If the Internet goes down today, we're holding you personally responsible. There's fury across the video game webosphere over remarks the SCEA executive made about PlayStation's primary competitors. In an interview with Fortune, Tretton described the Nintendo's portable platforms as "babysitting devices" and Microsoft's XBOX 360 as "out of steam". Naturally the comments have drawn the predictable sales-age pundits out of the woodwork: "Bu-but Sony's not sold as many consoles as the others and my PS3 is covered in dust," the forum comments read.
Ultimately, it's all unnecessary stuff from both sides. As Sony tries to overturn its "arrogant" public perception, corporate smack-talk does not help. It's unfair to assume Sony's the only one doing it, but sometimes the opinion of Tretton and company can come across a little more scathing than the slightly more subtle trolls of Microsoft and Nintendo.
Then again, while scathing there's nothing inherently wrong with the comments Tretton made. Describing the Nintendo Wii and XBOX 360 as "running out of technical steam" is not wholly unfair, especially when you can point to games on PS3 that look leagues better than their counterparts from a technological view. You can also point to the limitations of the XBOX 360's hard-drive, XBLA download caps and DVD format. It's an unnecessary comment, but not without substance.
Perhaps a little more unwieldy is Tretton's comments on the Nintendo DS platforms. He described the handhelds as "great babysitting tools" adding that,"no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that."
We sometimes take our GameBoy Micro outside, Tretton. Naughty, naughty. But there's obviously a point to what he's saying — PSP and NGP have always been positioned as upper-market, sophisticated products and as an executive he has to defend that.
As much as we enjoy a good corporate in-fight, we do wish Sony would keep their executives on a tighter leash. Nothing draws web traffic (and ad revenue) like a good flame war, and the PlayStation boffins should be well aware of that. Anything you say about the competition is going to get amplified. Best to stick to discussing your own products in the future, Jack.