Gamepro Phil Harrison PS3 interview

Just wanted to pass this along here to perhaps clarify some of the finer points of the PS3. Ganked from GAF:

…On the Differences Between the 20 and 60 GB PS3 Models
“The main differences are the 60 GB drive and the 20 GB drive in terms of disc storage. The 20 GB has HD component rather than HDMI. The 60 GB machine has additionally memory card slots on it, which are great for archiving photo and other content. But the 20 GB machine has USB ports so you can get all the functionality with external devices.”

…On Whether the 20 GB PS3 Will Fully Support Blu-Ray
The $599 60 GB PS3 looks different from the $499 20 GB PS3 “That seems to be a misunderstanding and I’m happy to clear that up. Both machines have Blue Ray disc as standard. Both machines play Blue Ray disc movies as standard. Both machines will play Blue Ray disc movies as HD. The only difference is that the high end machine uses a more convenient digital interconnect called HDMI which is a digital standard and the 20 GB unit uses HD component which is an analog standard. The picture quality is fantastic.”

“The end user will not notice any quality difference. Perhaps if you were projecting onto a gi-normous screen you might notice some difference, but also not every HD display has HDMI. So we’re providing a choice to the consumer.”

“Both versions will support 1080p.”

…On Backwards Compatibility
The PS3 will have] almost perfect backwards compatibility. There will be some exceptions, but we believe those will be even less than we saw from PSOne to PS2.“Backwards compatibility, as you know from PlayStation One and PlayStation 2, is a core value of what we believe we should offer. And access to the library of content people have created, bought for themselves, and accumulated over the years is necessary to create a format. PlayStation is a format meaning that it transcends many devices – PSOne, PS2, and now PS3.”

“If the developer wrote the game according to our technical requirements checklist, we will have what we believe will be almost perfect backwards compatibility. There will be some exceptions, there always are, but we believe those will be very few and far between. Even less so than we saw from PSOne to PS2.”

…On the Importance of the PS3’s Hard Drive
The standard hard drive allows for downloadable content, but also better graphics – just look at Heavenly Sword
“We know that the future of gaming is in a network era, and we have to have a writeable format. We have to have a format were users can purchase and download online and the only way to do that is with a hard disc drive.”

“The 60 gig capacity is not only to download but to archive locally. The 60 gig solution will be attractive to users who want to PS3 as their primary music players, like me…And over time, downloading HD content – whether it be TV content, film content – clearly needs a lot of hard drive space.”

…On the PS3’s PSP Support
The 60 GB model will support Memory Sticks, which helps bridge content from the PS3 to the PSP
“With the PSP you’ve seen that, over time, the operating system has been upgraded to include many new features and functionalities and capabilities and we will do the same regarding the PS3. We will see the two devices become much more interoperable both at a media level, allowing content from one to the other, and at the applications level, where games for the PS3 will have a PSP component and vice versa. We demonstrated at the press conference one example of this where the PSP serves as a wing mirror for a driving game, a Formula One game.”

“That was not intended to be a gimmick, but a feature we will add to the PS3 version so that when you play the PS3 version you can gameshare from the PS3 to the PSP the program required to do that. That will be a free of charge component that we ship on the PS3.”

More at Gamepro here:

I would say that the $499 version is the one that most people should focus on. It’s no “retard pack” like the $299 Xbox360 given that it has everything the premium version has.

I like how he neatly dodged the 1080p issue with his simple “Both will support 1080p.” comment.

That’s not the issue. Fine, your console supports it. But will the studios implement the copy protection token (ICT) on 1080p content and prevent it from displaying full 1080p over component?

Who knows? And that’s the issue with not going HDMI. You could very well end up screwed by everyone. Perhaps even Sony Pictures! Well, probably not them.

Apparently however the argument I’ve heard is that most people don’t care about BluRay movies, and most certainly not 1080p movies. At least having 1080p (max) games with the lower price version is a consolation.

Sure, if any games end up being 1080p, definitely. I dunno if that’s really going to happen, pushing 1920x1080 pixels with all that detail may even be beyond Sony and NVidia’s best efforts.

I guess there could be lots of 1080p cutscenes, though.

Final Fantasy, come on down!

The truth is that most people don’t give a shit about video games either. Most people don’t have the expendible income for a video game machine, much less a media center. Of the three video game “top dogs” only one is trying to court that incredibly large majority of people. And they’re doing it with a point and click controller.

Gamers aren’t most people. They are the people that are willing to go above and beyond for their entertainment. Many that I know have purchased HD televisions already in preparation for PS3 and the next generation. These people are willing to wait in long lines and spend immeasurable time posting about their favorite systems on message boards.

Nintendo has said they don’t want these people. They want grandma and grandpa who haven’t played games before. The company says they don’t want me or my type of consumer. That’s among my chief reasons not to get it.

But wait, the graphics will be easier to code for. So let’s all root for the big N! [/rant]

K0NY, can you translate this for me? I don’t get what you mean. Perhaps it’s because it reads like a neophyte’s attempt to talk “programmer speak”.

Do you mean that it will be cheaper to produce Wii games because Nintendo and other developers won’t need to have as large teams working on the games (modellers, artists, highly skilled developers who are good at optimizing their code)? Because I think that’s what you really mean, and yeah, I think that’s a good thing.

Should keep game prices low, and the developers focused on creativity and not eye glitz.

Holy crap, I’ve become a Qt3 grognard. When did this happen?! And I don’t even own a single Nintendo product (yet!), unless you count some Mario ROMs I play on my PSP :P

well, like, ps3 locoroco coul be 1080p, that cant be too taxing, if they did that.

…or it can completely and utter backfire by having publisher put ‘less than great’ developers on games knowing that said developer can be cheap and not push the envelope and it’s less of a risk that way.

Yup, you caught me…I’m not a programmer. However, the term “code” is accessible to pretty much everyone these days, including DaVinci. What I meant when I said “the graphics will be easier to code for” is that the less ambitious art made by developers with lower expectations for the hardware will be easier to translate into code for the Wii. Therefor the put-upon technical teams will have it a bit easier. After all, that is the priority, not how good the final product comes out. Right?

Hey did anyone ever consider that all the reviewers are now going to have to change their standards? Maybe they’ll remove the “graphics” grade since that is apparently no longer important?

I won’t lie, I had to look up “Grognard” The definition I found was:
1. a soldier of Napoleons’ Old Guard; a veteran soldier; grumbler (French) - Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed 2. (slang) an experienced wargamer - John Young, Strategy & Tactics magazine.

I’m not sure how any of that applies here though.

It’s right there. Definition 1, “a grumbler”. I’m getting grumpy in my old age, etc, etc…

Yea I would think downloadable minigames (ala live arcade) could be in 1080p easily.

Yeah, that must be why they focus their biggest development resources around “hardcore” nintendo franchises like metroid, zelda (their most expensive project ever), mario galaxy, super paper mario and super smash brothers. Just to get your grandma and granpa on board - great insight!

Not sure what you’re saying. Are you calling the Nintendo reps, who publicly say that Nintendo is targetting the Wii at non-gamers, liars? Isn’t it common knowledge that Mario and Zelda are among the most recognized characters on the planet? Nintendo is capitalizing on their name recognition, not saying “Hey here’s something for the hardcore gamers that we don’t want buying our system.” On top of that, you don’t even need a Wii to play Zelda. It’s being released for Gamecube at the same time as the Wii. The “hardcore” who have been waiting for it two years, need not bother buying a new console. That’s not insight, it’s what the company has publicly said.

I don’t think Nintendo has ever claimed that they don’t want hard core gamers to buy their system. Claiming they want joe average to buy it does not mean they dont want joe hardcore to get it too. Nintendo simply put, wants everyone to buy their system.

Spare me the manufactured melodrama, K0NY. Nintendo have never publically stated that they are abandoning more experienced gamers, that would be PR suicide, so they’ve never even implied it and you can find multiple times when Iwata, Miyamoto, Kaplan, Reggie et al. have emphasized that they’re not shrugging off hardcore gamers for people who don’t play games, but trying to balance the two.

It has also been apparent in their strategy, since they’ve released a good balance between the two types of software and the non-gamer pulling software has had the effect of interesting hardcore gamers as well. That’s why their latest game is New Super Mario Bros. The DS has been placed in much the same position as the Wii and they certainly haven’t neglected hardcore gamers with their software there.

I mean, come on, do you think the Super Smash Bros. Brawl announcement was in anyway an effort to bring in new gamers over experienced ones, seeing as how its terribly unlikely you’d have a built-in affection for the game unless you’ve been playing games for a while? The new gamers come AFTER they try it and see how easy it is to play in comparison to other fighters.

Additionally, there is nothing in the design of Metroid Prime 3 or Super Mario Galaxy that suggests that they’re dumbing down their games for the masses. You also don’t name a new franchise after a well-loved dirtbike game from the NES if you’re not looking to pander to an already existing audience. And you certainly don’t flare forward fanboy-fodder footage for Fire Emblem, the most hardcore and perhaps alienating of all Nintendo franchises, to guarantee there will be on installment on the Wii if you’re focused on ignoring them.

And games like the Wario Ware series have proven that simplicity that welcomes casual gamers sometimes gets overwhelming support by hardcore gamers and there’s nothing to suggest Smooth Moves will be any different.

On top of that, the virtual console is obviously a feature that caters more toward hardcare gamers than new ones, though its easy to see how the past’s simpler games can help there too, but you don’t get into discussions with SNK and Hudson for the PC Engine if you’re looking solely for Joe Schmoe.

This is entirely a transparent attempt by you to do a pathetic Michael Jackson-style, “They don’t care about us!” chant, but nobody with one remaining brain cell is going to believe the gaming company with the largest, loudest and most loyal fan base is going to abandon that money train.

So stop fucking around and playing dumb, you vicious anal wart on the ass of transparent stupidity, or next time I’ll stop fucking around and rip you into so many shreds, nobody will be able to put you back together again.

-Kitsune

The standard hard drive allows for downloadable content, but also better graphics

Bullshit alert! Jinkies!

Yeah, most old people. Except those people are all dying.

So I assume you already own both an xbox 360 and a PS3?

There’s also the fact that 1080p TVs only just started coming out, and are ridiculously expensive, and so 1080p is wasted on the vast majority of current HDTV owners, and inaccessible to a large amount of future HDTV owners who can’t afford to walk out and drop $3000+ on a TV.

If you claim that Nintendo doesn’t court hardcore gamers, and don’t own a Gamecube, then I will kindly ask you to stop talking immediately.

Way to screw up the thread Kony.

Is it really screwed up? Or did he very skillfully change the focus of the thread away from criticizing Sony?

HRM.