'The HD era really only starts when we are on the market' - Harrison

Sony dev boss speaks.

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison has claimed that Microsoft's Xbox 360 "doesn't have true HD functionality," saying that consumers seeking a HD experience will have to wait for the PS3 to arrive.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz this week, in an interview to be published tomorrow, Harrison described the Xbox 360 as "a lot better than their [Microsoft's] first introduction to the console business," but questioned the console's claim to being a High Definition device.

"The true definition of HD is the three elements of the HD value chain - the display, the content and the hardware to play back that content," he explained, "and PlayStation and Sony is the only organisation that has all three bits of the value chain together."

"As you well know," he continued, "the Xbox 360 doesn't play high definition movies and doesn't have true HD functionality - PlayStation 3 is the only format that has 1080-progressive, which is the true definition of HD, so it's really premature to be talking about the HD era."

"The HD era really only starts when we are on the market," he concluded.

Harrison's comments refer to the fact that the PlayStation 3 is the only next-gen console which will support the top end of the HD standard, the 1080p resolution, and also the only device which will be able to play high definition movie content, thanks to its support for Blu-Ray discs.

"High definition as far as the consumer is concerned means high definition movies, which means Blu-Ray disc, and that is the reason that people will buy high definition displays coupled with a player that is capable of playing movies and games - which is obviously PlayStation 3," he claimed.

Also in our exclusive interview, Harrison discussed other aspects of Sony's attitude to the next-generation console from its key rival, Microsoft, along with the company's ongoing plans for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable platforms and his belief that the games retail model is set to undergo a major shift in the coming years.

Check back tomorrow for our full interview with one of the key architects of Sony's console dominance.

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