We've heard from Nintendo and Microsoft in our look back on the year that was. And they both claimed to be pleased. But how about Sony and the PlayStation 3? Pleased, that's the answer, according to Sony Australia's Rebecca Rice. She also thinks next year looks exciting with the pledge we'll see the streaming TV of PlayTV and streaming music videos of Vidzone launch locally, plus games like Killzone 2, Haevy Rain and flOwer.Here's the full email exchange:
Kotaku: How was 2008 for Sony and PS3, and what are your expectations for your Xmas sales? Rebecca Rice: It's been a big year. We've seen a cracking range of titles come to the platform over 2008, delivered by SCE WWS as well as third party developers and it's been great to see such a broad showcase of games, both exclusive and multi platform, now being enjoyed on PS3.
Regarding our Christmas sales to date, we've reviewed the data across all three PlayStation platforms and, in general, are pleased with our performance. We are on course to hit our projected sales targets, with the current bonus game offer with every PS3 purchase proving popular with consumers. Across the board, the 2008 GfK sales data we've seen is very encouraging for everyone in the industry, with massive growth of the entire category achieved; an accomplishment which should be celebrated by all of us.
Kotaku: What were your highlights for 2008? Rebecca: There have been a good few, but a couple spring to mind immediately - Firstly, seeing LittleBigPlanet launch and watching how it has been embraced by the community as well as seeing their creative minds go to work with the results being some absolutely phenomenal level creations.
Secondly, Resistance 2 - Ted Price, CEO Insomniac Games, took some time out to come to Australia and participate in an event that saw him sit on in a panel discussion with other members of the Australian Games Media. The reception from the guests who were able to attend and the discussion topics that were driven via both the panelists and questions from the floor were really interesting.
Kotaku: What were your lowlights? Rebecca: All in all, it's been balanced, but we've not gone without our share of challenging moments this year. One would of course be the well publicised delay in launch of LittleBigPlanet, but on a positive, the action taken by Media Molecule and everyone involved within SCE saw the delay be kept to as short a time as possible.
Kotaku: How would you grade the PS3's performance over the whole year (where A = stellar, surpassing all expectations and F = terrible, we should just give up)? Rebecca: We've been pleased. Having been on sale for less than two years, PS3 is still a new offering in the market and we've focussed this year on increasing the software range available and have seen that be delivered through well received titles like Resistance 2, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, GTA IV, Metal Gear Solid 4, and LittleBigPlanet to name a few.
We've also been able to bring popular franchises like Buzz! and SingStar to the more casual and social gaming audience. Hand in hand with the software focus, we've continued to demonstrate to consumers the advanced technology that they are buying into with PS3 via system software upgrades, Blu-ray and high definition content and growth of online services through the PlayStation Network.
Kotaku: What do Aussie gamers have to look forward to from the PS3 and Sony next year? Rebecca: A lot! The innovation and diversification of the PS3's offering is only going to increase and there's an awesome range of exclusive titles set to hit the platform throughout the course of 2009, with the likes of InFamous, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Heavy Rain - firstly though, we'll be kicking the year off with Killzone 2 in February.
From PlayStation Network, PS3 owners will see the content offering within the PlayStation Home open beta expand, a stellar range of network games such as flOwer and Rag Doll Kung Fu, alongside a mixture of game expansion packs coming to the PlayStation store throughout the year.
PS3 owners will also see an expansion of services beyond gaming, including PlayTV and Vidzone, the free streaming music video service, all coming in 2009. The year ahead is set to be an exciting one.