The State of PSN - Gamasutra Interview at GDC

Raistlin

Post Count: 9999
Jun 17, 2004
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Shard said:
Well, I would dispute this actually. Warhawk was only half PSN, since it got a Blu-Ray release as well

That's a pretty silly argument. Crap, some Live games have been released on disc iirc.



Dante said:
Keep the quality vs. quantity thing on original PSN titles. Dump every POS PSOne game and PS2 game on the network and let us sort it out :)
I'd be comfortable with this arrangement. :)
 
Jun 6, 2004
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Onix said:
That's a pretty silly argument. Crap, some Live games have been released on disc iirc.
As an after the fact collection... no XBLA games were designed around simultaneous release though, which is somewhat different from Warhawk or GT5P.

Honestly, I don't think you'll be seeing those sorts of releases until Microsoft drops the XBLA size restriction... which likely won't happen until we get 1GB cards packed in with the Arcade SKU. :/
 
Aug 14, 2006
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Sorry but that PS1 excuse is total bullshit. Look at the Virtual Console, there are over 200 fucking games on there! (And emulation is done on a game by game basis on there making things even harder!) there's no excuse for the absolutley pathetic lineup of PS1 games especially when Japan already has a decent selection of PS1 games to choose from!
 
Jun 28, 2006
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Onix said:
That's a pretty silly argument. Crap, some Live games have been released on disc iirc.
In that case, let's happily factor in Xbox Originals in to the equation too. Which includes upscaled Ninja Gaiden Black, Halo, Indigo Prophecy, Burnout 3, etc. XBL wins again right now in this downloadable game category whatever way you look at it.

/goes back to N+
 

levious

That throwing stick stunt of yours has boomeranged on us.
Jun 7, 2004
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Shard said:
This is true, there have been a couple of comp discs, I dunno, how did Warhawk Blu-Ray work exactly, did it put the game on the HDD or was it disc accessible?

disc accessible, it actually allowed you to set up a lan game with only one disc... don't know how many systems you could have setup on it.
 
kaching said:
How prevalent do you really think people like that are in these threads? You've got the man who's basically in charge of PSN game releases saying that they deliberately restrict themselves in terms of what they will release, that's a more clear and present issue than the assumptions of a few misguided forum-goers. There's ample bandwidth out there to secure more titles for PSN at a faster pace than Hight and crew are allowing.

Now, just to be clear, I want to distance myself from some of the "Hight is a douche" kind of talk that's started to popup. I don't mind the approach Hight wants to take per se, I just don't like that it's allowed to be the singular approach for PSN games, because it's an obvious bottleneck. The way he's trying to nurture indie game development is admirable but is naturally on a longer curve for returns. Somebody else needs to fill in the gaps while he gives his 'students' all semester to finish their school projects.
I don't think he's saying they have games they don't release. I think he's saying he's seen projects they aren't willing to invest in.
 
Aug 17, 2007
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For what it's worth, XBLA went through a long drought in its first year or so and Greg Canessa had to do a lot of this "quality over quanity" spinning too. The Sony guy irked me with his "we're winning!" bullshit, but that's PR for you.

XBLA has gotten to the point where every Wednesday is a like Christmas and I have to talk myself out of buying that week's game.
 
Aug 17, 2007
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soldat7 said:
What I don't understand is why are there so many Japanese publishers willing to put out games on XBLA but not PSN? It's a shame that Rez, Lumines, Triggerheart, Ikaruga, etc. are not on PSN as well.
If the rumors are to be believed and MS has been kicking out absurd royalties approaching 70%, that might explain this.
 
Feb 20, 2007
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SolidSnakex said:
I think they need a mix of both. Those original titles, especially PSN games like WOHD or SOCOM which are more like retail games, are going to take a lot of time to make. So in between those you can have those classic titles so you fill that void.
Why they can't at least guarantee the release of one PSX game a week is beyond me. At least if they took this approach there'd be the bare minimum of one game per week and often 2 or more. 1 classic title per week is hardly going to flood the service, and the rights issues aren't nearly as complex as they're leading on, if they were Nintendo wouldn't have got 200 VC titles released in just over a year.

Don't get me wrog, PSN does an awful lot of things right, the pricing is great, the DRM are actually consumer friendly and stuff like Tekken and Wipeout are fantastic development. They just need to work on increasing the quantity of content something which seems to bizarely be viewed as a bad idea.
 
May 1, 2007
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John Hight is kind of right about getting the rights to PS1 downloads. Some complicated examples are:
-Some publishers like Acclaim, ASC, GT Interactive, etc. aren't really around anymore.

-Some games which SCEI or SCEE published in their regions, while another publisher brought them stateside, that certain publisher may not allow SCEA to bring them to the store unless they translate themselves (I remember Vic Ireland mentioning this in some thread about PS1 downloads in Japan).

If a game was SCEA published or 989 Studios (well, a game they developed I mean, not something they published from Japan like a Star Ocean 2, FFVII, etc.), then putting it on the store isn't much of a problem, although there really isn't a lot of games for them to put up in the end.
 
Feb 20, 2007
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BoilersFan23 said:
John Hight is kind of right about getting the rights to PS1 downloads. Some complicated examples are:
-Some publishers like Acclaim, ASC, GT Interactive, etc. aren't really around anymore.

-Some games which SCEI or SCEE published in their regions, while another publisher brought them stateside, that certain publisher may not allow SCEA to bring them to the store unless they translate themselves (I remember Vic Ireland mentioning this in some thread about PS1 downloads in Japan).

If a game was SCEA published or 989 Studios (well, a game they developed I mean, not something they published from Japan like a Star Ocean 2, FFVII, etc.), then putting it on the store isn't much of a problem, although there really isn't a lot of games for them to put up in the end.

Again, these are all solevable problems. Sorting out rights for 20 year old NES games could only ever be a more difficult thing, yet Nintendo seem to do it with ease. They've even managed to sort out licensed games like TMNT.

All I'm asking for is one game a week, roughly a quarter of Nintendo's first year output. PS1 classics on PSN is basically free money for these compaies, there's very few publishers that would turn away such a risk free, regular source of income.
 

kaching

"GAF's biggest wanker"
Jun 8, 2004
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jeremy_ricci said:
I don't think he's saying they have games they don't release. I think he's saying he's seen projects they aren't willing to invest in.
Yes, I know. That's the problem. Or, more specifically, the issue is that the games that get on PSN right now appear to only be what Hight and his team are willing to invest in, which is more limited than it needs to be even from the "quality over quantity" angle he's trying to hide behind.
 
Jun 11, 2005
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Danne-Danger said:
I got this answer from Sony:

There are a number of things in the way, such as legal issues which vary from market to market. Just because we've got the rights to release a game in Japan, doesn't mean it's transferable. Also, a lot of the games available in Japan are not functional on *both* the PS3 and PSP - all the ones released in the US are. We're working on increasing the number, I promise!!

thanks for writing!
Jeff Rubenstein
SCEA Social Media Manager

PSP cock-block at the moment unfortunately. :(

Actually thats not even true, it's far from " a lot" the number is under 10, and im pretty sure its under 5.

Full list of PSP only games:

Arc the Lad II
Arc the Lad Monsters

<<this actually took me a few minutes to check>>

Oh, wait, theres only TWO
 
Mar 4, 2007
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Elhandro said:
It wasn't until XBLA core audience started to bitch about the quality and quantity of released games a few years ago that things change.

Which is why threads like this is so important. Sony needs to hear sony fans, rant about the quality of their network. And from this interview, it seems like the enthusiast media hasn't gotten the point either. Ive seen a few threads on how fun pixel junk is and other PSN titles but I would really like to play a demo before i buy something, and Im sure most agree.

We bitch a lot about the Draconian decisions MS makes and how they are holding next gen back but all and all, I play a new game every week, for better or for worse. I have never played so many games in my life, and I'm supposed to be an adult:D .

We need to stop being Console Apologist and get back to just being gamers. Why does it matter what console they are on, just that we get to play them and they are fun.
I agree 100%, wouldn't the best place for these complaints be the PS blog though? direct access to those guys and they can read what the users really think about their service?
 

CrapSandwich

former Navy SEAL
Sep 10, 2006
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I really hope the dude understands how full of crap he is. You can say "oh, PR, lol," but none of us know what's going on in his head.

There's some really awesome shit Sony could be doing with Remote Play that they're not touching. Kind of like Sega did with the VMU or how Fable 2's XBLA game will tie-in with the retail. But nobody's done a great job with this sort of thing and Sony's in a unique position to do it.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Maybe Sony needs Dark_Alex to show them how to make an EBOOT. :ultramegarolleyes: Let's drop the technical aspect of this right now. This is purely a licensing problem, WHICH IS EMBARASSING B/C THEY CAN'T EVEN PUBLISH MOST OF THEIR OWN LIBRARY ON THEIR OWN MACHINE. There is no excuse, none. The quality vs quantity argument is a slap in the face of the EU market that is not only carrying the PS3 userbase, but getting severly boned in the process. Let's just call it like it is. The three Sony regions don't know what the fuck the others are doing, and don't seem to care. PEACE.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Jun 7, 2004
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Pimpwerx said:
The three Sony regions don't know what the fuck the others are doing, and don't seem to care. PEACE.
Well, if you go along this line of thought then thinking about the fact that Hirai decided to give additional freedom and local authority to each of the three main SCE regions should be really refreshing for you...

:(.
 
kaching said:
Yes, I know. That's the problem. Or, more specifically, the issue is that the games that get on PSN right now appear to only be what Hight and his team are willing to invest in, which is more limited than it needs to be even from the "quality over quantity" angle he's trying to hide behind.
I don't think him, or his team, are what control the vast majority of all PSN games. I just think what he has seen, he's only seen fit to invest in certain titles. We don't know if there were 10 pitches for games that featured blond headed bombshells fighting aliens, or if there were pet simulators pitched, etc. It just might be that there were a lot of bad ideas, or really poor attempts at 'copies' for content and games already available. Who knows.

The one thing I do know, is that none of us know what is going on up there, so complaining or assuming only does one thing...
 
May 12, 2007
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Are they actually turning away games? Or are they using quality over quantity in what they invest in? I think its more a case of the latter and that developers/publishers are not independently investing in PSN games as much as we would like. Seems like most PSN games have had Sony foot the bill.

Edit. I should read the last page, beaten by a mile.
 
loosus said:
Wow, this moron teaches a class at university? Fuck, colleges suck.
See GAF, this is what I'm talking about. What is it about a PR statement that makes you come to the conclusion that this man is a "moron"? Because isn't saying "Hey, the PSN sucks and we don't have any content!"?

I just don't get it GAF, what is wrong with some of these members? How can you call someone an idiot, and then end your statement with "Fuck, colleges suck"?
 

kaching

"GAF's biggest wanker"
Jun 8, 2004
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Shard said:
Sometimes unification can be a good thing.
Except that unification in this case would probably just create more delays across the board.

jeremy_ricci said:
I don't think him, or his team, are what control the vast majority of all PSN games.
He's in charge of first party published/developed games for PSN and the vast majority of PSN games right now are *drumroll* first party games.

The one thing I do know, is that none of us know what is going on up there, so complaining or assuming only does one thing...
We know what their output is and we know what the person in charge of that output is saying about why it is the way that it is. And that's what we're commenting on. There's very little assumption involved.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Shard said:
Well, as somebody who follows the console downloadable scene very closely I do understand that games don't magically fall out of the sky or anything. However, I am seeing, or rather not seeing, things that make the PSN Situation much better. That thing is content announcements, to drag the XBLA back into this, hardly a day goes by where I am not seeing a new game announced, in one way or another, for future release on that service. Also, WiiWare has had a bunch of new games announced, though that may have been out of necessity. That really hasn't happened with the PSN, I think there have been at most five newly announced games, and that is being generous. The future of the PSN can not be secured when even the idea of future content does not exist.
That's a big problem with the PSN downloadable games right now. Every Thursday morning, I'm thinking, "Wonder what's going up on PSN this week?" but by evening I'm often disappointed. Since the new year began, there have only been seven new games (and one of them, Jet Moto 3, has vanished from the store). That's including the PS1 classics and EyeToy games. That's not even one game a week!

I know Shard has mentioned this a few times in other threads, and gofreak mentioned it on page 1: Where are the downloadable games from the big-name third party publishers? Apart from Sony, the only major third party publishers that have any representation are Capcom, Namco, and...uh...er...well, I suppose Konami might count for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1 classic), although as I understand it Sony "published" the PSN release of that. Oh, and Midway licensed a few classic games to Sony Online Entertainment last year. And that about wraps it up.

Activision just announced a new Vigilante 8 game for XBLA. Why isn't it on PSN?

Q Entertainment has several great games (Lumines, Every Extend, Rez) on XBLA. Many of these games are well known in their PS2/PSP incarnations. Why aren't they on PSN?

I know EA has a few downloadable PS1 games out in Europe...but nothing at all in North America! Why doesn't EA have any downloadable PSN games announced?

Where are THQ, Sierra, Ubisoft, Sega, and Atari? They all have multiple releases on XBLA. Why, then, are these companies completely ignoring PSN as a source of downloadable games? This is a major failing on Sony's part.

Sony really needs to work on courting third parties and convincing them to bring their biggest and best games to PSN. They don't have to give up on XBLA or WiiWare, just release their games on PSN also.

Finally, as far as "quality vs. quantity" goes: I appreciate the fact that Sony's trying to get the best quality experiences on PSN, and they've certainly got some wonderful games up there. But the paucity of content is worrying. Open it up a little more, try to get at least 1-2 games up there each and every week (preferably more), and most of all, let the consumer decide what is "quality" and what isn't. I find it hard to believe that they're busting at the seams with all this unreleased content and are just holding back to ensure that it won't crash the system and whatnot. I don't know what Microsoft is putting in the Kool-Aid to get all those companies on board with XBLA and ignore PSN altogether, but Sony needs to get some of that formula for themselves.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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I'm not trying to come off as acting like I'm some marketing wiz or something... but maybe sony is planning on opening the floodgates with Home's release. To us now it makes no sense, but if they released Home and then all of a sudden a lot more content started popping up through home/ps store.. then a lot of people are going to be like "dur, Home is great it brought all these games". Perception trumps reality every(most of the) time.
 
May 31, 2006
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jeremy_ricci said:
See GAF, this is what I'm talking about. What is it about a PR statement that makes you come to the conclusion that this man is a "moron"? Because isn't saying "Hey, the PSN sucks and we don't have any content!"?

I just don't get it GAF, what is wrong with some of these members? How can you call someone an idiot, and then end your statement with "Fuck, colleges suck"?
Get off your high horse, IGN boy. The man is a fucking maroon, and if you think otherwise, well, you know where that puts you, as well.
 

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
Dec 20, 2004
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msp.starshipmoonhawk.com
Agent X said:
That's a big problem with the PSN downloadable games right now. Every Thursday morning, I'm thinking, "Wonder what's going up on PSN this week?" but by evening I'm often disappointed. Since the new year began, there have only been seven new games (and one of them, Jet Moto 3, has vanished from the store). That's including the PS1 classics and EyeToy games. That's not even one game a week!

I know Shard has mentioned this a few times in other threads, and gofreak mentioned it on page 1: Where are the downloadable games from the big-name third party publishers? Apart from Sony, the only major third party publishers that have any representation are Capcom, Namco, and...uh...er...well, I suppose Konami might count for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1 classic), although as I understand it Sony "published" the PSN release of that. Oh, and Midway licensed a few classic games to Sony Online Entertainment last year. And that about wraps it up.

Activision just announced a new Vigilante 8 game for XBLA. Why isn't it on PSN?

Q Entertainment has several great games (Lumines, Every Extend, Rez) on XBLA. Many of these games are well known in their PS2/PSP incarnations. Why aren't they on PSN?

I know EA has a few downloadable PS1 games out in Europe...but nothing at all in North America! Why doesn't EA have any downloadable PSN games announced?

Where are THQ, Sierra, Ubisoft, Sega, and Atari? They all have multiple releases on XBLA. Why, then, are these companies completely ignoring PSN as a source of downloadable games? This is a major failing on Sony's part.

Sony really needs to work on courting third parties and convincing them to bring their biggest and best games to PSN. They don't have to give up on XBLA or WiiWare, just release their games on PSN also.

Finally, as far as "quality vs. quantity" goes: I appreciate the fact that Sony's trying to get the best quality experiences on PSN, and they've certainly got some wonderful games up there. But the paucity of content is worrying. Open it up a little more, try to get at least 1-2 games up there each and every week (preferably more), and most of all, let the consumer decide what is "quality" and what isn't. I find it hard to believe that they're busting at the seams with all this unreleased content and are just holding back to ensure that it won't crash the system and whatnot. I don't know what Microsoft is putting in the Kool-Aid to get all those companies on board with XBLA and ignore PSN altogether, but Sony needs to get some of that formula for themselves.
Thank you, somebody gets it, it is intolerable that Sony is still fumbling around with third party devs and pubs a year and some months after launching the service.
 
Jun 11, 2004
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hoos30 said:
For what it's worth, XBLA went through a long drought in its first year or so and Greg Canessa had to do a lot of this "quality over quanity" spinning too. The Sony guy irked me with his "we're winning!" bullshit, but that's PR for you.

XBLA has gotten to the point where every Wednesday is a like Christmas and I have to talk myself out of buying that week's game.
The thing is, I don't think Sony is listening. They don't read these forums. And try to bring these issues up on the playstation.com forums, and the discussion will be locked down. I posted about this "quality over quantity" nonsense after reading the same spin in MTV's interview, and the thread was closed very quickly. They're getting well over 20 proposals a month, and they reject so much stuff that they can barely manage one original title a month? And I simply cannot believe that every title they pass on is worse than garbage like Go! Sports Skydiving and Mesmerize that get through. The people running the PlayStation Store clearly don't get it.
 
Oct 1, 2006
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jeremy_ricci said:
Excellent points.
That's all well and good, but we have a benchmark in XBL to compare against. Whether we know the ins and outs of getting content up(and I'm sure you are correct in that it's not trivial) is neither here nor there. Compared against a directly competing service, the PSN pales.
 

Sean

Banned
Jun 14, 2004
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jeremy_ricci said:
The one thing I do know, is that none of us know what is going on up there, so complaining or assuming only does one thing...
I think it's safe to say this guy is unfit for the job, it's been over a year now and he's not doing shit aside from bragging about all the games he turned down. Besides just increasing the game output, there is a TON of other very simple things he could've/should've been doing to improve awareness of the service.

1) Require trials for every game with unlocking/purchasing in-game
2) Release retail compilation of PSN games (like XBLA Unplugged)
3) Bundle a PSN game or several trials on PS3 hard drives
4) Put out prepaid cards
5) Release free games or do limited-time (48 hr) free promotions to attract users to the service

XBLA was around an entire year before PS3 even launched (two years if you count original Xbox) - Sony had plenty of time to see what mistakes MS made and what they got right. It just seems downright lazy to be doing this bad of a job.
 

kaching

"GAF's biggest wanker"
Jun 8, 2004
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^^^You don't need to keep asking for the guy's termination, he just needs to be moved into a more R&D role, more suitable for his academic background. I think his notions for nurturing original game development are fine in and of themselves but not as the singular strategy for managing the PSN environment. But there is a place for that on PSN, as there should be on any console's digital marketplace.

Shard said:
Thank you, somebody gets it
Yes, finally, because the rest of us "PSN types" are nothing but apologists. :rolleyes
 
Jun 6, 2005
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It appears the current rate of PSN releases is here to stay. Fuck this clown. Fuck him right up the ass. Quality vs. quantity is such an inherently stupid argument.

I'm just flabbergasted that Sony still doesn't understand the importance of hype and getting your fanbase excited. What the fuck kind of retard response is "We don't wanna put too many games into the channel. That'll just confuse everyone!" anyway?
 

RoH

Member
Nov 6, 2004
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I cant say I disagree with the way they put out PSN titles. The stuff on PSN just seems different for what the XBL Arcade has been putting out, and I have to say that in itself is a very good thing. This guys doing a good job while maintaining PSN's uniqueness.
 
Dec 18, 2005
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RoH said:
I cant say I disagree with the way they put out PSN titles. The stuff on PSN just seems different for what the XBL Arcade has been putting out, and I have to say that in itself is a very good thing. This guys doing a good job while maintaining PSN's uniqueness.
There's nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds though. I certainly reckon a few PS3 only owners wouldn't mind having a few more arcade style games available. Didn't they reveal during GDC that both MK2 and Tekken sold well on the US and European PSN stores? You'd think they'd get the hint that there IS a market for it by now.
 

RoH

Member
Nov 6, 2004
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klee123 said:
There's nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds though. I certainly reckon a few PS3 only owners wouldn't mind having a few more arcade style games available. Didn't they reveal during GDC that both MK2 and Tekken sold well on the US and European PSN stores? You'd think they'd get the hint that there IS a market for it by now.
I think they probably do get the point that there is a market for these arcade style games, but do you think these games should mainly/equally consist of ports/remakes of older games? or should this new console space be used primarily for new and experimental console games? I personally think ports & remakes should never be equal in quantity compared to new content available on any of these services.
 
Jun 8, 2004
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klee123 said:
There's nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds though. I certainly reckon a few PS3 only owners wouldn't mind having a few more arcade style games available. Didn't they reveal during GDC that both MK2 and Tekken sold well on the US and European PSN stores? You'd think they'd get the hint that there IS a market for it by now.
By they do you mean 3rd party or Sony?

The reason for big 3rd party publishers to not jump on PSN right away might have something to do with the whole infrastructure is still work in progress (and probably will be for rest of this gen); compared to XBL which is well defined since the start because of MS' previous experience. I think the situation will improve as Sony continue to improve the infrastructure and as the user base grow.

Also for PS1 titles, it seems like SCEA/SCEE are taking a very passive stance. Maybe instead of telling publishers that it is a good revenue stream with little work involved they should pursue it more actively. But the again, it is probably easier to convince 3rd party when there is greater user base.

I personally don't have any doubt that things will get ironed out within the next few months.
 
Dec 18, 2005
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RoH said:
I think they probably do get the point that there is a market for these arcade style games, but do you think these games should mainly/equally consist of ports/remakes of older games? or should this new console space be used primarily for new and experimental console games? I personally think ports & remakes should never be equal in quantity compared to new content available on any of these services.
I personally reckon a good balance of both would be the right thing to do and have around 1-2 games released every week. The problem is that original content such as Pixeljunk Monsters and everyday shooter takes time to develop, so it'll be impossible to have new content at a constant basis. Therefore, why not release an arcade game during the otherwise empty weeks? It's a win-win situation for both Sony and us gamers and sure there are some people who prefer original content, but the sales of MK2 shows that ports of popular games can also sell.
 

RoH

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Nov 6, 2004
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RuGalz said:
By they do you mean 3rd party or Sony?

The reason for big 3rd party publishers to not jump on PSN right away might have something to do with the whole infrastructure is still work in progress (and probably will be for rest of this gen); compared to XBL which is well defined since the start because of MS' previous experience. I think the situation will improve as Sony continue to improve the infrastructure and as the user base grow.

Also for PS1 titles, it seems like SCEA/SCEE are taking a very passive stance. Maybe instead of telling publishers that it is a good revenue stream with little work involved they should pursue it more actively. But the again, it is probably easier to convince 3rd party when there is greater user base.

I personally don't have any doubt that things will get ironed out within the next few months.
I think all of the infrastructure for these delivery systems XBLA, PSN and VC are dynamic in there nature. PSN has released huge tittles though its service, so I think there must be another reason why these devs seem as though they are not very eager to develop on PSN, and I think it has more to do with how PSN internally wants to handle content.

In any case... which 3rd party tittles other then arcade ports is PSN missing?