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Tretton on third party software deficiencies

14 July 2007

Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton has addressed criticism regarding the fact some third party titles appear more polished on the Xbox 360 than their PlayStation 3 counterparts, noting that any decisions during the development process are ultimately made by the third parties themselves, not Sony.

Speaking at a roundtable with Gamesindustry.biz this week, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Tretton stated, “If the games don’t look good on the platform, consumers aren’t going to buy them. As I said, we can’t control what third parties are going to do", he explained. “We can try to evangelize the technology and assist those guys in development and try to convince them that it is in their best interests to take advantage of the technology.

“If we have to drive the message on our platform with the games that do that…whether they are first party or third…those are the games we are going to focus on and those are the games the consumers are going to make their purchase decisions on,” he added. "At some point, what’s the point of porting it over to another platform if it is not going to look as good on a platform that is more expensive? Why waste any money in development doing that?”

However, when prompted to comment on whether this meant Sony would have to apply a stronger emphasis on first-party titles to counter any possible issues with third party output, Tretton was keen to point out that this wasn’t the message he intended to give. “The message I want to send is, we can’t control what the third parties do. We want to encourage them as much as possible, we want to support them as much as possible…to your point, we want to give them the tools.”

“We’re a company that does about 20 plus per cent of our business on first party, so believe me, I don’t want to send the message that we don’t need the third parties. We want to encourage them to maximize their development potential on our platform.

“But if a game doesn’t showcase our technology, I don’t know that is going to help either of us”, concluded Tretton.


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