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Round 4: Interview with Atindriya Bose

So how have God of War III sales been?

Amazing! We did around 9,500 units on day one. We’ve just received our repeat stock, but we’re not going to put that in stores; we’re going to use those for the 250 GB PS3 console bundles. We’ve had to place another order to supply to distributors and retailers. So the response has been far, far beyond our expectations.

In the past, bundles came in as is from Europe. Will Sony start bundling locally now?

Yes, there were many complications earlier in terms of packaging. Since, along with Russia, we’re a separate region from most of Europe, the packaging had to be done differently for us. So it will be much easier for us to bundle the games in locally rather than importing the bundles from Europe. It will also mean that we can decide which games we would like to bundle.

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So what will the pricing be like for these bundles?

God of War III will be bundled with the 250 GB PS3 for Rs 22,490, while the 120 GB PS3 will still be available at Rs 19,990 without any game bundled in.

Any chance of a price drop for the PS3?

No. Not in 2010-11 at least.

What sort of impact do you think PlayStation Move will have in India?

For India, this is massive. Because here, besides the gamers, we’re seeing a lot of people buying the PS3 for its entertainment features. So Move comes at just the right time to get these families into gaming through motion-controlled games. The Wii has created some level of awareness about motion-controlled gaming in India, but beyond a point, the Wii doesn’t hold the same challenge that Move brings in. I’ve seen people play tennis on the Wii by just flicking their wrists. That defeats the purpose of motion-controlled gaming. So the precision and sensitivity of Move, plus the wide array of games for all audiences will really have a major impact in India. I’ve seen pick-up-and-play games for the whole family, and I’ve seen complex games like SOCOM, so the PlayStation Move has something for everyone. We’re expecting a 100 percent growth in PS3 sales this year, and the PlayStation Move will play a big role in that.

A very important factor for India will be the pricing. Internationally, Sony is saying the start-up kit will sell for below $100. What will the Indian price be like and what configurations will Move be available in?

You will have the main bundle, which is a PlayStation Eye and a PlayStation Move controller. Then you will have the single controller, but that won’t be the primary SKU. The third is the sub-controller, which is optional, and you can even use the DualShock 3 instead of the sub-controller. From the Indian perspective, pricing is still up in the air.

Can you at least give us an estimated price?

Below Rs 5,000 is the safest thing I can say, because how much lower it will be, I can’t really say right now.

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Do you think 3D on the PS3 will have any sort of impact in India since it will require special hardware and peripherals?

Television manufacturers, Sony included, are very bullish about 3D. We’ve already launched 3D-compatible TVs, and Samsung and LG are advertising theirs. After experiencing 3D movies, people now seem to want that experience at home. If anything is going to hold it back, it’s the cost and accessibility of the 3D glasses. As for as the PS3 goes, we’re in a great position, because all PS3s will support 3D video and games via a future firmware update. 3D games are a very appealing prospect.

One game that will use 3D and, to an extent, motion controls as well, is Gran Turismo 5. Can you give us any indication as to when it will finally hit stores?

I think that with the level of perfection that they’re striving for, they don’t want to rush the game. So even internally, all that’s being told is whether it’s coming in the first half or second half of the year. It’s the most awaited game, but as for narrowing down a release date, all we know is that it is most likely to release before the holiday season.

So would Q3 be an accurate release window for GT5?

Yes, that’s the indication we’re getting.

Next page: Warranty and support, launch events, etc

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