In a sometimes testy interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft official Peter Moore dismissed the PlayStation 3 price cut as virtually non-existent, tried to rationalize the console's weak performance in Japan and sharply defended his company's unwillingness to break down user figures for its online service.
When asked about his thoughts on Sony's $100 price drop for the PS3, Moore responded, "Interestingly, I didn't see a price cut, and I must have been reading the wrong thing. It's still 499 and 599."
He added that he viewed the move as more of a value proposition and continued, "When I hear the words 'price cut' I expect to see a price cut. They've added greater value in the form primarily of storage at the same price points."
Sony dropped the existing 60GB unit down to about $500 while introducing an 80GB unit at the old $600 pricepoint. The move has been criticized by some who see the storage difference as minimal and an insufficient differentiation.
When the interview asked why Microsoft will not break down user statistics for its Xbox Live service, implying that it was an attempt to inflate numbers Moore said that was mere conspiracy theory.
"You've got a conspiracy theory there. No - the majority are Gold, and we have some very clear competitive reasons why we don't start breaking down revenues much crisper than that...
We're not lying to you, if that's the insinuation - that somehow we're actually lying about the numbers..."
In response to the interviewer's comment that Microsoft's 360 sales lagged behind competitors in Japan, Moore initially said, "Simply measuring hardware sales in Japan people only see a very small part of the very complicated relationship I deal with..."
When further pressed over what was behind the poor sales number, he relented, "You're probably right - we've done it either wrong, or haven't executed well, or somehow Sakaguchi was the wrong guy, or marketing has been flawed. But we're just going to keep going at it."
Interestingly, in a final comment, Moore said the longstanding success of the PS2 boosted his confidence in the 360's own longevity, vowing that the console will be backed by a great library.