Hirai: Exclusives hard to find

The president of Sony Computer Entertainment admits that it often makes sense for publishers to go for a multiplatform rollout.


Assassin's Creed
Grand Theft Auto IV

In the beginning, Sony was adamant that its PlayStation 3 was more than just a console--it was a multimedia entertainment system with the ability to play Blu-ray movies. Now there seems to have been a bit of a turnabout, as the company wants to reposition the PS3 as "first and foremost a video games console."

In an interview with semiofficial PlayStation blog Three Speech, Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hirai added that, "If we're saying it's first and foremost a video games console, we've got to back it up with some big games."

However, Hirai, who took over from "Father of the PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi, admits this isn't as easy as it sounds. He said, "Ultimately, it becomes a dialogue--if it makes sense for them to go exclusive, that's a business decision that they need to make. But generally speaking, because of the investments that publishers need to make in this round of hardware, it's going to be more difficult for publishers to make that decision."

Back in November 2006, Newsweek's N'Gai Croal reported that Sony's dallying had cost the console at least two exclusives: Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed, and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. Croal placed the blame firmly on Kutaragi's shoulders, claiming the executive's slowness scuppered the deals.

Instead, the PlayStation maker is looking to secure exclusive content for the PS3 versions of multiplatform titles--which could be making-of content, or additional levels.

Hirai also admitted to being surprised that former Worldwide Studios boss Phil Harrison had decided to move on and take up a role with Atari. He added diplomatically, "But you know, it's a small industry and he's obviously remained in it. From his perspective, it was a great thing to move on to a new challenge."

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