In a Wired article today, executives from Microsoft, Sony and other companies chime in on the PS3.

With the PS3 launch fast approaching, Wired had a look at what is at stake for the company in their latest issue. Rishad Tobaccowala, a future-of-media specialist at Publicis, thinks there is a great deal riding on the PS3. “It’s betting the company. If this thing bombs, there is no second coming. Everything else about Sony is a sideshow. This is the show,” he said.

Sony has largely been known as a hardware manufacturer. Even now with more studios under their corporate umbrella making games, they still rely heavily on third party developers for content. The days of winning on the strength of your hardware are long over, according to Microsoft VP Peter Moore. “This business used to be about hardware and a cartridge you popped in,” he said. “But hardware is a tough business. You need it, but you also need great software and innovative services.” With the success of Xbox Live as a software solution for users and developers alike, the need for Sony to create their own version is essential. “It’s a very important function,” says Square Enix’s Ichiro Otobe, “and we want it coming from the platform developer – otherwise, we have to build it ourselves.”

The Blue-ray was cited as the main reason the PS3 launch was delayed from Spring of 2006 to the Fall of this year. Microsoft’s Amir Majidimehr claims that the Xbox 360 will get a seperate HD-DVD peripheral instead of a Blue-ray drive thanks to the extra layers of copyright protection on the Blue-ray discs. Competition is also a concern, but he claims it’s a question of corporate strategies. “Our strategy is, people want to play games, so we build a game console. Sony is like, all or nothing. They’re going to have a world of hurt waiting for them at the end of this year,” he said.

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