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Sony Online: NGP "perfect" for MMOs

Plus, predicts consoles will embrace F2P.

Sony's forthcoming NGP handheld will be a perfect fit for MMOs, so says Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley.

Answering a question from GamesIndustry.biz regarding whether free-to-play MMOs could ever work on a console, Smedley insisted that he saw a bright future for the format not just on the PlayStation 3 but also on Sony's forthcoming portable.

"There are a lot of people out there that have, in the past, associated free-to-play with lower quality - and simply put, that's just not true any more. There are a lot of free-to-play games that are great, and I think that's going to come over to console just as well.

"With the console, we're selling to an audience that already has the PS3 obviously - and by the way not the just the PS3, but in the future I can see other devices. Sony's announced the NGP, and if that isn't a perfect machine for doing MMOs on, then I don't know what is."

He went on to argue that it was probably only a matter of time before console developers saw the benefits of offering their core game for free and then charging for add-ons.

"So it's too soon to tell for sure but I think you're going to start seeing free-to-play gaming on console as well. People will realise that getting a lot more folk to try their games using that kind of business model will help; it'll just be in addition to the Blu-ray business model."

Sony Online has just released the family-friendly FreeRealms MMO on the PlayStation 3, with new PlanetSide and EverQuest titles also in the works.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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