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Sony: "PS2 is Still Important"

| 15 Jan 2009 13:00
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Following heavy financial losses in its gaming division, Sony's John Koller has emphasized the importance of continuing to support the PlayStation 2.

Less than a year away from its 10th anniversary, Sony's PlayStation 2 console continues to sell, reaching a massive 50 million units sold in North America alone this decade.

Koller, director of hardware marketing at SCEA, spoke with Gamasutra to acknowledge that the "PS2 is still important" to the technology conglomerate.

"The only way to kill the PS2 business is to stop supporting it," said Koller.

"It's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy; as it continues to sell, development continues, and consumers continue to buy," continued Koller on the console's expansive library backed by a decade of game development across every genre. "There's such a wide range of entertainment experiences available that I think it would be very difficult for people to complain, 'this console doesn't have anything that appeals to me'."

Once the PS3 was released and the PS2's price was dropped to $130, Koller noticed "changes in who's purchased the system... as we've gone along we've had various demographics entering into the marketplace."

In a short span of a few years, the music genre (led by Guitar Hero, which debuted on the PS2) and the Nintendo Wii's casual games flourished, introducing a tidal wave of previous non-gamers into the market. Koller commented, "We've made a lot of focus into the family-friendly type gaming environment and also being able to promote the overall value of the system to a lower income family."

While Sony's other gaming projects may be draining cash, PS2 production and sales continue to be a "positive margin business, and a significant contributor for us."

Expect the system to stick around for some time too; Sony is still talking to publishers and developers about porting projects onto the aging platform.

"As part of their portfolio the PS2 is still important," assured Koller. "We're on regular road shows, talking to each publisher to discuss the merits of continuing to develop for the PS2....We've spoken with developers on how to engender total family play -- retail is telling us how important it is."

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