ECTS: Consoles won't roll over for PCs - Sony boss

In a barnstorming defence of the console games market, Sony's European boss yesterday said that his firm would have sold five million units in Europe by next spring.

Delivering a keynote speech to the European Computer Trade Show (ECTS), Chris Deering, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, dealt with the issue that has dominated the last couple of ECTS shows - the market share balance between consoles and PC-based gaming.

With publishers and developers having to choose carefully which systems to concentrate valuable development resources, it is always a key consideration for the industry. The popularly held view that the PC games scene was about to pull the rug from the console firms was dismissed by Deering, who argued that constant technological changes were threatening PC games progress and undermining the confidence of the public.

Deering criticised PC makers for confusing the market with constant changes to the underlying technology, moving the goalposts for the software developer community and the consumer.

The consumer wants simple entertainment, said Deering, reminding his audience that a Sony PlayStation only has three buttons. Sceptical of online gaming and Web TV initiatives, he said: "It will be five years at least until these becomes mass-market products."

Sony watchers who believe that the PlayStation is now a mature product, and will need a new updated version if it is to remain competitive with the Nintendo and latest PC models, found nothing to cheer them in Deering's speech. "Don't expect anything new this century," he was quoted as saying recently.