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Livingstone questions Sony's strategy

Eidos executive Ian Livingstone has told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that Sony's decision to delay PS3 in Europe was "strange" - and that it will test the loyalty of consumers.

Eidos executive Ian Livingstone has told GamesIndustry.biz that Sony's decision to delay PS3 in Europe was "strange" - and that it will test the loyalty of consumers.

Speaking in an exclusive interview Livingstone said, "I think it was a strange decision, given that Europe has been the most successful market for PS1 and PS2. The decision is certainly going to test the resolve of their faithful consumers hitherto loyal to the brand.

"It means that Microsoft will have had the luxury of selling the 360 for two Christmases without competition from Sony - and let Nintendo's Wii in too. I'm sure Sony never planned it that way, but it does put them in a tight spot.

"Coming third to market with the most expensive console can't be a place they want to be," he added.

However, Livingstone believes Sony will still dominate the market in Europe, observing, "In the end it is software that sells hardware, and you can guarantee that there will be some titles that will be exclusive to PS3 that will make it a 'must have' purchase - remember how Tomb Raider drove sales of PS1 and Grand Theft Auto droves sales of PS2."

As for markets outside Europe - Nintendo will "probably win in Japan", according to Livingstone, and " Xbox 360 will probably win in the US, because they'll have had a year already over PS3 and they've got the online capabilities absolutely nailed down".

However, he continued, "You can never discount Sony, and PlayStation 3 will be a success despite murmurings to the contrary. Sony is the best consumer electronics company in the world, and PlayStation is very much part of their success, so they'll make it happen."

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.