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Sony is "still the one to beat", says Epic Games boss

Epic Games VP Mark Rein has taken on Sony's critics, saying that he believes the strength of the PlayStation brand and the company's ongoing strategy will ensure PS3 is a success.

Epic Games VP Mark Rein has taken on Sony's critics, saying that he believes the strength of the PlayStation brand and the company's ongoing strategy will ensure PS3 is a success.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in an interview at GDC last week, Rein said, "Sony has a very, very strong brand, so in my opinion, they're still the one to beat.

"The Wii is an impressive piece of hardware, but as you get the visually more impressive games coming out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as the marketing dollars get turned up to support the larger quantities of machines, with potential price drops and titles like Singstar which appeal to the larger market... Those machines will ignite, they'll take off, and they'll sell just fine."

Rein's comments came after Phil Harrison's GDC keynote speech, during which the Sony Worldwide Studios boss unveiled PlayStation Home and exclusive title LittleBigPlanet. "It looks like they've got some pretty cool stuff coming," Rein said.

"As the big titles come out, they're going to sell a bunch of machines. When PlayStation Home comes out, they'll sell a bunch of machines... Yeah, it's a high price, because it's a new, high-end piece of equipment, but history shows that price will come down. They'll sell lots of them, it'll be fine."

Rein questioned some of the criticisms which have been levelled at Sony in recent months, particularly with regard to the amount of PS3 stock currently available in US stores.

"So wait, if they don't have enough machines in stores, that's a bad thing? If they do have enough machines, that's a bad thing? Pick one!

"People just seem to want to take a smack at [Sony], and I can't figure it out. They're the leader, so I guess they have a target on their back."

He also had strong words for those who have accused Sony of following in others' footsteps. "I read on a developer forum, one of the guys who worked on PlayStation Home said they started designing it in 2004. So when people say things like, 'Oh, they announced this new piece of software! They just copied so-and-so!'. What, you think they just made it last week in their basement?"

According to Rein, there can be a tendency amongst industry professionals to take an insular perspective, and fail to recognise the attitudes of the typical consumer. "The gamers out there, they aspire to buy a new PlayStation," he concluded.

The full interview with Mark Rein will be published on GamesIndustry.biz next week.

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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.

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