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Sony's Stringer 'Obsessed' With Xbox 360

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg that took place during last week's fourth edition of the publication's D: All Things Digital conferenc...
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg that took place during last week's fourth edition of the publication's D: All Things Digital conference at the Four Seasons Resort Aviara in Carlsbad, California, Sir Howard Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony Corp revealed his own preoccupation with the video game industry, specifically with Microsoft and the Xbox 360. While addressing the topic of box office revenues concerning the theatric release The Da Vinci Code, Stringer inadvertently mixed up his terminology when he said, "It also beat Xbox 3 in Europe in its second weekend." When this error was pointed out by Mossberg, the executive replied, "There's an obsession!" In addition, once the topic shifted to video games, Stringer noted: "Look, the skill of Bill Gates is he's so brilliant at his detail that when he slips in the salesmanship, most of us think: oh my God, he must be right. ... He talked on the one hand, and I loved it, he talked about Vista delayed as if the delay was normal, and then he started mocking me for delaying PS3." Stringer also took the opportunity to address the PlayStation 3 platform specifically, and in so doing defended both its price as well as its value to the consumer by stating that the upcoming console will be more than a video game machine. "It's got more bells and whistles than a 747", Stringer commented. "That Cell processor is extraordinarily powerful and you have nine hours of high definition on the Blu-ray disks alone." He continued: "The reason it's expensive, instead of concentrating on just the games player, which would have been done in the past, PlayStation 3 is designed to go somewhere else, where it's the center of the living room." Stringer's comments were direct and to the point with regards to the new console, as he explained Sony's vision of reaching beyond the traditional gamer market and expanding the entertainment industry, comments echoed by David Reeves, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in a recent interview with MCV. "It's part of the new digital strategy," said Stringer, "to try and create a new software mentality in Tokyo because it's quite clear that we've been an analog company migrating to digital with some difficulty."

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