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Tretton queries Microsoft's commitment to Folding@Home initiative

SCEA boss Jack Tretton has questioned whether Xbox 360 has enough power to take part in a Folding@Home-style initiative - saying he'd be "very disappointed" if the company is just seeking out good PR.

SCEA boss Jack Tretton has questioned whether Xbox 360 has enough power to take part in a Folding@Home-style initiative - saying he'd be "very disappointed" if the company is just seeking out good PR.

Folding@Home enables multiple, connected PlayStation 3s to calculate data which is used in medical research at Stanford University. As reported earlier this month, Xbox boss Peter Moore suggested Microsoft may be interested in launching a similar initiative, stating, "If we truly believe that we can in some way marshal the resources of a much larger installed base of Xbox 360 owners, with a processor that's of equal power to the PS3, then you have my commitment that we'll look at that."

Speaking to GamePro, Tretton questioned Microsoft's intentions: "Let's face it, if your motivation is for PR, to me, that's a little shallow. We go out of our way, correctly so, to make sure that we don't try to sell PS3s on Folding@Home.

"I think to look at it as a marketing platform is something that a company certainly wouldn't want to do. I'm certainly not insinuating that's Microsoft's motivation, but I'm not even sure how relevant it is to what we're doing. Would they be even having this conversation if we weren't doing it? I don't know."

Tretton went on to query whether Xbox 360 is even powerful enough to take part in such a project, stating, "I would guess that the medical community would take help from anywhere they could get it, but the commentary that I heard is that Stanford isn't sure that [the Xbox 360's processing abilities] would help them very much. Which is odd to me because if it helped at all, it seems like they would welcome it with open arms.

"It's really ugly territory to get into, but let's take fighting a disease and see if we can get some credit for that," he continued.

"It's not a cool game to play one way or the other so I don't want to even give the impression that that's our motivation, and I'd be very disappointed if they're looking for PR value or to try to suck off some of the goodwill that we're doing."

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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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