Mark Rein, Vice President of Epic Games (the folks bringing you Unreal Tournament and the Unreal Engine), spoke to GameIndustry.biz shortly after Game Developers Conference ended and had some candid words about the PlayStation 3 and its battle for success. Rein firmly believes that Sony will once again be "the one to beat". "Sony has a very, very strong brand, so in my opinion, they're still the one to beat," he said.
"The Wii is an impressive piece of hardware, but as you get the visually more impressive games coming out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as the marketing dollars get turned up to support the larger quantities of machines, with potential price drops and titles like Singstar which appeal to the larger market… Those machines will ignite, they'll take off, and they'll sell just fine."
In particular, Rein says that Home will likely spark a fire and ensure the success of the console. "As the big titles come out, they're going to sell a bunch of machines. When PlayStation Home comes out, they'll sell a bunch of machines… Yeah, it's a high price, because it's a new, high-end piece of equipment, but history shows that price will come down. They'll sell lots of them, it'll be fine."
Rein brought up a point that all of Sony's critics have knowingly turned a blind-eye to, and that's the supply of the console. "So wait, if they don't have enough machines in stores, that's a bad thing? If they do have enough machines, that's a bad thing? Pick one! People just seem to want to take a smack at [Sony], and I can't figure it out. They're the leader, so I guess they have a target on their back."
Well said, if I do say so myself. But Rein continues his defense of Sony by advocating the development of various PS3 features and the criticism Sony has received for allegedly copying ideas. "I read on a developer forum, one of the guys who worked on PlayStation Home said they started designing it in 2004. So when people say things like, 'Oh, they announced this new piece of software! They just copied so-and-so!'. What, you think they just made it last week in their basement?"