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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

GDCEurope:Keynote:Sony:Phil Harrison

Harrison Takes Console War Online
by Colin Campbell and Iain Simons
Delivering his keynote at the European Game Developers Conference in London, Sony's Phil Harrison outlined how PS3's networked platform will take on Xbox 360 Live.
The company's chief executive producer in charge of worldwide development said that Sony is keen to create an "open platform" that will allow publishers to "exploit commercial services directly with the consumer". He said this is in contract with Xbox Live's "controlled environment".

Although short on specifics Harrison was gesturing towards an open market via PS3 network through which publishers could sell downloads and content as well as other services and goods, with minimal interference from the platform holder.

"We want to provide an open platform wherever possible," he said. "We want to create a platform on which publishers can exploit their services. We are happy for publishers to form their own commercial relationships directly with the consumer."
The Question and Answer session in London's Café Royal was packed with developers and media for Harrison's keynote, which hopped from one subject to another.

When asked about the future of content delivery, Harrison said, "We should begin to move away from putting 20 hours of content onto a disk and move towards a more episodic model. Games should become more like a soap opera, not in terms off plot but in terms of how the experience changes dynamically over time."

He added, "The idea that people can graze content is fundamental to the PS3 experience. There is an unstoppable trend towards digital downloading of content." He went onto say, "maybe we will see a button on your TiVo that downloads content straight to your PSP."

Harrison said that Sony will seek to innovate in its development process in order to push PS3 forward. "As platform holder we have a responsibility to invest in games that are a little esoteric in order to grow the market,' he said.

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