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Thursday September 28, 2006 2:20 pm

Sony Q&A on 1080p and Blu-Ray for Playstation 3


DescriptionA GamePro editor got to sit down with Phil Harrison, an executive at Sony Computer Entertainment America(SCEA) at the Tokyo Game Show and had an interesting Q&A about the Playstation 3’s Blu-Ray and 1080p advantage. The interview was short, but very interesting.  Phil of course touted the 1080p support, “True HD” he called it, that only the PS3 has out of the box. This is true at present, but as reported earlier this week, the XBOX 360 will be receiving a software upgrade to support 1080p, likely for the launch of their HD-DVD drive. It was also interesting to note that Phil stated some games look better in 720p.  I’m not quite sure how that would work, but I guess we’ll see soon enough.

My favorite part of the interview was about Sony’s choice to use a Blu-Ray drive in the PS3, which has driven up the price and helped to make setting a launch date a nightmare. A lot of the critics, and apparently Microsoft, think that the only use of the Blu-Ray drive in the PS3 is for HD movie playback and just makes the device more expensive even for those who don’t plan to use it as a movie player.  I will leave you with Phil putting the “Smack-Down” on that idea.

“There’s this sort of misunderstanding that the Blu-ray disc player for movies is somehow burdening the console with unnecessary cost. That is completely not true. We put our Blu-ray Disc functionality in the console purely from a game design point of view. Once we had that storage capacity on Blu-ray Disc, adding the movie playback functionality was extremely cost-effective, [the cost] is actually non-existent.

So games like Resistance which, as a launch title, is up to 20-something gigabytes already. And that’s day one—think about four years, six years from now. We’ll be pushing the 50 gigabyte limit with dual-layer Blu-ray very quickly. So we absolutely need it as game designers, and in that regard, the consumer is getting the movie functionality effectively for free.”
—Phil Harrison, Representative Director SCEA


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