Oh, Peter Dille. The Sony Senior VP of Marketing has a great acid tongue (he recently said game publishers want to “sell razor blades” while Sony shoulders the net loss on console sales), but his latest attempt to bolster the Playstation Portable in the face of the iPhone is off the mark.
Dille said Sony’s not worried about the iPhone’s potential as a gaming device, calling Apple’s game support a “seperate business.”
“The iPhone games and apps are largely diversionary, whereas we’re a gaming company and we make games for people who want to carry a gaming device and play a game that offers a satisfying 20+ hours of gameplay,” he said in an interview with GameDaily.
It’s not clear whether the interview happened before or after Apple unveiled iPhone’s 3.0 operating system, complete with micro-transaction support to the delight of publishers, but I wonder if Dille is singing a different tune now. Downloadable content isn’t necessarily the key to 20-hour gaming — us hardcore players used to get along fine without it — but it’s an indicator of where the iPhone is headed as a games machine.
See, for example, LiveFire, a first-person shooter in development for the iPhone that will offer additional weapons for purchase. If an online shoot-em-up with voice chat isn’t an example of complex, non-”diversionary” gaming, I don’t know what is.
And besides, what’s the harm in supporting simpler games as well? Sony and Microsoft were quick to regard the Wii as a non-competitor, and look where that got them. If I were Sony, I’d be coming up with a strategy to beat the iPhone — and perhaps the company is doing so, and Dille’s comments are just posturing — instead of ignoring it.