Jack Tretton: Gaming Industry Better Off If PlayStation "Wins"


Posted October 7, 2009 - By Jake Gaskill

Jack TrettonIn an interview with the financial publication Forbes (via Destructoid), Sony Computer Entertainment of America head Jack Tretton made some rather bold comments regarding the PlayStation 3 and its place in the entertainment devices market. Most notable was his claim that, "In an industry that's certainly had its challenges this year, we like to say that the environment where PlayStation wins is best for this industry.”

This kind of “When we win, everyone wins” mentality isn’t that surprising coming from a balls-to-the-wall business man like Tretton, but that doesn’t mean it’s accurate or even well-reasoned. Plus, the proposition that Microsoft and Nintendo should gracefully bow out of this generation’s console wars for the greater good of the industry is just absurd, especially since Sony has only recently (thanks in large part to the introduction of the PS3 Slim and the $100 price drop) reached a competitive price point. Plus, the last time I checked, the PS3 was still behind the Xbox 360 and Wii in the hardware sales department, and yet this generation of gaming has been arguably the best yet.

Then again, absurd seems to be what Tretton was aiming for in the interview. At one point, during a discussion about expanding the exposure of PS3’s in retail stores, he suggested that “if you want to buy a digital camera, you need a PlayStation 3.” Even better though was this gem:

“We don't have unlimited money, we cater to a more mass market audience. I think we're willing to take a little bit more risk than a competitor like Nintendo is and ultimately we deliver to the masses on a worldwide basis and that's what we've done for the last 15 years."

Clearly, Tretton hadn’t heard the news about Nintendo being named the best company in the world, precisely because of its worldwide reach and mass market appeal. He also must not have been aware that instead of introducing an HD-powered, digital media monster for its current gen console, Nintendo went with a standard definition, motion control centric console called the Wii. Although to be fair, it is incredibly risky to pursue a technology (cough-motion controls-cough) that has proven itself immensely successful for a competitor even though the technology had never proven itself and consumers had no frame of reference for it. But that's an honest oversight on Tretton's part.

I’m not sure I really need to prompt you all on this one, but do you think the industry is better off when Sony “wins”? Has there been any proof that this is the case, either now or in the past?


Jack Tretton: Gaming Industry Better Off If PlayStation "Wins"


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