Following the first part of the GamesIndustry.biz with SCEA's Scott Steinberg last week, here he unpacks his thoughts on the company's mainstream strategy, the importance of LittleBigPlanet, and why Sony has no plans to chase Nintendo's gamer base.
Q: When it comes to the user interface for the PlayStation 3, there are two ends of the spectrum. The XMB and Home, and they're quite different things. Against a backdrop of Microsoft redesigning the Xbox Live system, what are your feelings about the XMB - any evolution planned there?
Scott Steinberg: That's interesting - a half hour ago I was having a conversation with somebody who thought that the XMB was the most elegant way to get in and out. When you think about it from a usage model standpoint, when you drop a Blu-ray disc into the drive, it pretty much goes right to the movie. So, depending on what the purpose is, it enables grazing - so you can drop something in, have a single utility - it accepts that behaviour pretty well from a gaming standpoint as well.
I think there's the ability, just by it's definition, the cross-factor delivers a sense of depth without having to wade through a whole lot of different windows and menus. So I'm not sure if that complexity is any more of an obstacle than a DirecTV or any kind of cable interface - especially when you have a remote, perhaps it's a little more complex with a controller, but if you have a Blu-ray remote it's easy.
I think we're still occupying a space where its elegance is still right for the market.