Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton says that while there were "missteps" in the PlayStation 3's first year, "19 exclusives" for Christmas and the promise of games like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Final Fantasy XIII are a reason to be positive.
"I don't think there's any question that there were missteps, but I don't think anybody is being honest with you if they say that the first year of any platform goes perfectly according to plan," Tretton told MSNBC. "I think the biggest miss for us was the launch, in that we had easily a million consumers in North America alone that wanted to get their hands on a PlayStation 3 ... and we had roughly 200,000 units to take advantage of that demand. ... I think that that was probably the biggest disappointment for the first year."
Tretton also countered the suggestion that Sony has been charged as "arrogant toward its fans". "I don't know that we were ever considered arrogant by consumers," he said. "I think the arrogant claims came from the press and bloggers more than true consumers. ... I think the arrogance claim comes with a leadership position and being unwilling to admit that you're failing. And anybody who's been through media training or been with the press isn't going to get on a soapbox and talk about their failures. If that gets construed as arrogance, then I guess that's a risk you have to take."
But Tretton also probably exemplified the sort of thing that winds up the "press and bloggers more than true consumers" when he added a sideswipe at Microsoft's promotion of Xbox Live. "Another thing that I think really strikes a chord with PS3 consumers is that we're giving them everything they need, in the box, day one," he said. "Our competition talked about the fact that they want to offer consumers a choice, but then they make it clearly apparent that if you really want to have the full gaming experience, you need to go out and invest a lot more money than you originally thought you were."
Which would seem like a reasonable point, were it not for the price drop, the rumble pad debacle, the lack of a bundled HDMI cable, and the fact that the system software was patently unfinished, which seem to us to be the sorts of things that give consumers anything but the impression they're being rewarded for their patience with "everything they need".
Check out the full MSNBC interview for more from Tretton.