Sony and other video game manufacturers meet up at least once a quarter (or more) and discuss current issues, sketch out collaborations, and brainstorm on the future. These meetings are fairly routine, but of course are mostly confidential and limited to a select group of individuals who work within the industry. Sega and Sony Entertainment of America recently had such a meeting in early August, and discussed several items of interest that were previously unannounced. Sega accidentally left the notes of the meeting on their FTP site, which is impossible for the general public to manipulate therefore guaranteeing its authenticity. I assume that whomever was in charge of uploading the notes for other relevant employees forgot to delete it. Whoops. With this document, we now know that Sony is telling developers that the PS3 Motion Controller is coming to Japan in March 2010, and Spring elsewhere.
There’s also word that Sony wants to sell all PS2 titles on the Playstation Network, such as GTA Vice City, Sonic, etc. What do you think about that? It would kinda be disappointing that I couldn’t put my PS2 discs in the PS3 and play them, but I could see some people being content with buying old PS2 titles on the Playstation Store. However, I can see some people saying that they don’t want to pay money for a title they already own. Okay, then just don’t buy it – you already own it anyways. There is also a lot of other interesting items within this note, including possible additions to Home from upcoming movies like Iron Man 2 and events such as the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and putting every Sonic game ever made on a single Blu-ray disc.
Here are the full notes of the now infamous August 5th meeting:
SCEA Meeting Aug 5th Notes
Aug 6 2009 ? DRAFT FOR COMMENTS
Objectives of Meeting
* Dyer agreed to regular quarterly meetings with SOA
* SCEA reiterated plans to sell 13 million PS3s this year
* Big announcement back half of year they can’t talk about (potentially price cut of PS3 to reach hardware goals)
* SCEA commented on indexing between PS3 and 360 SKUs, should be around 2:1 to garner most favorable treatment.
* Spring 2010 launch (March in JP)
* No bundle/pricing details yet, should come Sept 1
* Plan on selling 4-5MM units WW
* SCEA agreed to provide a list of Sega IP that would work well with the motion controller, Virtua Tennis was an example
* Motion Controller support allows easy way to differentiate PS3 SKU
* Other differentiation opportunities include PSP/PS3 interoperability ? think of features that would make users want to buy both PS3 and PSP SKUs.
* Michael Foster, product evaluator, said AP felt barely RPG. Initial level too challenging for players. “Mass Effect felt more RPG.”
* Review notes sent to John Merlino a few weeks prior. After meeting Gerald mentioned AP is a high priority for his team.
* Sell in of PS3 SKU ? SCEA noted that other movie titles on PS3 had underperformed as well (inc. Transformers) this cycle.
* Dyer suggests contacting Susan at Walmart and asking what she wants in the pack to sell this SKU (movie tix etc)
* Other possibilities are Hybrid movie disc (BD 25 or 50 with Game and Movie on same disc).
* Collectors edition with Bayonetta Action Figure
* Novo recommended launching PSN demo around Xmas based off a Jan 5th Ship date with 2-3 week run out to launch.
* 3-4 weeks is usually ideal demo timing with fresh content every week leading up to launch (trailers, insider video about PG heritage, video blogs).
* HOME, Olympic destination would garner a lot of positive attention from SCEA
* Should be doing same with Bayonetta, Marvel etc. Easy to launch in all territories.
* HOME merchandizing opportunities (clothes etc).
* Open to DLC to differentiate PS3 SKU ? not ratchet and clank but other characters
or maybe characters from Rare or Fable universes
* Could put Japanese games directly on PSN for download in a special Japanese Import section (pricing $9.99 to $39.99 for full game).
* Might need to localize menus at least with subtitles.
* SCEA interested in helping on MKTG side if they can have period of exclusivity.
* Another great HOME candidate
* AVP avatars
* Hybrid BD disc with movie
Iron Man 2
* Great candidate for HOME space ? explore Tony Stark’s lab etc.
* Should have one for Marvel in general.
* Could do bundle at GameStop with PSP 30-35K units on UMD, Go, or both.
* Could bundle with PSP as well.
Vanquish and Aliens: CM
* Opportunity for PS3/PSP interoperability (see Eidos Batman, Army of Two, Assassin’s Creed for good examples).
* If we offer that SCEA would be really interested in having us at their booth next E3.
SCEA would like a look at the code soon.
* Could put out collectors edition with all old sonic games on one BD disc.
* “Best of Sonic” for around $99.
* SCEA would love PSN exclusive power ups/different game modes (like Castlevania’s flip it over/backwards)
PS2 emulator for PS3 (confidential)
* SCEA wants to sell all PS2 titles on PSN (GTA Vice City/Sonic/etc)
* For co Marketing money show PS3 controller on TV ads ? similar to EA Madden Spots, NCAA, etc…
* Perfect opportunity for Motion Controller integration.
DC Digital Titles
* If we provide a list of DC titles SCEA will let us know which ones they’re interested in having exclusively.
* If we give them a long period of exclusivity they’ll give us more marketing support.
* For SKU differentiation it’s best to offer features that are slightly different from PS3 version.
* Titles that are coming up on PSP are Assassin’s Creed II, GTA China Wars, Resident Evil, Little Big Planet ? all massive franchises.
* SCEA has a specific PSP deck which they can send up with their hardware director for a chat.
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