THQ announces 'PlayStation Arc' launch support

CEO Brian Farrell talks up Sony motion-control system using its rumored name; says peripheral will extend life cycle of PlayStation 3--but not if console prices remain static.

Five months after it announced its support for the Xbox 360's Project Natal, THQ has thrown its weight behind the PlayStation 3's motion controller. Today as part of its October-December earnings report, company president and CEO Brian Farrell announced his company is developing at least one game for the fall debut of the system. Unconfirmed rumors peg the number of the system's launch titles at around 10.

THQ is down with the PS3 "Arc."

"Like most new platforms, we want to be there at launch," said Farrell. Interestingly, the executive repeatedly referred to the light wand controller- and camera-based system by its rumored name, the "PlayStation Arc." Although Sony has declined to comment on the moniker, it did recently register the Web domain playstationarc.com.

Unfortunately, Farrell didn't offer much information about the number or type of motion-controlled games THQ was working on. "We want to support the platforms with the right brands," was as specific as he got. However, the company's WWE and UFC fighting franchises are top suspects for the systems. Besides having subject matter that could easily translate to motion controls a la Wii Sports, the two franchises have a massive fan base. To date, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 and UFC 2009 Undisputed have sold over 3.5 million units each.

One thing Farrell was quite comfortable talking about was the potential of the new technology. He believes both Natal and "Arc" will expand the 360 and PS3's audiences much like the Wii did with its motion-sensing controls. "The expansion of the 360 and PS3 into mass markets is huge for THQ," the executive declared.

While dodging questions about hardware pricing, though, Farrell did caution both Sony and Microsoft that offering new peripherals without further dropping the PS3's and 360's cost may not have the intended audience-expanding effect. ''It's clearly a life cycle-extending strategy, but we don't see it as a way to continue the cycle at the current price point," he summarized.

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