Sony's David Reeves • Page 2

On PS3, PSP and what the future holds.   

Eurogamer: Is the PS3 going to remain the most expensive console on the market?

David Reeves: I think it will, yes. I'm not saying there are going to be any price cuts at all in the short term or the medium term. I'm not saying we don't need to do it - we are expensive. It is possible that as the cost [of manufacturing] comes down, we will be able to do it.

But we're protecting ourselves with a very hard shell to get through the next one or two years of an economic situation. If you're experienced, you know you have to go into that mode - it's like being an armadillo. You have to be hard, and then you will come out when the sun comes out.

If, as an industry, we can get through the next six to seven months, we're going to find a massive uplift in September and October. I'm very optimistic about it.

Eurogamer: Let's imagine an average consumer, someone who's not an early adopter, not a hardcore gamer, who doesn't care about Blu-ray. They walk into a shop and see three games machines on the shelf, and yours is the most expensive. At times like these, aren't you concerned the price will affect their decision?

David Reeves: The price will affect their decision. Yes, if I haven't got that much money to spend, I will go for, let's say, the green machine. Because the salesman will say, "Well, it's got all the games," and he wants to sell that machine.

But there are people who come in having done their research, thinking, 'PS3 has got all the games, it's free to go online, it's got a Blu-ray player. I know I'm not going to have to ring up the customer careline saying I've got three red lights.'

We recognised that those numbers would go down because we did not drop the price. But we reached the targets we expected to reach under those assumptions.

"If, as an industry, we can get through the next six to seven months, we're going to find a massive uplift in September and October. I'm very optimistic about it."

Eurogamer: Will you cut the price of PS3 this year?

David Reeves: As the cost of manufacturing comes down, we will look at it, as we've looked at it in the past. I'm not going to say we're going to do anything short term or anything long term on the price. At the moment, we have a value-added strategy.

Eurogamer: So can we expect to see more SKUs, perhaps with different hard drive specs, sold at different prices?

David Reeves: I'm not going to comment on that, simply because I don't have that detailed knowledge.

Eurogamer: Would Sony ever consider licensing out the PS3 technology? Could we see a Sony laptop or Blu-ray player, or even a machine manufactured by another company, which plays PS3 games?

David Reeves: I wouldn't rule it out, but I haven't thought of it myself. We don't have any plans to do that.

Eurogamer: Let's talk about software, specifically with regard to exclusivity. In the US, GTAIV sold 3.3 million on Xbox 360 and 1.9 million on PS3. When you look at those figures, do you regret giving up that exclusivity?

David Reeves: Those are US figures, right? Well, it wasn't the same in Europe.

I don't think we were in a position not to give up exclusivity. You can't live on exclusivity forever; in the end, you've got to be master of your own destiny. We've invested in studios like Media Molecule and gained exclusivity that way. We've made studios like Evolution and Guerrilla wholly-owned.

At the beginning, we had very few IPs and relied on other people for exclusivity. Now, our strategy is to have 15 to 20 IPs by the time we get to 2009, 2010. We don't have to go to Capcom or Take-Two and ask for an exclusive. And I don't think we could afford it anyway. In the cold light of day, I would do exactly as those publishers have done and go multi-platform.

Eurogamer: So what if, say, Konami came to you and said, 'We want to take Metal Gear Solid multi-platform'?

David Reeves: That's totally their decision. We're not going to fall over ourselves just to try and keep that exclusive. We have to stand on our own two feet.

"We're not going to fall over ourselves just to try and keep that exclusive. We have to stand on our own two feet."

Eurogamer: So you wouldn't spend a lot of time and money trying to keep MGS exclusive to PS3?

David Reeves: I don't think we would. I'm not ruling it out, but we would sooner invest that money in two years' time, in having another major IP like Resistance or LittleBigPlanet.

Heavy Rain is a good example. That will be, de facto, an exclusive; we haven't just given them a paper bag full of cash, we've built up a solid, long-term relationship.

Eurogamer: Speaking of LittleBigPlanet - did it sell as well as you expected?

David Reeves: It exceeded in the post orders and online. Selling it in, during peak, was quite difficult, but we sold in exactly what we thought we would. Subsequent orders have been very high; LittleBigPlanet has a very long tail.

Eurogamer: What did you think of the reaction to PlayStation Home? Do you think the release came at the right time?

David Reeves: I would have liked to introduce the open beta at the beginning of September. We wanted to make some modifications so gamers could take more advantage of things like Trophies that were in place, but weren't tested.

Now we're trying to sprinkle the dust over. We've got avatars, pavilions and spaces, and now you're going to see the content. It's still only open beta, it's not a full launch. I don't know how long it will remain in open beta, but we're now starting to get the rich content.

You talked about people going into stores - I've heard people in GAME say, "But this one's got Home. I've heard of that, I'll buy that." I don't know how many people buy PS3 because of Home, but I'd like to think it's a lot.

PR Executive: We've got 1.5 million unique registrants in the SCEE areas for Home, and more than 3.4 million worldwide.

David Reeves: Between 13th December and 13th January, there were over one million dollars' worth of micro-transactions in Home. So don't forget, it's a commercial venture as well.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.


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