"Sony has no strategy for an online service," according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who also says Microsoft is "going to beat Sony overall".
"We're off to a very good start," he told Investor's Business Daily, before repeating Peter Moore's claim that Xbox 360 will ship between 4.5 and 5.5 million units by the end of June.
The launch was "phenomenal", says Ballmer, who admits, "We knew Japan was going to be tough."
"I'm not sure we're going to beat Sony in Japan this generation. Maybe," he adds. Xbox 360 launched in Japan on December 10th but was soundly beaten by sales of all the other consoles in the period that followed, particularly Nintendo DS, which outsold everything else in the region by a significant margin.
Ballmer's no stranger to fighting talk, of course, and he had plenty for Sony, whose PlayStation 3 console he openly derided on features and price. "[N]obody knows when PlayStation 3 is going to come. The rumours are it will come out in the spring, but only in Japan. And nobody knows what PlayStation 3 is going to cost. PlayStation 3 has a (Blu-ray Disc) drive built in, so who knows what the heck they're going to charge for the thing, because those are very expensive drives. Who the heck knows what the games are going to look like for PlayStation 3?" he joked. "So, a lot of questions. And Sony has no strategy for an online service."
Sony would contest that, presumably - especially given Phil Harrison's recent claims that Xbox Live on the original Microsoft console got decent press but still didn't outstrip PS2 Online. "[I]t's always important to remember that more people play online games through PlayStation 2 than any other consoles," he told this website in December. "On a worldwide basis it is the most popular online console by virtue of the size of the installed base."