Question: Will the free PlayStation Network allow things like multiplayer gaming?
Phil Harrison: While there will be content offerings that will be premium, we are aiming to have a free platform, so things like multiplayer gaming will be free. We have no plans to charge for that at the moment.
Question: Are all models of the PS3 going to be region specific. What about the games?
Phil Harrison: The thing that makes the games region free or not is different than what makes the hardware different. With the power voltage and things like that, the hardware will need to be specific to a region. Software, however, will be region free. It’s possible for developers to put all the TV formats – PAL, NTSC, HDTV, and so on – on the disc.
Question: What do you see with downloadable content on PS3?
Phil Harrison: I want to push beyond the traditional gameplay we see in retail. For example, we want to be offering downloadable episodic content, whether it’s game, music, television – or perhaps some combination of those. The possibilities are endless.
Question: Why not offer more (or all) titles via digital download?
Phil Harrison: There’s no restrictions as to what you could offer to download to the PS3, but there’s a big difference in the rollout of broadband in various countries. I think we’ll see some markets with high distribution and thusly higher downloadable content offerings. But Blu-ray will be the primary distribution method for the triple a games that you will see on the PS3. As for how the eventual shift to downloads will happen, we aren’t the ones to control that, the consumers will.
I’m jumping up and down here, finally it’s not just easy to import handheld games, but console (PS3 anyway) games too. Americans & Europeans can import JRPG’s & quirky games from Japan, games that would otherwise often not see an overseas release date. On top of that Europeans with no patience to wait a few months to a year for an American game to see a EU release, won’t have to, they can import the same (often cheaper) US version!