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Home delay "disappointing" - MS

Sony underestimated challenge.

Microsoft bigwig Neil Thompson has told GamesIndustry.biz that he thinks the PlayStation Home delay is down to Sony underestimating the challenges of the platform.

The Entertainment and Devices boss for UK and Ireland went on to say he was disappointed in the hold up, but denied that the lack of a PS3 price cut had played into Microsoft's Christmas-themed hands.

"I think one of the disappointing/interesting things I heard from [Sony] at the Tokyo Game Show was that they just delayed the [Home] online service delivery again," Thompson told GamesIndustry.biz. "That's more interesting, because I think they underestimated how challenging it is to deliver this sort of service, and to deliver the elements of the service that consumers really want."

"It would be good to see the reality versus what they had on the blueprints - what they wanted to deliver against what they can actually deliver, because I know they generated a lot of interest based on what they said last year."

When probed about the new DualShock 3 controller, Thompson said he felt Sony was forced to release things early in order to try and counter the progress of the Xbox 360.

"When I went to E3 two years ago, and they were showing a lot of their first PS3 stuff there, it felt to me like they'd rushed a lot of things out because they felt the momentum on 360 was growing at a rapid rate, and they felt they had to come out with something early."

"I think it's fair to say that over the last 12 months or so it has become more and more apparent (probably) to the market - and Sony are a bright bunch so they'll understand this - [that] there are certain aspects in the way they're offering the product that aren't resonating enough - or perhaps they've inbuilt too much cost in things."

On the other hand, Thompson was quick to sing Nintendo's praises, acknowledging the vision and execution of its motion-sensing master plan.

"Perhaps Nintendo really did a very clever thing, they went for quite simple innovation, but it was aligned to where certain broad-range consumers' demand was. That's always the tricky thing with technology - not finding out what's technically possible, but what technology consumers will actually want and desire."

In the full interview that will be available on GamesIndustry.biz on Monday, Thompson delves into the crevices of Xbox Live, the challenges of the Asian market, and the forthcoming launch of Marketplace.

GamesIndustry.biz is a guaranteed fiction-free product.

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Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.

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