Warhawk is set for release later this month in two forms; retail and as a downloadable game from the PlayStation Store. The retail package will include a Bluetooth headset and will go for $59.99 – but they’ve flat-out refused to make any comment pertaining to the pricing of the downloadable version. When contacted by 1UP, Sony continued refusing any attempt to discover what the price might be.
“No news yet on the pricing of Warhawk for download. I would recommend you keep your eye on our blog for an announcement soon,” said SCEA Senior Director of Corporate Comm. Dave Karraker. “Response to date from those in the Warhawk beta has been outstanding, so we think it will do very well. We will be pricing it to match what we are delivering in terms of graphics, gameplay, fun-factor and repeat playability, which we think is quite high.”
It’s an interesting situation, as Electronic Gaming Monthly is in the process of reviewing the game, but they’ve been unable to get any word on the price of the game – which will, understandably so, affect the review score of the game.
Sony won’t tell us the pricing plans are, and as a result, EGM reviewers have been forced to include caveats in their write ups. Lead reviewer (and former OPM editor) Joe Rybicki actually placed a note in his review to EGM Reviews Editor Greg Ford that his score should be dropped a whole point if the price was announced above $30, and the other reviewers have expressed concern over how they should judge the game.
“What I don’t understand is why Sony can’t give us a price when it seems like internally they have one ready. The game is done, our reviewers have been playing it, and each one has asked about the price, which we certainly take into consideration in our reviews,” says Ford. “Because of the lead time for a print publication, we’re forced to go to print with a caveat in our review addressing this issue. Not ideal, and it seems unnecessary. It’s too bad because otherwise, the company has been great getting us the review code, setting up multiplayer play sessions, and providing assets to go along with the review…just no price, which for some consumers is what matters most.”
Read More | 1UP
Dave Karraker, head of PR for Sony Computer Entertainment America, must be having one hell of a day. From all indications, it seems like the 60GB SKU will only be available in the US for as long as the current supply can sustain it. After that, the only option will be the 80GB SKU for $599. Naturally, gamers are pissed off. In response, Karraker has issued a statement regarding the issue yet again.
The 60GB PS3 will be available in North America for $499 until supplies of that unit are depleted. We have ample inventory to meet the immediate needs of consumers in this territory for several months to come. We won’t be making any further announcements regarding our PS3 model hardware strategy in North America until the 60GB model is exhausted and market conditions are evaluated.
So, from the sound of it, it’s possible that Sony could decide to continue manufacturing 60GB PS3s, but that decision won’t be made until later down the road.
Read More | Joystiq
Earlier this morning, reports were spreading across the internet like wildfire when SCEE president David Reeves stated in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz that the 60GB model was going to be discontinued in the US.
How concerned are you about possible criticisms that you should have given European consumers what SCEA has given US consumers, i.e. the option to pay a lower price?
Well, they’re not really are they, because what the US are offering from the 1st of August is a USD 599 version with one game. All they’re doing is taking their stock in trade that they’ve got at the moment of the 60GB model, marking the price down and it will all be gone by the end of July.
So once the 60GB is gone, that will be the end of the 60GB then?
In America, yes.
To say there was outrage over this would be a grand understatement. Could Sony really be pulling a fast one and merely replacing the one option for a PlayStation 3 in the US – the 60GB SKU for $599 – with an 80GB SKU at the same price?
1UP is reporting there’s a pretty major discrepancy between the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of All-Pro Football 2K8, Madden NFL 08 and NCAA Football 08 – the 360 versions will run at 60 frames per second, while the PS3 versions will do just half that. Especially in a football game, that’s a major issue, as minor animations are what really make the on-screen action gel. And this isn’t just an issue one developer is having – EA Sports is the developer of Madden and NCAA, while 2K Sports is behind All-Pro 2K8; clearly, there’s some issue to be had.
“We have already proven that sports titles can run on the PlayStation 3 at true HD with 1080p output with NBA 07,” says Dave Karraker, Sony CEA’s senior director of corporate communications. “If you have questions about specific third-party games, you should speak to those publishers.”
1UP went ahead and did just that. 2K gave a “no comment,” while EA exec Todd Sitrin chose to reply.
“We want to make sure that we give the best experience we can on each platform. In designing a game, there are all sorts of tradeoffs that include frame rate, visuals, features, AI, etc. Football is an extremely challenging sport to replicate because of the number of people on the field, their interaction, and the scope of the environments. As you can see, every company making a football game this year made a decision that the best experience for the Xbox 360 included 60fps whereas the best experience for the PS3 was 30fps. We certainly believe that both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are our football products are outstanding experiences and recommend that each gamer look at the entire experience, not just one aspect. We think they’ll be very happy no matter which version of the game they play.”
Head over to the 1UP story for the full scoop and some further analysis on what might be behind all of this.
Read More | 1UP
While Dave Karraker may have a difficult job in trying to spin the moronic statements made by seemingly every Sony exec related to the PlayStation, sometimes he just makes things worse. You know, when he goes out on his own and says things like this:
That’s kind of a tough question to answer. I am pretty sure if you asked just about any real gamer out there if they would like to have a PS3, their answer would be a resounding “Yes!” I think a lot of this goes back to the proliferation of the Internet, where a very vocal minority can make a lot of noise and potentially alter perceptions of the masses, whether they are accurate or not. A lot of this, naturally, is driven by the media who seem focused on taking swipes at us lately, without taking in the full picture.
Vocal minority? Maybe so, but apparently Mr. Karraker hasn’t taken a look at the NPD numbers for last month – the ones where the PlayStation 3 sold an absolutely abysmal 82,000 units. (By comparison, the Xbox 360 sold 174,000 units and the Wii 360,000.) When is Sony going to collectively stop bragging? The reason the media takes so many swipes at Sony is because they seem too caught up in trying to convince everyone that the PS3 is the greatest thing around… without actually backing it up with anything of substance. My advice: shut up and let your games do the talking.
Read More | GamePro
Dave Karraker, Sony’s new head of corporate communications recently gave Gamasutra a lengthy interview about his history and the upcoming Playstation 3 launch. Karraker’s industry experience included work for Crystal Dynamics, 3DO, and Sega of America. Prior to working at Sony, Karraker worked with Marth Stewart during her prison stay; this type of experience under pressure may be a benefit when trying to work with some of the foot-in-mouth problems some of Sony’s executives seem to have.
Karraker discusses some of these issues in the interview, particularly in reference to some of Ken Kutaragi’s more outrageous statements. He also talks specifically about what he feels Sony brings to the table, including 1080p and Sony’s vision for their online network.
Karraker states that Sony is pushing a more open network where basic functionality is provided by Sony, and third parties will have the option to either provide their own support for matchmaking, ranking, and achievements, work with a third-party provider like Xfire or Gamespy, or work with Sony’s implementation. Not having a universal experience may hurt Sony when compared to Microsoft’s Xbox Live. However, Microsoft’s relative lack of flexibility is not without its drawbacks, either; witness Epic’s problems providing party-based ranked matches online for Gears of War.
Also discussed was Sony’s downloadable game content. Here again, Karraker can’t seem to resist poking at the offerings from Microsoft and Nintendo, stating:
I think what you won’t see is just a flood of games that some might consider to be throw-away games. We’re going to populate the store with true, good games that show off the hardware, so it’s not just going to be a bunch of redos and hacks.
For being Sony’s official mouthpiece for corporate communications, this interview seems to be remarkably straightforward. Sure, for the most part Karraker toes the party line, but there are some good insights in the interview.
Read More | Gamasutra
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