2007, which is similar to what a THQ or Activision does with publishing revenues. Martin has assured me he's going to get us there and I think he will."

The full, exclusive video interview is now showing on Eurogamer TV.

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Johnny Minkley

Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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