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Sony dismisses Microsoft's next-gen lead

SCEA exec Jack Tretton has dismissed the threat from its biggest competitor, arguing that first year unit sales do not determine market success and playing down the loss of GTA platform exclusivity.

SCEA exec Jack Tretton has dismissed the threat from its biggest competitor, arguing that first year unit sales do not determine market success and playing down the loss of GTA platform exclusivity.

In an interview with TheStreet.com, SCEA's EVP and co-COO appeared unfazed by Microsoft's 12 month lead in the next-generation console market - and said that he is confident that the PS3 will massively outsell the Xbox 360 in the long term.

"At the end of the day, what you do in the first year, and whether you do 6 or 10 million units, does not determine whether you're successful or not," Tretton stated.

"We're looking to sell 100 million-plus worldwide. We're looking to sell 50 million-plus in North America."

"We've never been first to market in any generation," Tretton continued.

"We weren't first when we debuted the original PlayStation. We weren't first with PlayStation 2. It ultimately came down to the system and what consumers preferred."

Discussing the loss of platform exclusivity for Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto Franchise - a point which Microsoft made much of at this year's E3 - Tretton remained bullish about Sony's software line-up on both current and next-gen platforms, stating: "I don't think the battle would be any different with or without Grand Theft Auto."

He added, "If you look at our first-party library and the franchises that we've brought to market over the course of PlayStation 2, we have a very formidable first-party library of exclusive software that will help define us."

Sony will launch the PlayStation 3 worldwide in November and plans to sell 6 million PS3 units by March 2007, despite a hefty 500-600 Euro price tag and a much stronger market competition than it faced with its current generation console.

Tretton admitted that the company is still working on "reaching out to the consumers to try to explain what our platform's all about and why they're going to want one," suggesting that the true consumer value of the PS3 has yet to be fully realised.

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Paul Loughrey

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