Responding to criticisms about Sony “lagging behind” the social gaming scene was the Vice President of Worldwide Studios. During the London Game Festival, he cited several PlayStation titles featuring social gameplay and noted that Sony is poised to take advantage of the recent increase in the demand for social games in the near future.
With the success of games like Activision’s Guitar Hero, MTV’s Rock Band (Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii) and Nintendo’s Wii Sports, all of which rely heavily on the social aspect of the play, there appears to be growing demand for social games in the industry.
During the London Games Festival, Jaimie MacDonald, Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, was asked to respond to criticisms that Sony is falling behind on these social centric games.
I wouldn’t say we fell behind. SingStar (PS2) and Buzz (PS2) and EyeToy (PS2) are still hugely successful. I personally am really pleased to see the success of Wii Sports and Wii Play and Guitar Hero and Rock Band in a sense that it’s expanding the market for everybody and it’s expanding the appeal of video games.
Because they tend toward a more narrow niche market, the success of the SingStar, Buzz and Eye Toy is somewhat debatable when measured against giants like Guitar Hero. However, MacDonald also cited the recently released LittleBigPlanet and the upcoming PlayStation Home as their contenders for the mainstream social gaming market.
Even if Sony is behind the social gaming scene (despite their insistence to the contrary) they won’t be for long. MacDonald said on the subject:
I think we’re incredibly well positioned (to take advantage of social gaming) in the sense that we kind of, it would be a bit arrogant of me to say we invented, but we were an early pioneer certainly and we continue to be very successful in that space.