An interview with Phil Harisson about Playstation 3

In an interview with Phil “POSCEWS” Harisson, Eurogamer got some nice details from the President Of Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios. (did you get all that?)

Question: Do you think that Europe’s become increasingly important to Sony over the PlayStation’s life cycle, and if so is this a trend we can see continuing as you get ready to launch the PS3?

Phil Harrison: Well, to the first part of that question, the answer is that Europe has always been a key part of the PlayStation success story; the PlayStation 2 business [is] getting up to 40 million units now in Europe (out of 100 million shipped worldwide) and that’s an astonishing achievement. As to what that means for the launch of the next generation, it obviously means that Europe will be a vital part of the launch strategy.

Question: You showed PS3 for the first time at E3 this year and the reaction was very positive – we know that you’re not ready to discuss 2006 in detail yet, but how important a year would you consider 2005 in terms of the PlayStation 3 story?

Phil Harrison: I think there were three key events in the PlayStation 3 story during 2005.

The first was the ISSCC, which is the semiconductor conference that took place in February where the Cell processor was announced, and from that the world could see that our intentions were to build a super-computer for entertainment. It was a very academic conference but the specifications and information that we revealed on Cell back then showed that our intentions were to build the most powerful consumer-focused computing device on the planet, and we have obviously achieved that.

The second key event was E3, coupled with the announcement that we were working with NVIDIA to provide a graphics chip – obviously the response to E3 was overwhelmingly positive and we were delighted with the response that we got, but I think there were also a few key messages there. The development community responded very strongly to the fact that we were working with NVIDIA and that the developers gained access to a very mature tool-chain from the beginning that allowed them to build on their expertise that they had developed in the PC area, particularly shaders, e.g. the graphics language.

And then the third key event was Tokyo Game Show where not only did we show a lot of forward momentum from a content point of view but you could see from the breadth of support that the PlayStation 3 has garnered from the industry that this is going to be the major format choice for the industry going forward.