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Kutaragi slags off rivals

Can't they all just get along?

As the next-gen console war heats up, Sony Computer Entertainment boss Ken Kutaragi has launched an(other) attack on his company's competitors.

In an interview with Japanese website Watch Impress, Kutaragi confirmed Sony's commitment to making the PS3 a console for grown-ups - undoubtedly a response to Nintendo's recent talk of 'All-Access Gaming' for the whole family.

"From the start, we intended to make not just a game machine for kids, but a computer for entertainment that adults throughout the world could enjoy," says Ken.

"Other companies may talk of game machines, but we've always referred to 'computer entertainment,' even in our press materials. It's entertainment and also a computer. That's what's important."

Kutaragi went on to take a swing at Microsoft, accusing J Allard and co of doing nothing more than playing catchup.

"This time, Microsoft has stated clearly that it is going after PlayStation. However, they're going not after the PlayStation 3, but the PlayStation 2. They were looking at 2, and that's why [Xbox 360] became like that," he reckons.

Kutaragi compared the current next-gen battle with the one that was fought by the PS1 and 3DO, saying there are clear parallels in terms of how the console specs have been interpreted.

"People probably won't be able to understand the difference between PS3 and Xbox 360 if the spec charts are just lined up," apparently.

"However, at E3, a suitable number of people said that they were glad they came and saw rather than just looking at the specs. When the PS3 is actually released, this will spread and people will come to understand."

The SCE president then talked about the power of the PS3's Cell technology versus the inner workings of its rivals: "Other companies may have high definition graphics, but the internals are the same. For the most part, they don't do calculations. For the most part, they don't do physics - they just add movement through motion capture.

"Even if you display beautiful high definition visuals, you can't immediately tell if it's being calculated in real time by the Cell," Kutaragi continues.

"However, if you look closely, the difference between things that are being calculated and things that are simply being changed and moved is clear."

It's all about real-time, essentially, as the PS3 demos on show at E3 proved, says Ken: "They used real-time on-the-fly calculations rather than pre-rendering and pre-calculations. For the graphics too, determining which movements to make were all calculated."

We're not sure we completely understand what he's on about, in all honesty, but it's clear that the emphasis is on calculators.

And finally, Kutaragi explained - sort of - why the PS3 doesn't contain a separate sound chip: "It's obvious... Because [the audio] is all calculated [through Cell]. Sound is not the about the number of voices, but is itself an object." Righty ho.

So there you have it - the latest shot across Microsoft's bows from the good ship Sony. What next? Allard calls Kutaragi a "little bitch"? Iwata says Xbox 360 "looks a bit gay"? It's everything to play for...

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.