JP Mangalindan wrote an interesting story at CNN.com about how Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, sees the industry at the moment. The results of this are some of the most open attacks on the competition we have seen this year.
‘They [The 360 and Wii] are starting to run out of steam now in terms of continuing to be relevant in 2011 and beyond,[…] I mean, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Why would I buy a gaming system without a hard drive in it? How does this thing scale? Motion gaming is cute, but if I can only wave my arms six inches, how does this really feel like I’m doing true accurate motion gaming?’
The first part of this quote is probably the most easy to analyze. Yes, the Wii has been loosing Steam during this year and that at a high pace. This is accompanied by less releases for the platform and mediocre to bad software sales when it comes to 3rd-party games. The 360 however doesn’t seem to be in such a low as it is described here. Hardware and software sales here are pretty much stable compared to previous years, so it’s hard to see where he is coming from now, especially since he does not give a source for his claims. A quick look at vgcharts.com tells us that the situation still is pretty much the same as always, considering the weekly sales. Xbox leads in the US, while the PS3 is more dominant in Japan and Europe.
The mention of the lacking hard drive in the Wii is also something, that strikes me as odd, mostly because that was a point of criticism that is actually at least as old as the Wii itself, so, in that perspective, Trettons argument does not have a whole lot of steam to it. Another odd point here is the claimed ‘true accurate motion gaming’ that the competition is lacking. To a certain degree, this means Tretton is thinking that the Playstation Move provides that ‘true accurate motion gaming’. A pretty bold statement, considering how there aren’t that many games supporting the Move yet and that it’s somewhat lacking behind the sale-figures of Microsofts Kinect.
Actually, this first quote is pretty harmless considering what he follows it up with:
‘Our view of the ‘Game Boy experience’ is that it’s a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those, […] He’s too old for that.’
Welcome to the 90’s! Damn, I miss that decade, and so does Mr. Tretton, as it seems. Remember those ‘Genesis does, what Nintendon’t’ ads? Well, living in Europe, I personally don’t, but I think they are quite prominent on the internet and instantly recognizable. But, in a way, they pefectly exemplify what this statement is about:
Nintendo consoles and handhelds are for kids, adults play with Sony products.
That’s pretty much what Sega did back in the days. Heck, it’s even what Sony did themselves in the 90’s and that is what’s so disappointing about the whole statement. It’s not very original and, well, not very true. Even worse, statements as these are the base on which politicians and people who don’t have a lot of contact with the medium of videogames build their view on the medium. If Sony considers Nintendo Handhelds and consoles to be ‘toys’, then so will the readers. To make things worse, this is a CNN article, odds are that most of the people who read stuff on a mainstream site like this one actually don’t have a formed opinion on the medium. So, in the end, Mr. Trettons argument pretty much backfires, since it forms an odd perspective on the whole medium.
And, No, Mr. Tretton, I, as a ‘self-respecting twenty-something’, have no problem playing videogames in public, be it on a Nintendo handheld or a Sony one. Quality gaming is quality gaming, no matter what platform it is on (yes, even the Virtual Boy). If you judge people based on what platform they play games on, then you are what some would call a ‘fanboy’.
Well, to be fair, he is on Sonys payroll.
Header Image: Wired.com
Article from Gamersyndrome.com