Phil Harrison, Sony’s increasingly high profile president of SCE Worldwide Studios, has given an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel, in which he has again discussed the concept of the PlayStation 3 as a computer, and vigorously denied that the PlayStation 3’s new motion sensing controller was influenced by Nintendo’s Wii console.
Harrison suggested that the use of the Linux operation system, hard drive and the Cell processor would lessen the importance of the PC as a home media center. “We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other computer functions. The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC,” claimed Harrison.
These remarks tie in with previous comments from Sony executive Izumi Kawanishi, who illuminated some of his company's PlayStation 3 Linux plans, indicating that it will be possible for individual 'homebrew' coders to create playable content for PS3, something actively blocked for Sony's PSP handheld.
In addition, when the PS3/Wii controller comparisons were brought up, Harrison is quoted as saying: "In a certain way, I understand why people would say such things, but it is stupid, if you'll forgive me saying so." He continued: "We have already worked on it a long time, and Nintendo almost certainly has done likewise with something similar. It is perfectly naturally for two companies to work on identical devices. It's like that with technology."
These latter comments continue a reasonably contentious period leading up to the launch of the remaining two next-gen consoles - Nintendo UK's David Yarnton previously accused Sony of copying key concepts from the Wii controller, suggesting: "I’d love to dig up some old Phil Harrison comments and say ‘hang on a second – six months ago when we launched our controller you said one thing, and now why are you doing this?’".
Yarnton also quipped: "I don’t know what [Sony's] decision making process is but I think if you look back, any innovation that has come in gameplay has come from us", a relatively strong statement from a representative of the generally understated Nintendo, thus apparently requiring Harrison and Sony to explain their motivations further.