Everyone I have
talked to today is excited about the launch of
the PlayStation 2. I just came back from
Electronic Arts and they just showed me their new
games for the PlayStation 2 and they are very
excited as well.
- So, you must be
quite pleased about the success so far in Japan
with the PlayStation 2?
Butch - Yes we
are, in the opening weekend of the Japanese
launch 980,000 Playstation 2 were sold which
makes it about 10 times more than what the
original sales were for the PlayStation 1 for the
first 3 days. To be a bit more specific 600,000
units were sold through 26,400 retailers and
380,000 units were sold through our own website http://www.playstation.com, showing
that e-commerce is getting stronger and more
LD - How many have
you sold so far?
Butch - the
last numbers for Japan are 1.8 Million for the
PlayStation 2 and more then 2.9 million games
have been sold so far.
LD - How many
consoles are you planning to bring to the North
Concerning the American Market we going to have 1
million units and of course Canada will have its
fair share of those.
LD - How many games
are in the works right now?
Presently 208 publishers and developers have
signed license agreements and are presently
in the process of developing 270 titles.
LD - How many games
do you expect to have at the launch?
Butch - Since
we are building on the success on the
PlayStation, all 800 games already available on
the market will be playable on the PlayStation 2
since it is backwards compatible. Concerning new
games, about 9 first party titles will be
available, and between first and third parties
about 50 before Christmas time, and 150 titles
are expected to be out by the end of March, but
the specific number is still not known because it
depends on which titles will be ready at the
launch. We care more about the quality of the
games that we are putting out, instead of the
quantity, and in any case they will all sell no
matter which titles are available then.
LD - Microsoft
will enter the video game market next year with
their new console the X-Box which will be more
powerful than even the PlayStation 2, so what is
your long term strategy towards that?
Butch - Our
strategy is to keep on doing what we have been
doing, which is backing our console with games.
It has been shown in the past - the 3DO console
was powerful, but did not last - that even if you
come out with a powerful console, you must have
good games for it, or it is a suicidal program
that will not work . When the PlayStation 2 will
be launched all the 800 games that are on the
market presently will work on it. Also by the
time that Microsoft launches their new console we
will have sold 10 million units and between 40 -
50 million games for the PlayStation 2 while they
will be just starting.
LD - How well is
the PlayStation still doing?
Butch - It is
going very well we now have 60% of the console
market and 70% of the games market. It is still
in very high demand and stronger than ever even 5
years after its initial release. That shows
we have the right business model and that we are
setting the standard.
LD - What are the
latest numbers for the PlayStation?
Butch - Now
more then 1 in 4 American households own a
PlayStation. So far more 72.92 million units have
been sold throughout the world: 17.40 million in
Japan, 28.41 in Europe, and 27.11 in North
America. Concerning software, 630 million titles
have been sold around the world, where the North
American market was the strongest with 234
million units followed by 224 millions for Japan
and 172 millions for the European market. It
continues to exceed expectations with its
software to hardware ratio of 7.9 to 1, which
is the highest in the history of all
console systems. Concerning our numbers for last
Christmas, in January we sold 3 million
PlayStations outselling our competitors on a
margin of more then 2-1. In software we sold more
then 15.1 million games in December 1999 which is
twice as much as Nintendo and 10 times more than
Since it is doing so well, what are you going to
do with it, are you going to kill it off slowly
or keep it?
Butch - We
have now 2 distinct businesses, so our new
strategy is to gear up the PlayStation towards
the younger crowd and the PlayStation 2 will be
more like a family Entertainment Unit. With the
Multi Tap Adaptor you will be able to play with
up to 8 players at the same time and it also has
the ability to watch movies on it. We plan to
dominate the living rooms of the world with our 2
LD - So this fall
you will promote the PlayStation 2 and the
PlayStation as well.
Butch - Yes, we
are not just promoting a few games we will have a
multi-million dollar marketing campaign that will
include both systems, the PlayStation and the
PlayStation 2. Which will make it the largest
marketing program that we have ever done. This
multi-million dollar program also shows our
commitment to support the livelihood of the
PlayStation software. Since it can be played on
both systems, that will provide a built-in market
for the publishing companies.
LD - It
was nice seeing you again Butch, thank you for
your time, when are you coming back to see us in
Butch - Your
are quite welcome and I will see you in Montreal
after the launch.
interviewer : LadyDragon