Sony on the Apple challenge in games, e-books

hiraiApple is, of course, absent from this week’s video game extravaganza, the  E3 Expo in Los Angeles. The company just doesn’t do trade shows.  But its presence looms over the event.

Apple has managed to create a whole new gaming market with the iPhone since its debut in 2007. There are tens of thousands of games available for download via Apple’s App Store, and it’s an open debate as to how much the iPhone’s success has hurt the traditional hardware makers, namely Nintendo and Sony, which both make portable gaming devices.

Nintendo is making a big push to differentiate its portable gaming platform with it’s new 3D-enabled DS, which offers a glasses-free experience.

And Sony, for its part, said it doesn’t really see Apple as a true competitor in the gaming space. In an interview Tuesday at E3, Kaz Hirai, head of Sony Computer Entertainment and the company’s networked products and services group, said Apple is creating a complimentary market:

“They’ve created a great market for a lot of casual games, but I think the important thing to remember… is that what we bring to the table is a completely different experience from the casual gaming that Apple brings…It’s a different kind of gaming, there are some buttons [on the iPhone] but they’re not physical buttons, and if you’re looking for precision game play you have to have physical buttons,” Hirai said.

Gamescom lands on gamers’ map

Two days ago, Sony finally announced it would cut the price for its flagship
PlayStation 3, reacting to slumping sales which have lagged
behind those of Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

But industry experts, who had long expected such a move,
were more surprised about the location Sony chose for its
announcement than about the decision itself.

“The fact that Sony decided to announce the PS3 price cut at
Gamescom shows the importance they attach to it. This has been
one of the most important decisions they’ve made in the
segment,” said Ed Barton, analyst at London-based media research
company Screen Digest.