Why Netflix on PS3 Trumps Microsoft and how Usher at E3 Benefited Sony
Jack Tretton has touched upon Microsoft's E3 conference in an interview with Forbes, and why the 360's long list of non-gaming features aren't all that impressive.
Jack Tretton, in an interview with Forbes, has spoke a little bit about the various advantages about having a wider brand and about the advatages of having a Sony machine over a 360. When asked about PlayStation Mobile and the likelihood that somebody will pick a Mobile-enabled device over the Vita, he said that the important thing for a consumer is choice:
"It means that there is nowhere that the gamer goes that we don’t participate in. You know, I play Crash Bandicoot on the Sony Tablet. It’s a great experience. It’s a better experience on the PlayStation, but if you weren’t playing PS1 back in the mid-‘90s, it’s a pretty cool experience. But I don’t play Crash Bandicoot on the tablet and say, “I don’t need my Vita anymore.” I think that’s the great thing; there are different entry points for different people. And why cut off a segment of the population? There’s 163 million people gaming in the United States, according to IDC. We could and should do business with all 163 million consumers.
"Why wouldn’t you want to be in the Vita business? Why would you want to say to core gamers, “Stay on the console. You’re never going to have an experience that’s appealing to you on the smartphone or tablet, so we don’t want any more of your money; just get on the console and stay there.” The goal has always been to get as many people involved in gaming and get them as immersed as possible. And I think that’s really the reason why people are delving in to more and more forms of entertainment.
"Even the most hardcore gamer listens to music, goes to the movies, has other interests. If you can keep that machine on and keep people experiencing all those things through their device, why have to hand them off? But I think the great thing is, for Sony, if they do go to the movies there’s a good chance that they’ll be seeing a Sony movie. Or if they might be listening to Sony music. I thought it was pretty interesting that Usher was a guest at Microsoft’s press conference. Well that helped Sony ultimately, you know? Not directly, but let’s face it –that’s a Sony artist."
But that wasn't the only advantage Tretton feels that the Sony brand had over Microsoft.
"We said from the beginning that the PlayStation 3 will be the center of the living room. You remember our campaign years ago, “It only does everything.” And we talked about PlayStation Network, and we talked about Blu-ray, and we’ve added lots of services. So the announcement of NHL is great –been there for a couple of years. Hulu Plus… it’s hard for me to find exceptions where we weren’t there first. So we’re going down a similar path, but I think first and foremost, our device has always been about gaming, it always will be about gaming. And we don’t want anything to take the focus away from that.
"One of the challenges that we had with the PlayStation 3 is that when we talked about “It only does everything,” people said, “God, you guys should focus more on the games; it’s all about the games.” And when we focused on the games people said, “You’re really selling the machine short. You should be talking about the fact that it’s a Blu-ray player and it’s got an Internet browser in there.” So we certainly pay homage to both, but first and foremost, PlayStation is a games machine. But I’ll stack our entertainment options against anybody. I think we had a plethora of great gaming content to talk about, but we didn’t feel like we needed to really play the entertainment message, because I think that’s already been established. The biggest challenge we had was trying to put all the great gaming news we had in an hour and 15 minute press conference."
He continued: "To me, as a consumer, it would be a little frustrating to say “Wait a minute; I gotta pay you some more money to watch my Netflix movie?” If I only bought [an Xbox] as an entertainment device, why the hell would I pay you for something I already pay somebody else to watch? And to me that’s a fundamental problem as a consumer. I assume that if they’re successful, then people will get over that. But that’s the fundamental problem that I would have as a consumer –paying for a service to watch another service I already paid for."