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PS3 must stay focused on games, says Sony

Blu-ray and movies just extras?

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The PS3 and Xbox 360 are worlds apart in terms of pricing, but Sony and Microsoft do have at least one thing in common: a belief that games must always be the core focus for both consoles.

Kaz Hirai, head of Sony Computer Entertainment, told Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business this week that “the main premise of the PS3 is videogames” and something that Sony “cannot lose sight of”.

Earlier this year, Microsoft hinted at a similar point of view, when it said that “games are what drive consumers to purchase game consoles”.

Sony, for one, has been keen to promote its console as much as a movie-playback device - thanks to its Blu-ray drive - as a games machine.

Both firms have already faced increasingly strong sales opposition from Nintendo’s Wii. So it's no surprise that Hirai added that games must remain Sony’s primary focus in order to prevent Nintendo running away with sales.

Recent UK figures reveal that between September 2007 and September 2008, Wii sales jumped from a total of 1.1m units to 3.6m units. During the same period, the PS3 installed base rose from 400,000 units to 1.4m units, while Xbox 360 sales went from a total of 1.3m units to 2.3m units.

So both Sony and Microsoft each sold 1m of their latest consoles in that period.

Sony has already announced plans to sell 10m PS3s by the end of its current financial year, which ends 31 March 2009.

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