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Hirai Claims PS3 'Official' Leadership, Criticizes Rivals

Hirai Claims PS3 'Official' Leadership, Criticizes Rivals Exclusive

January 20, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

January 20, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
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More: Console/PC, Exclusive



Despite the PlayStation 3's quantifiable third place status in the present-gen console war, Sony Computer Entertaiment chairman Kaz Hirai says the numbers don't matter -- the PS3 still maintains "official leadership" in the industry.

"This is not meant in terms of numbers, or who's got the biggest install base, or who's selling most in any particular week or month, but I'd like to think that we continue official leadership in this industry," Hirai told Official PlayStation Magazine, as reported by consumer site Eurogamer.

Hirai took a dig at Microsoft and its Xbox 360 when asked to describe its competitive position: "You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity," he said, discussing Sony's oft-stated ten-year plan for the PS3 and suggesting its rival would "fall by the wayside in five years."

As for Nintendo and its market-leading Wii, Hirai said he doesn't see it as competition. "They're a different world, and we operate in our world - that's the kind of way I look at things," he said.

He also took on frequent accusations that the challenges developers often find in programming for the PS3 represent an obstacle for the console.

"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that [developers] want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"

Hirai suggested the PS3 would see the same kind of software evolution curve that the PlayStation 2 did, as represented by the fact that God of War 2 was noticeably more sophisticated than its predecessor on the same console.

"So it's a kind of - I wouldn't say a double-edged sword - but it's hard to program for, and a lot of people see the negatives of it, but if you flip that around, it means the hardware has a lot more to offer," he said.


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