When the PlayStation 3 launched, it was very expensive and there were a whole lot of question marks. But most would agree it was cutting-edge.
And that's what matters most, according to SCEA president Jack Tretton. In speaking to Fortune , Tretton spoke about how launching a cutting-edge product that stays relevant in today's market is crucial. Even though the PS3 had a rocky beginning, the SCEA boss says it's smooth sailing from here on out, primarily because they're the only company with a game console that has remained cutting-edge.
"If you're really going to sustain technology for a decade, you have to be cutting edge when you launch a platform. Here we are 4 years into the PlayStation 3, and it's just hitting its stride. We'll enjoy a long downhill roll behind it because the technology that was so cutting edge in 2006 is extremely relevant today and is conspicuously absent in our competition."
And when it comes to the competition, Tretton pulls no punches:
"They're 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?"
Tretton also doesn't view the Nintendo DS as primary competition for Sony's PSP (and upcoming Next Generation Portable). In fact, the SCEA president goes so far as to call the "Game Boy experience" a "great babysitting tool," which we can't help find amusing. C'mon, that's funny. And he adds- "…no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those." The NGP follows Sony's aim of cutting-edge technology right out of the gate:
"With the NGP, we asked, what is it that is lacking? We looked at every technology out there, every [bell and] whistle, and how can we make those flexible as possible for consumers to experience."
It's very likely that both Microsoft and Nintendo will launch a new console well before Sony, which sort of proves Tretton's theory that the PS3 can still hold its own. But will it be able to hold its own against the new wave…? Developers will probably say yes, but who knows?