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Tretton: DS is "a great babysitting tool"

Sony America boss attacks Xbox 360 and Wii in name-calling interview

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton has launched a blistering attack on both Nintendo and Microsoft, accusing both company's hardware of being outdated compared to Sony equivalents.

"If you're really going to sustain technology for a decade, you have to be cutting edge when you launch a platform," he said in a CNN interview. "Here we are four years into the PlayStation 3, and it's just hitting its stride. We'll enjoy a long downhill roll behind it because the technology that was so cutting edge in 2006 is extremely relevant today and is conspicuously absent in our competition."

Reminiscent of the sort of rhetoric from the early years of the PlayStation 3, Tretton saved some of his most barbed comments for Nintendo's Wii.

"They're starting to run out of steam now in terms of continuing to be relevant in 2011 and beyond," he says. "I mean, you've gotta be kidding me. Why would I buy a gaming system without a hard drive in it? How does this thing scale? Motion gaming is cute, but if I can only wave my arms six inches, how does this really feel like I'm doing true accurate motion gaming?"

Unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 the Wii was never intended to have a 10 year lifespan and its successor is widely expected to be at least hinted at this year.

In comments that are likely to be extensively quoted on game forums around the world Tretton insisted on referring to the Nintendo DS as the "Game Boy experience" and refused to acknowledge the family of consoles as direct competition for the PSP.

"Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting twenty-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those," he said. "He's too old for that."

Although sales of both the Wii and Nintendo DS have slowed in the last year, as both products reach the end of their life cycle, they still outsell their Sony rivals in most markets. The Xbox 360 is also still dominant in North America and the UK, although a recent report does suggest that global PlayStation 3 sales may now top those of Microsoft's home console.

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David Jenkins