news\ Aug 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

Sony President defends Xbox One jibes

Andrew House

When it comes to the next-gen battle between Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Sony hasn't exactly been the most friendly competitor. On two separate occasions, Sony has taken the opportunity to point out flaws in Microsoft's strategy with the Xbox One, leveraging the PS4 as a more consumer and developer friendly console.

At E3, Sony's press conference closed out with a barrage on the Xbox One's then-current DRM and used game policies. Then again on Wednesday, Sony worldwide president Andrew House referenced Microsoft's flip-flopping: "While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires," he said on stage. Microsoft's Phil Spencer responded, saying, "Other people will do and say what they're going to say. Fine. We're running our program. That's a strength of who we are."

In an interview with the Guardian, Andrew House talked about Sony's attitude to the competition, particularly addressing those press conference references to Microsoft.

He said, "We tend to stay away from over analyzing what the competition is up to. But I'll characterize it this way: I was surprised … we constructed our E3 presentation because there was somehow a suspicion that the policies and approaches taken by our competition would create an industry trend in that direction. The reason we made such a strong statement at E3, and continue to do so, is because we were surprised by that.

"We thought, perhaps slightly naively, that the current model worked quite well and was consumer friendly – and our goal was to be consistent on that. But given the speculation that was happening there, it apparently became necessary for us to make a statement and say what our intent was."

House reiterated Sony's commitment to indie developer support. "Our goal is to be the platform that embraces both ends of the spectrum; our role should be to offer a creative palette that's equally as engaging to a team of seven people who are just emerging with their first console game as it is to a team of many hundreds backed by a large publisher, working on the latest installment of a high-end blockbuster," he said. "The consumer wants both."

Have Sony's attacks on the Xbox One been warranted? Or has the Japanese console-maker taken the war of words too far?


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