Nintendo makes 'babysitting tools' - Sony

SCEA CEO Jack Tretton blasts rivals in Fortune interview, says cutting-edge technology at launch is key to a long life cycle.

635 Comments

Earlier this week, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton made headlines for saying the Japanese earthquake and tsunami might delay the launch of the NGP. While that assertion was later dismissed by Sony, the executive has now once again found himself in the news for some scathing comments about his company's competition.

SCEA CEO Jack Tretton.
SCEA CEO Jack Tretton.

Speaking with Fortune magazine, Tretton was blunt in his assessment of the suite of DS devices, which he referred to collectively as the "Game Boy experience." He said, "Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that."

He went on to offer some choice words about the Xbox 360 and Wii as well, saying: "They're starting to run out of steam now in terms of continuing to be relevant in 2011 and beyond. I mean, you've gotta be kidding me. Why would I buy a gaming system without a hard drive in it? How does this thing scale? Motion gaming is cute, but if I can only wave my arms six inches, how does this really feel like I'm doing true accurate motion gaming?"

Naturally, Tretton praised his own company's platforms, particularly the PlayStation 3. "If you're really going to sustain technology for a decade, you have to be cutting edge when you launch a platform," he told Fortune. "Here we are four years into the PlayStation 3, and it's just hitting its stride. We'll enjoy a long downhill roll behind it because the technology that was so cutting-edge in 2006 is extremely relevant today and is conspicuously absent in our competition."

The executive also talked up 3D gaming, saying, "Conceptually, it's hard for people to put their head around. But when you put them in front of a 3D TV and you have them play Killzone [3] or Uncharted [3] or you let them watch the National Championship in 3D, they get it. Just like with HD, people have to experience it, there has to be content that takes advantage of it, and I think this is going to be a pretty nice breakout year for that."

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zidan4000

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it is funny and annoying how every year in E3 he keeps talking about how PS3 has cutting edge technology , when he says that I suddenly remember my outdated 4670 and how it kicks PS3 in the nuts when it comes to graphics, needless to say about today's graphics cards which are light years ahead of any "cutting edge" console. Moore's law still applies to this day and I am sure as hell that the most expensive hardware you get today will be obsolete by next year.

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smithboy1177

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F you Tretton. If they still made Gameboy games, I'd play them over those PSP items you call "games." I'm both 20 and self-respecting. You and Sony can shove it. Way to show the world how class-less you are.

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Oni_Taedo

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It seems that he forgets that Sony has lost out to Nintendo's handhelds BOTH times (the pocketstation, and the PSP), and the NGP will be no different.

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Pixel-Perfect

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@Andy9Beans This isn't the first time something like this has been said, and I don't recall Nintendo making similar comments. It's fine to comment on the other company's product but commenting on their user base is crossing the line in my opinion, especially since many gamers buy more than one company's products.

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Bigfatlardygit

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I'm loving the Tretton-ripping below - this guy is the reason the word 'doofus' was invented. I always thought you'd have to be pretty smart to be a high-ranking exec... I won't repeat the excellent comments picking apart his xbox and wii rants but wanted to mention something noone else seems to be picking up on - this year is going to be 'a pretty nice breakout year' for 3D at home? Really? Anyone out there about to splash on a 3D TV and extra specs to play a few 3D games? If 3D does start making an impact in the home, it'll be through 3D smartphones and the 3DS - not 3D tv I'm afraid. Another FAIL, Mr Tretton.

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SicklySunStorm

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@xgalacticax - I agreed with pretty much everything you observed, but then stopped when you said that Mega Drive and SNES were complete rubbish because they didn't have hard drives.... I don't think you intended to say that though, were you basically summarising this is what Tretton was implying with his statement, rather than you saying it yourself? It's no surprise Tretton would want to rubbish the competition since he works for Sony, I'd expect no less. It's really sad though I think... I admire companies for telling us what their product can do, but find it incredibly baby-ish when they resort to picking flaws in the competition. It's like these supermarkets who's adverts have to point out that the competition charge 2p more than them for a loaf of bread or something, instead of jusy concentrating on their own quality products. I may like my PS3 the most this gen VS my 360 and the Wii, but Tretton is just a donkey for saying that stuff.

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Jurassic85

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@Hector_01 @xgalacticax Exactly guys! Its funny that he comes out with this comments right after the recent successful sales of the 3DS, does he really think that all those sales were due to kids? Even funnier that fan boys are defending his comments.

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xgalacticax

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"Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool, something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that." I would consider playing a portable console on a train or plane as true dedication to gaming, regardless of the persons age or console. Secondly, he says: "They're starting to run out of steam now in terms of continuing to be relevant in 2011 and beyond. I mean, you've gotta be kidding me. Why would I buy a gaming system without a hard drive in it?" Is this guy serious? I get it...the original PlayStation and some of gaming's greatest platforms such as the Mega Drive and SNES were complete rubbish because they had no hard drive. If you are going to use words to sell your product, at least do so without sounding like a complete ignoramus.

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Hector_01

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I really need to get this off my chest, im really getting sick and tired of people claiming the ps3 has better specs than the 360 and that it hasnt even "unlocked" its potential. If this is the case then sony has had more than enough time to show us what it can really do and im afraid i have not seen it. Someone said ps3 exclusives look much better than 360 exclusives and i gotta say i completely disagree. On the topic of this article all i can say is that this guy is simply just talking out of his ass to piss people off. Oh and sony has been getting out sold by these babysitter tools for a very long time so yeah wow.

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Jurassic85

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@Crono99X LOL. Why did you take the time to respond to me specifically, and then post something virtually unrelated to anything I said?! Ok so you bought 1 game since you purchased your Wii 2.5 years ago, and now you just use it as a netflix machine? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. That doesn't mean that the Wii sucks, that just means that you made a poor decision in buying a $200 piece of equipment for one game. Oh, and Netflix, which works on your PS3 and would be in HD btw. LOL, unbelievable. Fanboy fail.

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Yamaneko22

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Well, he could put it a bit less bluntly, but when considering the statistics of average age of Nintendo customers, he is not so far from truth.

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Andy9Beans

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@Pixel-Perfect Please elicidate... You hate Sony because the CEO of one branch of Sony Computer Entertainment makes a few sweeping statements in favour of the company he works for? Did you really expect him to say that Nintendo and Microsoft are great??? I think some of his arguments have merit, it's just a pity he hasn't got the brains to express them without sounding like the biggest PS3 fanboy on the block. I think Sony and the PS3 could do without his trolling, hopefully Sony will replace him with someone who doesn't shout "Deee-fense" at the end of every sentence ;)

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zaibutzu

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Kevin butler, said regardless of what platform you own, we have all have the same master, gaming!!!

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peterwantspie

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I have no idea what he was hoping to achieve with these comments. This sort of statement is only going to be seen by the gaming-literate, those who know enough about the medium to know that his dismissive comments are built on a foundation of sand. He just comes across as petty and jealous, it's a little embarrassing. Having said that, as a PS3 owner I'm glad of the implication that the old girl has some life in her yet.

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robx360

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I have a ps3. However those "babysiiting tools" are kicking your butt. In terms of hardware sales nintendo has won. The kinect outsells the move 4 - 1. So I understand he is working for sony. What a joke though. This made me laugh.

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Lims26

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regardless of whether u own a PS3, 360, Wii, DS, or PSP i think we can all agree that Jack Tretton is a complete tit.

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Modisana

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@Mozilla Thats so not true dude about Sony products. The statement that Tretton made is not cool but the company's products are of very high quality.

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Pixel-Perfect

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This is why I hate Sony.

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deactivated-589386581aa8b

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"no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those" Speak for yourself, I still play my Game Boy Pocket when the train to work takes almost an hour to get there.

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Mozillla

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Nintendo makes babysitting tools while sony makes products like tvs and stereos that dont last

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casualthrasher

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In my opinion, Nintendo and Sony are no longer true head to head competitors ever since the Wii. Playstation 3 hardly creates any games for the younger players. Nintendo is like a toy company and it has always produced games for kids. We all grew up playing Mario. But the games that are mainstream, as represented by PS3 and xbox 360, are mostly for teenagers and adults. Tretton is simply stating a fact, nonetheless in a rather snappy tone which is going to piss off the Nintendo and Microsoft fanboys and start a flame war on these comment sections.

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Vengeful_Angel

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He blows as much as hot air as Kotick. Man, I hope they aren't friends...

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selbie

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The sun is hurting my eyes!! Oh wait, it's shining out of Tretton's ass. >__>

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KaizerJinn

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LoL interesting words....which speaks the truth imo... xD

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vader501st

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He said the truth, but man, that oughta hurt Nintendo's ego.

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hippiesanta

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Nice word from Jack

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Blue-N-Yellow

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When I was 21, I was on a 4-hour flight across the country; I passed the time on the plane by playing Advance Wars on my *gasp* DS! And when the battery got low on the return flight (after an entire week's worth of playing it on long car trips), I whipped out my *GASP* Game Boy Advance! People started staring at me and shaking their heads in disgust; I felt so embarrassed. *rolls eyes* Quite honestly, if -anyone- is actually going to judge you based on the fact that you're playing games on a portable, they aren't going to care which system it is.

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King9999

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How do you diss something that made way more money than your own hardware?

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pataponplayer

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Screw you Sony. You still banned me for a stupid reason that I will never forget. >:O

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Crono99X

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@Jurassic85 What he's saying is that you'll be buying that "next gen" xbox or nintendo that's finally incorporating the technology PS3 has had for 4 years, grats in finally investing in a company that managed to sell you an interim generation while sony stayed on the cutting edge. I've been a video game player for over 20 years, grew up on Nintendo, own a Wii, and had a gen 1 Xbox sitting on my coffee table 3 days before it was on the market. I'm all about the games, and honestly, nintendo games these days just aren't keeping me, the only wii game i was excited about was Metroid: Other M. I have a bit of prejudice towards microsoft for abandoning the xbox gen 1 after only what, 2 years? I really just don't see any exclusive content on either of those systems that really warrants my "need" to have it, I've bought 1 wii game since i got the system 2 and a half years ago, and it operates as a netflix device in our living room. The only exclusive xbox game I was missing (mass effect) wasn't actually exclusive cause i could have just bought it for my PC. If I did own a 360 I sure as hell wouldn't be buying a title that was multi platform for that, i'd be too afraid of a RRoD and it would probably be inferior to a PS3 counterpart anyways, and if it wasn't, it sure as hell wouldn't be because the PS3 didn't have the hardware to do it, it would be from lazy developers that set the bar so low to just dev the 360 and simply port it over.

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AceCometh

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Sony really needs to let this guy go. He's arrgant, impulsive and a major turn off to people considering entering the PS3 family.His statements in a previous issue of EGM the Magazine proved that. If he wishes to keep his job, he just needs to to shut the hell up.

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xtrento733

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nintendo su***

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TrueIori

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you insult motion gaming yet your company made it own motion controller.....derr?

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hatieshorrer

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@drumma1 Your not making any sense at all so your idea is that if the DS is popular among people under twenty it wont be popular among people over twenty. That isnt true at all the DS can be popular among people at every age range at once. Calling a DS a babysitting tool is that its purpose is for adults to keep their children busy while they do adult stuff and that isnt reality or true.

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jdog8888888

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Good for you Sony. Nintendo makes money and babysitting tools, and Playstation makes it's investors upset and causes them to fire their Ceo's. Sony is getting owned in the hardcore game and casual game market, all they have left is their CEO to insult everyone.

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Jurassic85

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1. How can this fool insult motion gaming when Sony just incorporated in into the PS3? 2. How can he say (about the 360 and Wii) that nobody is willing to buy a console w/o a harddrive in it? The 360 does have a harddrive and the Wii has SD slots that provide more than enough space for that particular system. 3. If the PS3 is "just hitting its stride" and "we'll enjoy a long downhill roll behind it," that implies that the life of the PS3 is about half over. If that's the case we will all have purchased the next gen Xbox/Wii before Sony even releases their next console.

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mbashour

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well i'm a PC gamer...but i own a ps3...and a gameboy. i don't care if he thinks it's for kids, i'm playin friggin pokemon lol

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Muteki_X

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Dude is obviously talking out of his ***. I absolutely love the Castlevania and Metroid side-scrollers for the Gameboy and still play those. I'm as much a "self-respecting 20-something" as they come. Looks like someone just has sour grapes since Nintendo, the "grandfather" on the block, is still stomping them. Sony loses even more points in my book for this pathetic and childish jab.

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TheMoreYouOwn

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It's great how many minds he owned with those statements.

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youngsexynerd

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its all true though!!

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HyruleanLink

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Those are fighting words!

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idk95

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lol maybe he shouldnt of said that but he's talking as if sony is the best and you all are getting mad(isn't he supposed to do that i mean he is the ceo) he should be hyping up the company he works under.

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awheaten

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I like Sony. I will go a step further, I a Sony fan boy. That being said, that was a really STUPID statement by Jack Tretton. I bet he wish he could have some of that back. The 3DS is very cutting edge. Or just as much a the NGP is cutting edge and that isn't even 3d. So, I don't understand the logic. To me PS3 exclusivies look better than 360 games, period. That being said they do not sale more than the 360 or nintendo games. Cutting edge tech doesn't mean sales. It just means that more poor people like me are going to be jonesing for it until it is affordable. Really bad choice of words. I know he wish he had some of that back.

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Darth_Starwind

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The PS3 does have better tech specs than the 360. That said, why is it whenever Gamespot does a side by side comparison of the same game between the two systems does it look and play better on 360 8 out 10 times? Also Sony has not had the perfect track record this thinks they've had. Don't get me wrong, I like the PS3, but this guy needs to check his comments at the door before he makes an jack a$@ of himself. (AND, to make myself clear, I think 3D and motion control are gimmicks no matter what system they're on.)

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Pumpkinhead3

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Yeah the cutting edge technology is why most PS3 and 360 games still look identical. Besides, 3D is still young in the TV world, and pretty darn expensive. And obviously, the DS destroyed the PSP in that handheld generation, I don't know why he's bagging on it. Jack's talking like it's 2005. Unfortunately the PS3 is not the powerhouse that the PS2 was.

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NintendoWiiDs

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STOP SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT THE WII!!!!

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AuronAXE

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The DS may seem kid-oriented but it also happened to make them a ton of money. I agree with the "run out of steam" thing for the 360 and Wii, but I say the same for the PS3. Home-consoles are too far behind on technology, the quality of games is actually being pushed back as evident with Crysis 2 being Modern Generic Shooter garbage compared to the glorious FPS that was the first Crysis. Overall I'd say this generation has ruined most series' that were amazing last gen and things have fallen too behind. I mean, no AA on games? Seriously? And hell, the "real" max resolution of the consoles is 720p, and that's not even for all the games. 1080p on consoles is no where close to real "HD". Ugh, what the hell has happened to todays gaming? Sometimes I wish the world didn't run on money...

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the_real_luigi

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BABYSITTING TOOL? "[N]o self-respecting 20-something [year old] is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that." WHATEVER DUDE! Dragon Quest 9 and Dementium for example are geared toward older gamers! Sheesh...

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johnjarvela

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idiot, same thing could be said about the PSP and TV

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