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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Emulator Game Station Will Profit Sony: Connectix CEO
  • February 19, 1999 (TOKYO) — Connectix Corp., a U.S. company that makes emulator software for Sony’s Playstation video game machine, claims its product will profit Sony as well.
    Connectix is selling its Virtual Game Station (VGS) emulator software for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.’s (SCE) Playstation. SCE, in return, is suing Connectix.

    Nikkei MAC interviewed Connectix President and CEO Roy K. McDonald by phone on Feb. 15. Excerpts from the interview follow.

    Q: How are shipments in the United States?

    McDonald: Orders for VGS have been coming in at a pace of a million dollars a week since it went on sale.

    Q: I’d like to ask you about the lawsuit filed by SCE. Can you give us an update?

    McDonald: I can’t comment on that at this stage. But I can give you a report on the present status. Connectix and SCE are in what is called in U.S. legal terminology a “discovery process,” or negotiation for confirmation of details.

    After going through this process, there will be a hearing scheduled to be held around the end of March. Which direction we will take next will be determined when the hearing is over. We would like to base the result for going into cooperative relations with SCE in the future.

    Q: Won’t VGS bring profit only to Connectix?

    McDonald: VGS will also bring profit to SCE. As the sale of game software increases, they can expect to see increases in royalty revenues. If PlayStation becomes better known among the Macintosh and Windows users, their hardware sales should also increase.

    Q: What are your plans for putting it on the Japanese market?

    McDonald: We haven’t decided on that yet. One of the reasons has to do with compatibility. Technically, it is not difficult to produce a Japanese language version, but it would be necessary to test to see if the software for PlayStation sold in Japan operates normally, and we’ll have to think about what to do in case it doesn’t operate normally.

    Since a great many video game titles are being sold in Japan compared with the United States, a large amount of resources will become necessary for verification of compatibility, to cite just an example.

    We are conducting marketing activities from many aspects, including the compatibility issue, and we haven’t decided on when we will put VGS on the market. But let me make a point that Japan is considered a very important overseas target outside the United States.

    Q: How about your plans for strengthening its functions?

    McDonald: I might cite how we should deal with Internet games and analog controllers, and increasing the maximum number of game players to four.

    Related story: Sony Files Suit Against U.S. Software Developer

    (Nikkei MAC)

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