15 PS3 launch games - Hirai

Comments follow criticism.

SCEA boss Kaz Hirai has said that he expects around 15 software titles to launch with the PlayStation 3 this November, responding to comments from publishers criticising the firm's slow release of information to developers.

Speaking to business news service website Bloomberg, Hirai cited the 15 title figure and said, "I don't think there will be too much of an issue," with regard to software availability at the launch of the system.

However, publisher bosses including Sega of America's Simon Jeffrey and THQ's Brian Farrell were both open in their criticism of Sony's treatment of PS3 developers so far, with Jeffrey telling Bloomberg that "there certainly will not be a lot of titles available" at launch.

According to Jeffrey, "a lot of developers" have not received development kit hardware from Sony yet - although final development hardware is meant to be shipping out this month - while Farrell claimed that THQ is not developing The Sopranos for PS3 because it's "too risky" due to the lack of final hardware specifications.

Other publishers, however, disagreed with Jeffrey and Farrell's comments - with executives at Activision, EA and Ubisoft all weighing in to support Sony's development support strategy to date.

EA Worldwide Studios boss Paul Lee said that the firm is "happy" with the dev kits sent out so far, while Activision CEO Robert Kotick told Bloomberg that although their systems are not "final, final hardware", "we know what the processors' capacity is - we have active development underway."

Kotick added that he doesn't expect that the first titles launched for the PS3 will take advantage of more than a fifth of the capacity of the machine, however, stating that "this is the most sophisticated piece of consumer hardware ever."

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot agreed with Kotick's sentiments, but compared the situation at this point to the same point six months out from the launch of the Xbox 360 last year. "We won't be able to take advantage of all the components of the [PlayStation 3]," he commented, "but it was the same last year."

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