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Friday, September 02, 2005

Postcard From GDC Europe 2005: Keynote Q&A on the Future of Games

Postcard From GDC Europe 2005: Keynote Q&A on the Future of Games

Phil Harrison SCEE"At today's keynote at the 2005 Game Developers Conference Europe in London, Sony's executive vice president for SCEE, Phil Harrison talked frankly and at length in a Q&A format with GDC chairman Jamil Moledina, discussing both Sony's forthcoming Cell-powered PlayStation 3, and the state of play on both the PSP handheld and the still-thriving PlayStation 2, revealing a number of vital looks into Sony's strategy for the future.

In the process of the relatively conversational keynote, named simply "Keynote Q&A on the Future of Games", Harrison and his questioner veered into a plethora of other diverse areas, from the Cell chip to PSP import issues, but Harrison was frank, lucid and amusing throughout, coping with even the trickiest questions about the PSP's delayed launch in Europe with some aplomb.

The Harrison Show

At any rate, Moledina took to the stage at the start of the keynote to introduce Sony EVP Harrison, noting his current role in charge of three Sony European studios and an entire network of external developers. As pointed out, Harrison has been at Sony for 13 years, and as such, has played an instrumental role in the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and the PlayStation 3, being the first non-Japanese creator involved in the PlayStation's genesis.

Taking the stage to some applause, Harrison sat down and, in answering the first question, about new durations and dynamics of games to attract new customers, he commented that this was a "pet topic of mine", and launched into a call for developers to look more closely at episodic content, referencing the 'watercooler' effect of TV shows like 'Lost', commenting: "Our industry should move away from putting 20 hours of content onto a 5 gigabyte disc, and shift to a model which embraces more of an episodic delivery of content, just like television."" [more]

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