While most developers are now up-to-speed with the ambitious hardware, it's taken a good for years to get to this point. A mandate Kaz Hirai set when he took over as president of SCE was to get Sony's Worldwide Studios involved in hardware development. In the latest issue of Famitsu, SCEJ boss Hiroshi Kawano has detailed the extent of publisher input in the design of Sony's next handheld, the NGP.

“We visited a number of companies to discuss this because we wanted to know and care about what the creators and front-line developers thought, ” he said. “This started last spring, right around when I came to SCE. We received all sorts of opinions from developers, and they liked some things and didn’t like other things. That debate process was something I think was extremely important for us — I think a lot of creators, not just the ones that spoke at our conference, really feel like they were an integral part of the NGP’s hardware design process."

Kawano was keen to add that gamers are just as important developers, though.

“When you think about how to make a platform popular and exciting, eventually it all comes down to how the users are participating in the thing. We need more than ourselves and the software companies — we need the users, and we also need the media contributing. If we have a clear vision and drive on how to expand our platform and the industry in general, that allows us to expand our ideas and get down to the core of what we’re doing. We wouldn’t leave everything to the users’ whims, but we can turn an eye to them, at least.

"I want to be able to absorb what users think of the things SCE and the publishers are doing, and I think we’ll be establishing a project like that.”

[via 1up.com]