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May 30, 2006

Microsoft execs trash Sony’s Blu-ray PS3

Posted by David Hunter at 4:57 PM ET.

Johnny Minkley at

The war of words between bitter rivals Microsoft and Sony has intensified, with top Xbox Europe execs launching an astonishing attack on the Japanese firm’s decision to include its next-generation DVD technology in PlayStation 3 as standard.

Speaking to Eurogamer TV in part one of an exclusive E3 interview broadcast today, Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson and Europe boss Chris Lewis both accused Sony of “forcing” its Blu-Ray DVD technology onto consumers.

“Sony are now making people pay an extra few hundred pounds for a Blu-Ray DVD drive which we don’t know is going to be the standard in the next-generation DVD formats,” Thompson insisted.

“This is the company that brought out Betamax – we don’t quite know where they’re going to go with this,” he added, in a pointed reference to Sony’s defeat in the format war against VHS.

Microsoft believes Blu-Ray’s inclusion in PS3 plays right into the US firm’s hands, since it is offering Xbox 360 users the option to upgrade to next-generation movie tech later this year with the release of a standalone HD-DVD drive.

“If gamers over time choose to go to HD-DVD we’re going to give them the choice to do that, but we’re not going to force them to buy that day one,” Thompson remarked.

It’s sure swell the way they are looking out for the rest of us.

Speaking of which, last week Nintendo announced pricing for their next generation game console, and as expected. it was low compared to Sony and Microsoft:

Nintendo has revealed its next-generation console, the Wii, will retail in the US for $250 or less, and no more than ¥25,000 ($220) in Japan. It also expects to have shipped more than 6m of the machines by March 2007, the company said today.

That’s as many machines as the total number of PlayStation 3 consoles Sony is expecting to ship in the same period. Sony’s box is more than twice the price of the Wii. Both Sony and Microsoft have suggested consumers will buy a Wii alongside each company’s more advanced console because the Nintendo machine is relatively so cheap.

Their helpful suggestion is likely the child of the hope that it’s “alongside” as opposed to “instead of.”

Comedy aside, both Sony and Microsoft have to convince the fans that the inflated price tags on their consoles are worth it and Sony having the highest price, has the biggest job. I don’t blame Microsoft at all for working that pain point.

Filed under Blu-ray, Coopetition, HD DVD, Hardware, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Xbox

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3 Responses to “Microsoft execs trash Sony’s Blu-ray PS3”

  1. Nintendo has another novel notion -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Once again Nintendo confounds the conventional wisdom in the game console business. Not only is their forthcoming game console, the Wii, low priced and only designed for gaming, but they don’t plan on losing money in launching it: Japanese game software and console maker Nintendo Co. said on Wednesday it is unlikely to lose much money on the launch of its new “Wii” video game console, in sharp contrast to rival Sony Corp., which expects a hefty loss on the debut of its PlayStation 3. And Microsoft whose Xbox 360 is bleeding red ink. “We can’t promise we won’t have even a one-yen loss, but we are not expecting an enormous loss,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a news conference. “It is a strange notion that a game console always leads to mounting losses in the beginning.” [...]

  2. Blu-ray to launch next week -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Except for Sony’s decision to make a pricey Blu-ray player standard in the upcoming PlayStation 3 game console, I haven’t been paying much attention to the jockeying over high definition DVD formats lately. However, Blu-ray players and movies are shipping next week, so it’s time to re-examine the state of play. Thomas K. Arnold at Reuters: With rival HD-DVD enjoying a head start in the market, Blu-ray Disc, the next-generation optical disc format backed by the lion’s share of studios and consumer electronics manufacturers, makes its long-awaited — and oft-delayed — debut next week. [...]

  3. Bad gaming news for Sony, good for Nintendo -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] You may recall that while Sony and Microsoft are going to fight it out at the high end with expensive high tech machines that double as home entertainment centers, the Nintendo Wii is a comparatively inexpensive console with aspirations for gaming only. It also doesn’t hurt the bottom line that Nintendo is planning to sell its Wii gear for a profit, unlike Sony and Microsoft. Filed under Coopetition, Xbox, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo [...]

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