Speaking in a new interview, Sony’s Andrew House has given his thoughts on Wonderbook, PS Vita and the company’s next generation console.
One of the first things mentioned in the interview with MCV, was Wonderbook and how J.K Rowling became a big asset during its development.
“The idea came out of our London Studio,” House explained, “There was a certain amount of serendipity around it. The guys from London Studio with Michael Denny [European studios SVP] were mulling this [Wonderbook] idea, and at the same time, we were at a corporate level starting to forge the partnership with J.K Rowling around Pottermore, which I was quite heavily involved with.
“It was a case of myself working on that and Michael saying: “you should see this thing we are working on.” And both of us said there is just a phenomenal fit here. From there, the next step – in some senses to see if we could get some validation – was presenting it to J.K Rowling. And then she just became gradually more and more creatively involved. She was enthusiastic about it from the first time she saw it. She gave us great pointers around Book of Spells, because her commitment around kids reading delivered on the book aspect of Wonderbook. That is why there is a good focus on text. That came from her, and we embraced it.”
Another main area of the press conference was the PS Vita, although many feel that Sony didn’t give its handheld the attention it deserves. House it seems disagrees.
“We thought we gave Vita a good shout during the conference,” House said. “There were two fantastic announcements which were designed to show that the platform can deliver very differentiated ‘only on Vita’ extensions of great console games. We demonstrated by highlighting things like YouTube, that there is commitment to give the range of network services, making sure that it has a multi-functional aspect.”
Given the Vita’s slow start, House was then asked if he feels Sony perhaps need to relook at the handheld in terms of price and perhaps its overall strategy.
“I don’t think there has been a need for a re-look. We are in what is a very competitive space. I think we need to put more emphasis on the kinds of experiences that define and differentiate Vita. That is always going to be one of its objectives. But there needs to be a reinforcement on that.
“But also, because it is for us the first truly networked portable device in our proprietary gaming space, there is a need to think more broadly about the implications of that for our business model, and to think about how the consumer wants to acquire content.
“20 per cent of Vita content is being downloaded. That tells you that the consumer has an appetite in this space. It just creates a need for us to think through our business model in a broader way than before.”
Finally, the site asked House if he feels now is the time for Sony’s next generation console to arrive, to which House replied, ” when the time is right.”
“The right time to talk about new advances in hardware is when you can demonstrate a significant leap on the current experience, and something that is going to be attractive. That remains our philosophy. Beyond that we have nothing to say at this point.”