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With Live Arcade and Wii's Virtual Console, retro gaming is high on the agenda for Microsoft and Nintendo in their bid to attract more casual - and perhaps lapsed - gamers to their consoles. Do you think old games are the way forward in attracting 'latent' gamers? Is PS3 going to follow suit?
I don't think old games bring new people into the arena. They may attract lapsed gamers and often an older demographic that remember the originals.
It feels to me it's mainly core gamers that get misty-eyed about arcade classics. Of course, we already have many titles on both PS2 and PSP that provide compendiums of classic coin-op games, but the recently disclosed ability to download original PlayStation games to PSP is another opportunity for people to visit the classics.
I personally think there is a big 'rose coloured spectacle' element to this - when I hear people waxing lyrical about video exhibitions offering the chance to play Pong, for example. Whilst I have a fondness and a slightly squishy feeling about the games of yore, I seriously doubt they can really stand up to prolonged comparison to the experience of playing a great new next-generation game.
Above: While they might make veteran gamers go gooey, Wilson thinks that the appeal of retro titles is limited in the long term
Do you think 'PlayStation' is still the word that springs to mind for non- and 'casual' gamers when people talk about games consoles?
I think 'PlayStation' is now synonymous with 'videogaming'. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, it just seems to be a fact of life. You see it all the time in newspapers and magazines. We are the 'PlayStation generation', and our favourite pastime is 'PlayStation' - meaning videogaming, irrespective of which platform we favour. This isn't necessarily a good thing.
Finally, what unique aspect of PS3 will give you the edge over Microsoft and Nintendo in terms of broadening the appeal to 'latent' gamers?
Hopefully this doesn't sound immodest but I think that we have pioneered the trail into the area of appealing to brand new gamers and making games more socially viable.
With this head start, we hope to increase the acceptability of gaming as a legitimate entertainment pastime and, as we approach this goal, I think lapsed gamers will be attracted back into the fold. I think anyone who hasn't enjoyed gaming for a little while will be blown away by how incredible gaming will look on PS3.
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