Harrison denies Wii influenced PS3 controller, says PCs unnecessary

Sony exec says accusations of next-gen copycatting are "stupid," says the console will render traditional PCs moot in terms of home entertainment.


When Sony revealed the PlayStation 3 controller would be able to sense certain types of motion, skeptics scoffed. That's because Nintendo announced last September that its recently rechristened Wii console would also have motion-sensing controls, leading many to believe that Sony had added the functionality at the last minute as a gimmick. A report in the New York Times didn't help, as it said that some of Sony's own developers were not given the PS3 controller's tilt-sensitive controller until just weeks prior to its unveiling at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006 in May.

Sony's Phil Harrison
Sony's Phil Harrison

Now, Sony has come out swinging. In this week's edition of German magazine Der Spiegel, Phil Harrison, president of Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios, aggressively denied his company appropriated the motion-sensing idea from Nintendo. "In a certain way, I understand why people would say [such things], but it is stupid, if you'll forgive me saying so," said Harrison.

Harrison went on to say that the PS3's motion-sensitive controller had been in the works for some time. "We have already worked on it a long time, and Nintendo almost certainly has done likewise with something similar," he said. "It is perfectly natural for two companies to work on [nearly] identical devices. It's like that with technology." He reiterated that the PlayStation 2's Dual Shock controller is the "de facto-industry standard for video games...We define the standard for the man-machine interface for playing games."

Besides defending the PS3, Harrison took time to evangelize the device, which will launch worldwide this November. In particular, he said the Linux-based operating system on the console's hard drive will have enough processing power and nongaming functionalities to render traditional PCs--most of which use a form of Microsoft's Windows OS--moot in terms of home entertainment. "We believe that the PS3 will be the place where our users play games, watch films, browse the Web, and use other [home] computer functions," said Harrison. "The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC."

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