An alleged Sega document from a meeting with Sony Computer Entertainment America is turning heads after it apparently divulged confidential details of upcoming Sony PlayStation 3 marketing and motion controller plans. The document was downloaded directly from Sega's press site and posted by French Sega fansite Objectif-SEGA under the heading "[Exclu] Stratégie de SEGA : l'incroyable fuite?" or "[Exclusive] Sega's Strategy: An Unbelievable Leak?" The story was then spotted by NeoGAF and the document's contents reposted in full, along with the link to the original Sega URL (currently--and ones assumes permanently--unavailable).
Among the leak's zingers, Sega's document--titled "SCEA Meeting Aug 5th Notes / Aug 6 2009 – DRAFT FOR COMMENTS"--suggests Sony may be planning to roll out a PlayStation 2 emulator, a feature it's recently claimed was "off the table" for good.
Here's the document checkpoint (my emphasis):
PS2 emulator for PS3 (confidential)
SCEA wants to sell all PS2 titles on PSN (GTA Vice City/Sonic/etc)
For co Marketing money show PS3 controller on TV ads – similar to EA Madden Spots, NCAA, etc…
What this confirms: If the document's legitimate, that the PS2 emulator may still be on the table. Note, however, that Sony's assertion the PS2 emulator was "off the table" technically occurred nearly two weeks after the date on Sega's document. It's entirely possible Sony was toying with the idea and finally made a command decision to scuttle things permanently in the interim.
What it doesn't: That the PS2 emulator is in any way a sure thing, or even what "all PS2 titles" means. "Sonic" is obviously Sega's, but the company has nothing whatsoever to do with Rockstar's GTA Vice City, implying "all" means all, and not just Sega's PS2 library. On the other hand, it seems a trifle odd to scribble down those two specifically.
The document also fills in a few PlayStation 3 "motion control" gaps. We already knew Sony was planning a spring 2010 launch (March specifically in Japan, according to the document) but the note addresses additional marketing specifics. It alleges Sony plans to sell 4 to 5 million units worldwide, that the device might be backward compatible with older games (Sega's Virtua Tennis is offered as an example, though this could refer to future iterations of the series), and that Sony believes "motion controller support" will distinguish the PS3 SKU from its competition.
Several games are mentioned, one in particular--developer Obsidian's upcoming role-playing game Alpha Protocol--stirring the waters after a presumed SCEA product evaluator alleged the game "[feels] barely RPG." Obsidian's already responded on its official message boards, and you can read the collated posts--generally dismissing the criticism--at Shacknews if you like.
Other points of interest:
- Sony admits multiple movie titles (Planet 51, Transformers) have underperformed this cycle.
- Sony allows retailers like Walmart to dictate what goes into a game pack (movie tickets are mentioned) to move the SKU.
- Sony's considering putting both movies and games on single Blu-ray discs, presumably to sell them less the cost of multiple discs and packaging and perhaps pass on the savings to consumers.
- 3-4 weeks prior to a game's release "is usually ideal demo timing."
- Concerning Sonic Racing (does this refer to Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing due out next year?) Sega is "open to DLC to differentiate [the] PS3 SKU," including "characters from Rare or Fable universes." Could this mean Sonic vs. Banjo-Kazooie? Tails vs. The Mystical Murgo?
- Sony may be planning a "special Japanese Import section" on the PlayStation Network to allow gamers to purchase Japanese versions of games directly. This note falls under the heading "Yakuza," the title of Sega's PS2 action-adventure game released in North America on September 5, 2006. Sega adds it "might need to localize menus...with subtitles."
- Sega's Iron Man 2 is a "great candidate for HOME space – explore Tony Stark's lab etc."
- Valkyria Chronicles II for the PSP--sequel to the turn-based RPG for PS3--may actually be called Valkyria 1937 (the original was set in 1935) and Sega mentions it "could bundle with PSP as well." Perhaps Sega wants to keep the "II" moniker freed up for something else PS3-bound down the road?
- Sega's considering a collector's edition of "all old [S]onic games on one BD disc," titled "Best of Sonic" and retailing for "around $99."
Intriguingly, the document suggests SCEA requested two-to-one indexing (either "cataloguing for display" or "drawing value comparisons") of PS3 to 360 SKUs "to garner most favorable treatment." See highlighted below.
SCEA reiterated plans to sell 13 million PS3s this year
Big announcement back half of year they can’t talk about (potentially price cut of PS3 to reach hardware goals)
SCEA commented on indexing between PS3 and 360 SKUs, should be around 2:1 to garner most favorable treatment.
Sony's response when asked about the document? "We don't comment on rumors or speculation." We'll see if Sega has anything further to add.
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