SCEA's Jack Tretton Dismisses Critics, Jabs Microsoft

At this year,s E3, many fans thought Sony,s overall presentation to be rather dull compared to the competitor consoles that had numerous impressive, fully playable demonstrations. “We really saw this as an opportunity to announce some very important details to the trade,” retorted SCEA Executive Vice President Jack Tretton to financial news website, “And I think if you ask the trade, meaning the retail constituency and the third parties, they came away pretty pleased with how everything went.”

While Microsoft and Nintendo wow consumers with new technology, interfaces, and promising titles, Sony seems to be waiting to pounce. Tretton commented, “We are in the process of reaching out to the consumers to try to explain what our platform,s all about … But I think six months out of any platform launch, it,s a little bit early in terms of being able to roll out all the details.”

Another advantage that Microsoft and Nintendo have over Sony is the seemingly high price-tag of the PlayStation 3. “Well, I guess if price is the only consideration, then we,ve won the war,” said Tretton, “because we,ve got a $129 PlayStation 2 that outsells the Xbox 360 today.” He then explained the value of Sony,s new console by comparing the hardware versus the Xbox 360: “If you look at the cost of the components and more importantly, the value to consumers, you have everything in the box at $399 on the Xbox 360; and it still falls well short of what the PlayStation 3 offers at $499.”

Sony also expects to outsell Microsoft. Tretton reported that Sony plans to sell over 50 million consoles in North America and over 100 million consoles worldwide. “We,ve never been first to market in any generation,” said Tretton. “It ultimately came down to the system and what consumers preferred . . . So, if a competitor gets to 6 to 10 million worldwide, I would not consider that to be a significant advantage or a significant disadvantage as far as we,re concerned.”

Tretton then had some rather biting words when asked about how Sony feels about Microsoft,s significant financial advantage. “There,s no question they have a higher pain tolerance,” he said. “I think most companies, if they,d lost the billions that Microsoft has lost on the Xbox, would question whether or not they belong in the business. Obviously, they have a different standard of success.”

With the PlayStation 2, Sony had certain exclusive rights on the Grand Theft Auto franchise. This time, the franchise will be released to both Sony and Microsoft simultaneously; consequently, the titles that gave Sony such a significant sales boost on the PS2 will fail to deliver that same boost to the PS3,s success. “What defines the uniqueness of a platform from a software standpoint are the offerings that you have from first party,” said Tretton. In other words, titles developed by Sony Computer Entertainment will be the ones that define the console.

Despite the negative buzz circulating about Sony,s position in the console wars, representatives have remained optimistic, if not boastful. According to Tretton, the high price-tag, limited consumer press, and impressive competitor software libraries are of no concern. The real test will come this November when all three consoles are available and consumers decide between Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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