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Sony suffers deja vu

SCE accuses Xbox of lacking good launch software, and declares "next game platform belongs to Sony and Nintendo"

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

SCE president Ken Kutaragi has declared the console war over before it has even begun, saying that the Xbox is "finished" according to a report in the Financial Times. "Microsoft was finished before it even got started. They have no games", Kutaragi-san told the FT, adding that their showing at E3 had been "disappointing" and that "Microsoft does not understand the entertainment business".

Xbox - put itself out of the game?
Sony - all your platform are belong to us!

This is a little bit cheeky, because most people said the same thing about the PlayStation 2 when it launched in Europe six months ago. Let's face it, the PS2 launch line-up was far from spectacular, with just a handful of gems like SSX sparkling amongst the dross. It's only this year that we're starting to get the really great games, with the likes of Metal Gear Solid 2, Final Fantasy X and Gran Tourismo 3 on the horizon. So for Sony to turn round and accuse somebody else's console of lacking strong launch titles is perhaps a little hypocritical.

Bizarrely, Kutaragi went on to say that "the processing speed of [the Xbox] is not fast enough and the graphics were rough". Given that the Xbox is looking somewhat more impressive than his own company's PlayStation 2 that's an odd comment to make, unless of course he's comparing it to Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 3. He also claimed that US retailers are now expecting the PlayStation to continue to dominate sales (quoting a figure of 70% by value), while former partners Nintendo would pick up most of the rest and the Xbox would flop. "Microsoft has put itself out of the game - retailers in the US are already disappointed", Kutaragi told the FT. Of course, with the prospect of a double whammy from Nintendo and Microsoft this autumn, he would say that, wouldn't he?

Overall though things are certainly looking less promising for Microsoft than they were just a few months ago. The general consensus seems to be that Nintendo's GameCube had the more impressive games at E3, and as it will be launching in the USA just three days before the Xbox with a price $100 lower, it could take a big chunk out of Microsoft's holiday sales. The Japanese still seem to be sceptical about the Xbox as well, despite several leading Japanese developers promising Xbox exclusive titles or Xbox ports of their existing games.

Ken Kutaragi summed it up nicely when he said that "all your next-generation platform are belong to us". Oh .. hang on. Sorry, that should have read "the next game platform belongs to Sony and Nintendo". Still, we can just see it now... In A.D. 2001, console war was beginning...Bill Gates: What happen? Marketing: Somebody set us up the bomb. Operator: We get signal. Bill Gates: What! Operator: Main screen turn on. Main screen: Fatal Exception at 0041 A63F 628E AC73 Bill Gates: It's you!! Kuts: How are you gentlemen!! Kuts: All your next-generation platform are belong to us. Kuts: You have put yourself out of game. Bill Gates: What you say!! Kuts: You have no chance to survive. Make your time. Kuts: Ha ha ha ha .... Operator: Chairman!! Bill Gates: Take off every 'Xbox'!! Bill Gates: You know what you doing. Bill Gates: Move Xbox. Bill Gates: For great justice department.

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