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Sony's Tretton: mobile and console gaming as different as cheap and fine wine

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Sony's Jack Tretton has a positive outlook on the the wave of companies and other devices making their move into the traditional console space, although he feels the console and mobile experience are still as different as cheap and fine wine, according to an interview with AllThings D.

Valve's Linux-based Steam Machines and the slew of Android microconsoles — such like the GameStick and Ouya — coming out in the next year, show that console gaming is no longer all about games. Creating a more multimedia experience shows gaming is no longer a niche area with a narrow audience, Tretton said.

"There are toy companies that got into the console business, movie companies that got into the console business, TV companies that got into the console business," he said. "It's not new. When companies fail, you tend to forget who they were.

"If gaming exists somewhere, we want PlayStation to be there," he added. "So we'll bring our games to smartphones and tablets, we'll certainly make it available on competitive devices, we have our own smartphones and tablets. Anywhere the gamer is, we want to be."

Although Sony has created smartphone and tablet games, including a number of tie-in minigames for their console giants like Knack, it will never be the company's bread and butter. Tretton called smartphone gaming "good-enough gaming," comparing console and mobile titles to cheap and expensive wine.

"We can't take Gran Turismo 6 and put it on a smartphone or a tablet," he said. "It's just gonna be a lousy experience. It's not going to be what it is. Conversely, you can go out today and play Angry Birds on your PlayStation 3 and have a great time. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, but you could.

"It's like wine," he said. "Your first wine tastes good, and you start drinking more of it. You go from white to red, and you go from $10 bottles to $50 bottles. Some people just stop at $10, but some people become wine aficionados and, all of a sudden, if it's not Screaming Eagle, it's not good enough. People don't drink Screaming Eagle because it's $800 and they want to throw away $790. They perceive that that's a much better wine than the $10 bottle. Smartphone gaming might be good enough for somebody. For other people, they find themselves wanting more, and they're looking for better controls, more technology and a more immersive experience."