Senior executives from both Sony and Microsoft found themselves with more common ground than you might imagine this week – insisting to the trade that it’s not a battle of formats but a home entertainment revolution that we should all be focusing on.
Within an hour of each other at the International Games Summit in London, both Microsoft’s head of Xbox publishing Peter Moore and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s president David Reeves noted that broadband connection, communities, services and a genuine widening of the market were the key targets going forward.
When pushed, Moore did admit the need to reach 10 million sales of the Xbox 360 as quickly as possible to steal a march on Sony’s PS3. He said it could be done within 12 to 16 months of launch. That’s spring 2007 at the latest.
To promote the importance of Xbox Live, he noted that it had already reached two million paying subscribers, with availability in 24 countries. “Our goal is to have one in every two Xbox 360s connected,” he said. Reeves, meanwhile, insisted that the games market must look to double in size as a result of next-gen launches, with systems becoming “hubs” for all manner of home entertainment, thus avoiding the error of just re-cycling the same users.
“In Sony’s vision of the future to 2010 or maybe 2012, the hardware is more or less in the background. It’s about a convergence of software.”