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Sony On Microsoft's Xbox One U-Turns: "We Know They're Very Smart People"

Jonathan Lester
Microsoft, PS4, Shuhei Yoshida, Sony, Xbox One

Sony On Microsoft's Xbox One U-Turns: "We Know They're Very Smart People"

But "Being Consistent And Persistent Helps"

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida has praised Microsoft for quickly implementing several Xbox One policy U-turns after their controversial reveal, but reckons that they'll have a tough time competing with the PS4 in Europe.

“We know they’re very smart people," Sony's Worldwide Studios boss told GI.biz, when asked to comment on their next-gen rival. "It’s great that they were able to quickly realise that some of the things they were doing were not popular, and were able to make really quick decisions to change some of those things – even things that their engineering group must have spent a lot of time preparing before the launch.

“It must have been a very tough time for them. That shows how smart they are, and it shows their dedication to making Xbox One successful. We never took them lightly. Especially in the States, we are the challenger – we’re trying to compete with them. Some of the messaging that they stumbled on just gave us more chances to compete with them in the States.

However, Yoshida believes that Sony still has the edge in Europe, helped by the history and consistent communication. “Other markets are very different – in Europe, we have a larger market share and in Japan, we have a much longer history of being here," he continued. "Being consistent and persistent helps; the legacy and people’s associations with the brand, their memories of having a great time before.”

Yoshida also praised his fellow PlayStation executives for their tenacity during multiple console launches, suggesting that their experience is paying dividends. “Something that can be a weakness but can be a very strong asset for the PlayStation team is the management team that we have,” he gushed. “Many of us in key positions have gone through all the transitions from the launch of PS1.

“Andrew House, Jack Tretton, myself and many of the executives were all there at the beginning. We’ve gone through great times and pretty difficult times together. I’ve never worked for another company, so I can just imagine, but we have a very efficient way of discussing issues and being open and honest. We make quick decisions when necessary, and that’s something that’s very fresh to me.

“Now, because we work closely with Sony, many people are actually joining SCE headquarters from Sony. The number of smart people on the Sony electronics side is amazing – but all of them who join SCE say that they are amazed by how focused we are on the issues. We have meetings where we just jump onto the issues, make decisions and move on. That’s very different from the Sony side, according to them.

“That history of us working through all the PlayStations of the last 20 years together – including Mark Cerny, who’s not a Sony person but has always worked together with us – really helps us, I think, whether we’re crafting messages or making sure that everyone knows what other parts of PlayStation are doing.”

The PS4 releases on November 29th here in the UK, a week after the Xbox One. As things stand, which machine is your wallet most likely to open for?

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