The PSP hasn't exactly been the most steady platform in the industry, especially with the outright miserable launch the PSPgo experienced. Industry Gamers recently spoke with SCEA Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations, Rob Dyer, about the current state of the PSP and what Sony is planning to do about it. Dyer explains how piracy has really hurt the PSP but says that they are addressing it. He also promises that "big" games will be coming to the platform this year.
"I think we had a great lineup last year. The biggest problem that plagued PSP was piracy; we have not been able to slow that down," said Dyer. "We think we have some answers going forward, but we're not ready to talk about that publicly at this point. So we're working on fixing that, because that's been a big problem. Publishers, when they put out good games, are not getting the same sales results that they got a few years back. So piracy's been a big issue and we're working on that very diligently to bring about some solutions.
"That said, we still have a very robust lineup this year from third parties on the PSP, starting with Metal Gear Peace Walker," he continued. "I won't go through the whole lineup because I want our third-party partners to make those announcements, but there are some big, big titles coming out this year and you'll see those announcements at GDC, DPS (Destination PlayStation) or E3. We're into the sixth year now on the platform, and that's a long time for a handheld. I think given where we're at right now, we're doing very, very well. But yes, the business has had problems and I think it all stems, candidly, from the piracy."
The International Intellectual Property Alliance today released a report addressing copyright violations in 39 countries. The ESA, which is a part of the IIPA, noted that mod chips are still a prevalent problem within the industry. They revealed that the number of illegal game downloads of 200 ESA-member titles during December of last year was 9.78 million. However, they also highlight that this figure only accounts for a small fraction of overall online piracy since it does not include "cyberlockers" or "one-click" hosting sites.
"Intellectual property theft stunts our industry's innovative momentum and job growth," said Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA. "Innovators, artists and consumers are all hurt when foreign markets are closed off because their governments fall short in enacting and enforcing meaningful trade protection measures that discourage large-scale piracy."
[via Industry Gamers]
During his DICE session, OnLive CEO Steve Perlman voiced his concerns over the greater availability of high-speed broadband. According to him, the idea of an increase in broadband access leading to greater revenues for digital content is based on false pretenses. Perlman points out that it will actually lead to an increase in piracy instead.
"Stop just a minute -- that was something that the music folks thought, that the video folks thought -- the pirates are always one step ahead of that," the CEO cautioned. "Music was the first 'now' media. Are they [video] the next music industry?
"Physical media is in rapid decline," Perlman warned, explaining how people no longer ask "What band is that?" and instead ask "What CD is that?" or how they talk about "watching a DVD tonight" rather than "watching a movie."
"I don't know anybody that watches live TV any more, it's all time-shifted," he added.
Perlman describes video games as a "different beast" altogether, which his service OnLive plans to tackle. The service, which uses cloud computing, is currently undergoing beta testing, and its hardware is said to easily rival that of today's gaming consoles.
"The lowest-capability server we have right now is many more times the capability of an Xbox 360," said Perlman. The company will be upgrading its hardware biannually, meaning consumers will not have to worry about spending cash on new systems.
An Australian citizen has been ordered to pay Nintendo $1.5 million in damages after illegally uploading New Super Mario Bros. Wii. to the internet.
"Nintendo has been working to combat piracy for approximately 20 years," the company said in a statement. "Piracy is a significant threat to Nintendo’s business, as well as over 1,400 game development companies working to provide unique and innovative games for the Nintendo platform.
"Fewer sales of Nintendo's hardware and software systems means fewer resources that Nintendo, its licensees, developers and publishers have to create and market new video game products which is ultimately to the detriment of video game enthusiasts. When there is a decrease in game development, there is also a decrease in the number of jobs in the industry. The existence of piracy jeopardises the strength of the video game industry overall."
Ubisoft is implementing what is conceivably the most idiotic anti-piracy system ever. Users of their future titles will be forced to connect to a Ubi.com account before each play session, meaning they have to be connected to the internet. However, there's a bright side, according to Ubisoft. Games can be run without a disc in the drive for authentication and can be installed on an unlimited number of computers while game saves are stored remotely on Ubisoft servers.
"If you own a hundred PCs, you can install your games on a hundred PCs," said Ubisoft's director of customer service and production, Brent Wilkinson.
Wilkinson also countered that "most people are always connected to an internet connection."
But what if your internet connection goes out? What if Ubisoft's service goes out? The questions go on, and the answers are the same: you're f*cked.
In a recent interview with Edge, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada lent his insight into the Japanese gaming industry and some of the issues it's dealing with. Wada is also chairman of Japan's Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association, who's goal is to promote interactive entertainment.Video games are greatly affected by piracy, which is something Wada clearly recognizes, but according to him, Japan -- as well as Asia in general -- isn't hit has hard as other regions.
"Piracy does a lot of damage, but within the Asian region the majority of damage comes from outside of Japan – not including the Nintendo DS," he said. "The R4 continues to inflict tremendous damage to our business. So in tandem with Nintendo, we have brought the issue to court. And we have been able to reach a certain degree of success from the court rulings."
Infinity Ward's gotta be pretty proud about this one. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was this year's most-pirated game. Prestigious indeed. Not a surprise of course, considering it was the biggest game of 2009, but I personally know people who turned to piracy simply because the game lacked some notable features (read: dedicated servers) that most PC games have.
Modern Warfare 2 boasts over 4.1 million unauthorized downloads of the PC version alone, according to TorrentFreak, more than doubling last year's "winner" Spore. Trailing Modern Warfare 2 in the most-pirated category are Sims 3 and Prototype.
Fortunately for Activision, the game continues to be a top-selling title and the best-selling of 2009 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If that means alienating the PC gaming community, so be it I guess, right?
Somewhere between an estimated 600,000 to 1 million Xbox Live subscribers will be banned from the service for using modded consoles or playing pirated games. A statement issued by Microsoft on Wednesday, coinciding with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, stated:
You probably remember hearing about the mass bannings Microsoft has been dealing out to gamers using modded Xbox 360. On his blog Xbox Live's Major Nelson commented on the topic, saying: