Sony Computer Entertainment America’s (SCEA) president, Kaz Hirai has said that broadband, and cheap broadband too, is going to be essential for future of games consoles – and you can bet he’s talking about the PS3.
His presentation to the Congressional Internet Caucus focussed on Sony’s content strategy for their next iteration of the absurdly popular PlayStation console brand. Sony, and indeed most console and games manufacturers, are placing a lot of emphasis on online gaming as it carries a lot of potential for microtransactions – a constant stream of small charges for extra content, access to games and services. The notable exception here is Nintendo, who have done their best to hide the fact that there is a broadband adaptor for the GameCube and will even happily prosecute UK games stores if they dare try to sell one.
To encourage the growth of online gaming, and therefore the microtransaction business model, Hirai argues that broadband subscription fees need to be cheaper.
Hirai emphasised Sony’s commitment to online gaming by saying “For the next generation console, online is going to be like air conditioning in a car. You’re going to need it.”