The war of words between Sony and Microsoft has peaked again, with European Xbox chief Neil Thompson savaging the PlayStation 3 as representing little more than a shiny new DVD player. In what is perhaps the most savage attack on the new Sony machine recorded to date, Thompson paints the rival console as little more than a new Betamax platform.
Speaking exclusively to SPOnG, he said, "I think [Sony] has missed the ball, in that it’s not really a next-generation games player – it’s a next-generation DVD player. For us, that’s great news, because we think we make the next-generation games console." Thompson continues, "We’ve got the content to back that up, we’ve got Xbox Live to back that up, we’ve got price-points that are very compelling. If gamers are desperate to get the next-generation DVD player, then they’ll start considering Blu-Ray and the PS3. But Sony is the company that brought us Betamax, MiniDisc and UMD – I’m not convinced people today will go and bet the farm on buying a Blu-Ray disc.”
Of course, assessing the relative successes of the formats is a somewhat deeper process than it appears. Betamax was a commercial flop, though it should
have been the lead platform for home use, simply because it was better, smaller and much more capable than the VHS monster we were lumped with. SPOnG also doubts Sony is licking any deep wounds from MiniDisc. Although pre-recorded sales failed catastrophically, sales of players and recorders offered a healthy business to Sony's portable consumer electronics wing. To claim UMD is a failure is, of course, a biased statement, not reflective of the performance of the PSP-driving disc. Although pre-recorded movie sales failed, as most users quickly realised they could transfer content from their DVDs for watching on PSP, game sales have certainly not been hampered. The lack of software for the PSP has resulted in strong demand for everything coming available for Sony's budding platform.Click here for the full interview
which has info on Grand Theft Auto IV on Xbox Live, Halo 3, Xbox Live Arcade, the Japan ‘problem’ and more.