Innovation & Design

The PS3 Future


In his keynote speech at the Tokyo Game Conference, Sony's Ken Kutaragi focused on the console's impact on the industry

Instead of trying to convince the world that the PS3 will still be relevant in the next generation of consoles by making major launch announcements, Kutaragi chose to further hype up the PS3 in much more general terms.

During his keynote, he focused on the PS3’s technical capabilities, ranging from its graphical prowess to its computing efficiency. Kutaragi ran a game video that included shots from Ridge Racer 7, Virtua Fighter 5, Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight and an impressive looking cut scene from the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII.

As for networking capabilities, Kutaragi perhaps strangely implied that with advancements in networking, the power of individual hardware platforms will become less and less important, with “thin clients” controlling the processing power. Of course, Sony and Kutaragi in the past have touted the PS3’s individual power.

Such future visions of gaming and technology were frequently visited during Kutaragi’s keynote. Expectedly, online is going to be a major focus for the PS3, and Kutaragi recognized that. He said that the PS3’s power will eventually provide an easier user experience when digital distribution becomes more commonplace, and emphasized the relevance of user-created content outside of games.

Kutaragi also touched on author Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” business model, implying that revenues drawn in by the PS3’s online service would be driven by the sale of many small transactions as opposed to fewer large ones. Micropayments, anyone?

As for downloadable game-related content, Kutaragi revealed that PSOne, PS2, Genesis and PC Engine titles would eventually be available to download for a fee. That officially makes all three major next generation consoles capable of downloading classic titles.

He and Sony have apparently came to the realization as well that gamers are tired of sequels, as he addressed the tendency of game companies to overly rely on established franchises. That’s not exactly a new revelation to most industry watchers.

All-in-all, Kutaragi’s speech focused mainly on the impact that Sony hopes the PS3 will have on the culture of the videogame industry, and culture as a whole.

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