As far as tall bald guys in suits go, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison seems alright. Sure, he's said some stupid things. But, he's also said a few clever things. Take his recent interview with Playboy in which he talks about how disc based games and download titles can co-exist, how he used to get embarrassed telling girls about his job and what he would change if he had a magical wand. His answers are refreshing, surprising and most importantly not dumb. Hit the jump for those three quotes. On traditional and digital distribution
I don't think the two markets are necessarily mutually exclusive. I think gamers will look to big epic games as something they'll buy five, six times a year. And then there will be a number of games that they will purchase by the PlayStation Network, perhaps every month, with a low cost of entry. I also think we'll start to see digitally delivered games generate a fan base, a following, some awareness, and then be developed up to full Blu-ray disc games and sold at retail.
On how the industry has changed
When I was 17 or 18 years old and hanging out in a bar, talking to girls and somebody would say, "What do you do for a living?" I would mutter something about working in computers. I wouldn't have said that I was in the computer game industry. It just wasn't cool. Wind the clock forward 20 years and say, "I work for PlayStation," and people are fascinated. It's a fashion brand, it's a technology brand, it's an entertainment brand that is very relevant to people's lives. We are now a part of popular culture. That is the most significant and, I hope, long-lasting change that we've seen.
On what he would change if he could
You can buy a Sunday newspaper in any city anywhere in the world and there will be a magazine insert in it called something like "Culture" or "Weekend Life." And in that supplement you will find excellent writing and reports about film and television and theatre and radio and all kinds of print media like books and magazines, but you will very rarely see games considered as culture or art. That's what I would change. Most games are described in the technology pages, rather than in the arts and entertainment pages. Games are such a widely enjoyed entertainment pastime that it is completely appropriate that they be covered by the kind of high-level journalists you expect to get other cultural reporting from. Present company excepted, of course.