Sony on Xbox One changes -- "That shows how smart they are"

Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida praises Microsoft for reversing policies, says PS4 is the "most powerful console ever made."

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Microsoft's decision to change a number of its Xbox One policies this summer "shows how smart they are," according to Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida.

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"We know they're very smart people," Yoshida told GamesIndustry International in a new interview. "It's great that they were able to quickly realize 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."

Also in the interview, Yoshida explained that Sony "never took [Microsoft] lightly," acknowledging that Sony is the underdog in the United States.

"Some of the messaging that they stumbled on just gave us more chances to compete with them in the States," Yoshida said. "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. Being consistent and persistent helps; the legacy and people's associations with the brand, their memories of having a great time before."

What will help Sony during the upcoming console transition is its experienced management team, Yoshida said. He pointed out that in addition to himself, SCE president and CEO Andrew House and SCEA CEO Jack Tretton have been with Sony since the original PlayStation days.

"We've gone through great times and pretty difficult times together," Yoshida said. "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."

Asked to provide a reason why gamers should choose a PS4 over an Xbox One this holiday, Yoshida explained that the console is not only gamer-focused, but also has been designed to be enjoyable for developers.

"We continue to say what we've been saying since February: PS4 is really designed for consumers and focused on how people want to play games," Yoshida said. "At the same time, we've really made sure that it's hardware which game developers will enjoy making games on. We want consumers to look at how much fun it is to use this system, not just for playing games but for finding out about games and sharing the experience with other people."

Another selling point for the PS4 is its $400 price point, Yoshida said, a full $100 below Microsoft's $500 Xbox One. This, in addition to exclusive titles, a robust independent development community, and powerful hardware, is what will set the PS4 apart, the executive claimed.

"The ease of use, the performance… It's very powerful hardware. We believe this is the most powerful console ever made," Yoshida said. "The content, the games available, the usage of PS4 surrounding games… That's the message we've been communicating, and we'll continue to do that."

The PS4 launches November 15 in North America and November 29 in Europe. Sony plans to have 33 titles available on the platform by the end of the year.

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