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Briefly thinking back to past Sony press conferences, it's hard not to miss Jack Tretton and his cheeky little smile. The former president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Tretton left the company in 2014, but that hasn't stopped him from talking about the PlayStation 3 and its troubled launch in a new interview with IGN.

Indeed, Sony's last-gen console got off to a really tough start, launching roughly a year after the Xbox 360 with its infamous $599 price tag. According to Tretton, it was "quite possibly the most difficult launch scenario you could ever imagine". He continues: "knowing that Xbox 360 was already out, that you were much more expensive than you wanted to be, that you had much less inventory than you wanted to have at launch, and that it was going to be a learning curve in terms of software development and manufacturing efficiency [...] a lot of real challenges there at that launch."

In a rather juicy quote, Tretton likens his then newly appointed role as CEO to "being made the captain of the Titanic just before it hit the iceberg". Ouch.

Still, rough patches are pretty much an inevitability when you're a company like Sony, and it's safe to say that the firm has learned a lot from the PS3's shaky beginnings, setting the pace of this current generation of consoles with the PS4.

Can you remember the PS3's launch? Were you watching when Kaz Hirai belted out the 599 US dollars line? Think back to the bad old days in the comments section below.

[source youtube.com, via gamespot.com]