At E3, both Sony and Microsoft lavished Nintendo with praise for their bold new direction because no one knew how it would perform -- PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were sure sellers to gamers, but Wii was a question mark, so why not look good in the media? Now that Wii's out, receiving growing accolades and sellouts worldwide, at least one of those companies has changed their tune.
"We feel very confident that the PlayStation fan is going to wait until they can get a PlayStation 3. If they do pick up a Wii, it's as more of a novelty." -- Dave Karraker, senior director of corporate communications at Sony Computer Entertainment America, to the Wall Street Journal
Sony has traditionally been quick to talk down the competition, especially when they decided to enter the handheld market. Both Sony President of Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison and SCEA CEO Jack Tretton argued Nintendo DS was limiting itself to the traditional Pokemon-fueled markets.
"The idea of a handheld rivalry with Nintendo is an irrelevance. Those formats don't appear in our planning. It's not a fair comparison; not fair on them, I should stress. That sounds arrogant, maybe, but it's the truth. With the DS, it's fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen. But I fear that it won't have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick - so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that." -- Phil Harrison speaking to MCV, 08/26/2005
"We really feel like they're [Nintendo] appealing to the same audience that Game Boy has always appealed to ... They're potentially losing some of their core audience and they're not really expanding beyond that and we think we're expanding into a completely new audience as we did with PlayStation. And we'll do just what we did on PlayStation; we'll dip down to the younger consumer eventually and we'll ultimately appeal to that vastly Earth wide audience we carved out with the original PlayStation."-- Jack Tretton talking to GameDailyBIZ, 09/21/2006
Square Enix's announcement earlier this week is telling of a potentially new attitude towards game development in Japan, an attitude that has Dragon Quest jumping ship from Sony to Nintendo. With the most rapidly expanding userbase in Japan, would Sony tell Square Enix they're limiting their potential with a machine that appeals "to the same audience that Game Boy has always appealed to"?