David Reeves: The E3 Interview

Sony Europe President and CEO David Reeves goes on the record on PS3, PS2 and gaming in Iran!

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Are you confident in your approach and the inevitable build up to November's launch hype?

David Reeves: Without being too arrogant about it, I don't think we worry too much about building up the hype in the first six months, but where the rubber hits the road is going to be when all those hardcore gamers have bought PS3. They have also bought Xbox 360 and they have probably bought Nintendo Wii as well .

[For retailers] we have now put together the whole of the puzzle. They know the price; they probably know the quantities. They know the date and they have a good idea what sort of software is going to come out. They know the specifications. So from a retail marketing point of view we are about double over-subscribed on what we can initially supply.

So where does this leave the PS2?

David Reeves: At the press conference we said we will ship 10 million this year worldwide. There are more PS2 games coming out this year than there were last year. Sony will launch at least 50 games and third parties a whole lot more.

From a Sony corporation point of view most of our profit over the next year will come from PS2. We believe we will add between six and six million hardware units on PS2 next year in our region.

Do you think it will still attract third party developers as a platform?

David Reeves: When they made the transition from PS one to PS2 many developers made the change too quickly. They went straight to PS2. We told them this time to do both PS3 and PS2 because the money, the 'honey' is to be made on the Playstation2 games because in our territories alone there is going to be 40 million people using it . Now some will switch the PS3 - around 6 million in the first six months worldwide - but millions of people will want to buy new PS2 games.

Is it true that you oversee something like 106 countries? Are there marked differences in the markets?

David Reeves: When it comes to hardware sales PAL markets such as Argentina and Indonesia, Russian and the Stans are doing well, as is the Ukraine. What we can't forget though is piracy. It's very difficult to sell software in certain markets. Pakistan for instance has the highest number of factories producing counterfeit PS2 and Xbox disks. We are trying to penetrate new markets, win the Middle East and Africa and some southern Mediterranean countries with the PS2.

Iran is a big market for us. Absolutely booming. What they don't do is buy a console to play it at home. They set them up in coffee shops in say groups of 40 or 50 and they charge people to come in and use them, like an arcade. We ship 10,000 PS2s each month to Iran. And it's one of the few places that doesn't tolerate piracy. We have some problems with content of games (as we do in Saudi). For instance the number of females you can put into games (even if they are fantasy females) is very limited.

Do you think the PS3 suffer similar issues with piracy?

David Reeves: PS3 with Blu-Ray will make it much more difficult to pirate software. If it can be done at all it will be very, very difficult. In fact the movie industry has have been waiting for Blu-ray because they have been decimated by piracy, so we hope not.

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