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Sony ties up with 13 developers to boost PlayStation2 sales

April 24, 2008 12:16 IST

In an effort to accelerate the growth of its popular gaming console Playstation 2 in India, Sony Computer Entertainment  has tied up with 13 Indian game developers to produce Indian games that could be priced lower than the existing Rs 499 per title.

Atindriya Bose, country manager (Playstation), SCE, said game developers such as Indiagames, Trine, DQ Entertainment, Dhruva will be working with the company to produce games that could be marketed both in local and international markets.

The company will also introduce the use of motion-sensing technology, made popular by Nintendo Wii, to PS2 game developers this year.

Using Eye Toy technology, a colour digital camera device similar to a webcam, Sony hopes to extrapolate eye movement, gesture recognition, and more complicated finger movements used in game-playing.

According to Zeno Colaco, vice president (publisher and developer relations), "PS2 users will get the best out of their machines with games based on our motion-sensing technology."

Globally, Sony is expected to launch 150 titles for PS2 alone. The 2008 FICCI report on Indian Media and Entertainment Industry reveals that the local gaming industry garnered Rs 270 crore (Rs 2.7 billion) at the end of 2007 - up 32 per cent from Rs 205 crore (Rs 2.05 billion) in 2006.

Realising that PS2, available at Rs 7,000 and game titles at Rs 499 -- would continue to drive SCE's India sales, the company is leaving no stone unturned to encourage local game development.

The installed base of the eight-year-old PS2 is estimated to be 3,25,000 in India alone which continues to grow while PS3 sells 1,200 units per month.

SCE has already announced the launch of a PS2 game based on Hanuman, along with Aurona Technologies, a Pyramid Saimira group company. The game marks Sony's foray into country-specific titles for the fast-growing market for PS2 in India.

The two companies might develop possible sequels for the title. Sony is increasing the development and publishing support to the Indian market through technical assistance locally, Internet-based support through the renowned DevNet, long-term development tool loans and other financial incentives.

Colaco said, "We are supporting the game developers by lending them developers kit (worth around Rs 3,17,000) at subsidised rates. Such special pricing helps the game developers in breaking even as it brings down the cost of game development."

Looking to create games based on Bollywood, mythology and culture, Colaco feels these can be marketed well in international markets, which have a large Asian population.

Priyanka Joshi in Mumbai
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