In a new and wide ranging interview in The Mercury News
, Sony Computer Entertainment America president and CEO and Jack Tretton has stated that he believes that the winners and losers in any console market will be obvious within three years and that publishers should resist from commenting on console hardware pricing.
Brushing off suggestions that 2007 had been a “disastrous one” for Sony, Tretton was asked when he thought it would be possible to accurately predict the winners of the current generation of home consoles. “I think if you’re a failed format, you’ll know within three years, and you’ll be out of the business within five,” he answered.
“I think the other key to success is that you have to realize it’s a big world out there, and it goes beyond one year, and it goes beyond one household. The United States is extremely important, but the worldwide market is what really determines platform success,” he added. “And if you look at the success of the PlayStation platform in North America, we’re really proud of that, but if you look at the success on a worldwide basis, it’s just not even close.”
When asked what he thought of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s recent comments
, that both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 needed to reach a $199.99 price before they could be successful in the wider marketplace, Tretton was dismissive.
“A software manufacturer may not be concerned whether a hardware manufacturer is successful or whether they’re profitable,” he said. “But I think they should be, because without the hardware manufacturer, the software manufacturer has nothing to publish on. But, you know, I’m surprised by it, because I would never venture to suggest what software publishers should price their software at. So I don’t think it’s appropriate for them to suggest what hardware should be priced at.”
“Maybe he should design a platform,” suggested Tretton – when pressed on whether Kotick’s comments meant following a pricing scheme more similar to the Wii.
Finally, when asked what Sony’s worldwide hardware and software projections are for the company’s financial year ending March 31st, Tretton indicated: “We expect to sell 33 million pieces of hardware across the three platforms. And that breaks out to 12 million PS2s, 11 million PS3s, and 10 million PlayStation Portables, and then we don’t break out software, but our forecast is 250 million units of software across those three platforms.”