Sony Gets Chippy on Eve of DSi ReleaseS

As the weekend shopkeeper I'm not on most PR primary distribution lists. So the "Statement from Sony PlayStation on PSP and Competitive Landscape," isn't in my hands as I type this. But it's out there.

Oh, is it out there.

Here's the text of the release, republished on both Engadget and Wired, and attributed to John Koller, the SCEA director of hardware marketing. It doesn't sound too temperate. By the way, unless this is all a hoax, I'm still waiting for my copy:

If Nintendo is really committed to reaching a broader, more diverse audience of gamers beyond the "kids" market that they've always engaged, there isn't much new with the DSi to support that. Significant gamer demographic groups are being ignored, and there continues to be limited opportunities for games from external publishers to do well on the DSi. Compare that with the PSP platform, where we have many blockbuster franchises from our publishing partners launching this year, representing a wide variety of genres and targeting diverse demographics. Games such as Rock Band Unplugged from MTV Games, Assassin's Creed from Ubisoft, Dissidia Final Fantasy from Square Enix, and Hannah Montana from Disney demonstrate the commitment that publishers have to the PSP. From our own first-party studios, we're launching unique versions of LittleBigPlanet and MotorStorm, and we're also planning a steady stream of downloadable games — both new titles and PSone classics — to add to the content that PSP owners can already purchase wirelessly through PlayStation Store.

Well. That was tart. Funny that in the lead sentence Sony tees off on Nintendo's kidstuff brand identity, then backs up their handheld's superiority with - Hannah Montana? I get that SCEA is trying to show a diversity of titles - core, casual and kids. Industry partners might get the argumentative nuance, but it sounds silly to a lay audience. Besides, the Hannah Montana thing they're talking about is also coming out on DS and Wii.

Sony sounds a little like John Lovitz' impersonation of Michael Dukakis in the 1988 campaign. "I can't believe I'm losing to this guy." It was funny at the time because the audience, at least Saturday Night Live's audience, couldn't believe it either. But so what, Dukakis lost, with a skunk.

Sony and PlayStation have been the standard bearers of serious gaming for well more than a decade, so, such a fit of pique, privately expressed, would be understandable. As a corporate statement against a competitor outselling them, it's beyond tone-deaf and borders on scorn for the very customers they're ostensibly trying to court.

Sony Says the DSi is for Kids, the PSP is for Winners [Engadget]
Sony's Ludicrous Response to Nintendo DSi Launch [Wired]