‘We Were Terrified’ Making The Beatles: Rock Band

From CVG:

I don’t know what Apple was considering before they started working with us, and I’m sure that there were conversations on both sides. I think they saw that we were the company with the most reverence for what they were doing – we’re not looking to turn a quick buck on The Beatles. This is something we’ve loved and respect and would not want to screw up.

We were terrified while making the game, hoping we don’t make them mad at any point – they’re really nice and easy to work with, but this is The Beatles, you can’t afford to mess this up.

We’ve all been in meetings with clients that have made us nervous, but imagine the pressure of facing the remaining Beatles. Kudos to Harmonix for not breaking down and sobbing right before showing off their first game concepts to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Older PSP Now Packed To Move

Sony has the new PSPgo ready to hit store shelves on October 1, but it s not ready to give up on the original PSP just yet (or its ample supplies of stock).

They’ve announced a new PSP pack that includes a special edition silver PSP, copy of Gran Turismo, a download for an exclusive car for us in the game, a 2GB memory stick, a free movie download of your choice, and a free music voucher through Sony’s online store.

It’s a pretty good offer at $199, especially with the PSPgo retailing for $250 and including just an enhanced demo of Rock Band Unplugged.  Is this the pack that’ll finally move some units of the waning PSP

3D Gets A Shipping Date

Sony today announced their intentions to ship and market 3D televisions and 3D PS3 games by the end of next year.

From The Financial Times:

Due to speak today at the IFA technology trade show in Berlin, Sir Howard Stringer , Sony chief executive, will announce plans not only to sell 3D Bravia television sets, but to make Sony’s Vaio laptop computers, PlayStation 3 games consoles and Blu-ray disc players compatible with the technology.

Mr Stringer is expected to tell the audience: “Today, 3D is clearly on its way to the mass market.

“As with high definition a few years back, there are a variety of issues yet to be addressed. But the 3D train is on the track, and we at Sony are ready to drive it home.”

We see a couple of problems here:

–    Are consumers really ready for 3D TVs? It seems like not a week passes without a survey that shows most HD consumers aren’t actually watching HD content on their TVs
–    More importantly for us, are marketers ready? The market keeps getting segmented based on all the differing technologies out there, do we really need to add 3D to the mix
–    There’s still a Blu-Ray-like format war between two differing 3D standards, so will savvy consumers even risk being an early adopter in something that may not be the industry standard

We hope the 3D is good enough to make us forget these potential hurdles.  Has anyone had a chance to see it in action

God Of War Collection Now With 400% More God Of War

The box art for the new God of War Collection on PS3 is out now, and it’s notable for a couple of reasons.

First of all, is the best way to market two of PS2’s greatest games getting a full 720p HD revamp “Remastered in High Definition” at the top of the box. Reminds us of some old school LPs we have laying around.

But the most interesting thing is Sony chose to use a hammer-like approach to pounding the God of War logo in consumers minds. Four God of War logos on a single box. Would the packaging be better served with one very clear message that God of War collection is here, and it’s got plenty of God of War for you.

Just seems excessive, but the God of War series has never been known for its subtlety, what with the decapitated gorgon heads and unadulterated threesomes.


Sony Unveils Make.Believe Tagline

Today, Sony announced the creation of a new tagline that will make its way onto all Sony products: make.believe (the dot is included in the messaging).

The new message, actually pronounced “make-dot-believe,” marks the first time Sony’s branding will have a consistent supporting message across all of its products, including the PS3 and PSP.

Sony chairman, CEO and president Sir Howard Stringer, says: “As we move to transform Sony and integrate the very best in electronics, entertainment and technology into the homes of our customers, the importance of an all-encompassing and unified brand image is more important than ever.”

Fujio Nishida, president of Sony Europe says: “The key for us is how ‘make.believe’ translates into compelling products, content and services for the consumer, all aimed at delivering unparalleled user experiences.




The Red Ring Of Death Is No More?

From IndustryGamers:

Today, IndustryGamers received new survey data from SquareTrade, which claims to be the largest independent warranty provider in the world. The study compared the malfunction rates for all three consoles and found the Wii to be nine times more reliable than Xbox 360 and four times more reliable than PS3. That said, there has been significant improvement with Xbox 360 and the RROD problem. SquareTrade’s data shows that the introduction of the Jasper chipset in late 2008 “has likely solved” the RROD problem.

The Xbox 360 problems seemed to have hit as high as 24 percent of all owners in the first two years of their purchase. PS3 faired better at 10 percent, while less than 3 percent of Wii owners experienced a hardware failure.

Is the albatross of the red ring of death, something that has been a bane in anyone pushing an Xbox 360 product, finally coming to an end   We hope so.

Sony Says Thank You With An Ad

From Kotaku:

How thoughtful! A PlayStation Network promotion wrapped in a thank you note sent to selected folks. Sony, you should’ve have. No, really. You shouldn’t have.

A better idea would have been to include at least a promotional coupon or exclusive demo available to the users you’re emailing. They’ve already proven a willingness to spend on the network, so why risk alienating some of them with a disingenuous message like the one Sony sent