Every time I see a headline about Nintendo's new console something puerile in me takes over; sorry but there it is.
While I'm on the subject of consoles, having seen so much about it I went to see Casino Royale at the weekend. Past Bond films have been over-the-top, and this one was underplayed, and was the better for it. Daniel Craig - and the people who selected him - must feel such a sense of vindication. My only annoyance with the film was the product placement. Virgin's boss Richard Branson was shown going through an airport X-Ray, before the film we had an excellent version of Sony's Bravia TV-Ad (no music, real explosions). If that ad had been running earlier in the year I would probably have bought a Sony. The came an advert for the Sony Viao laptop (Bond sends email from one in the film). All the cars in the film are Ford-owned marques - Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo as well as Ford, all the electronics are Sony - not just the Viao but Sony phones, and a Sony digital camera. One of the clips before the film shows 007 breaking into M's home, but not even he can get his hands on a Playstation 3.
CNet: There's obviously one other big product for the holidays in terms of things that you guys make--XBox 360. You did get the year's head start this time. There still seems to be pretty strong critical acclaim and demand for PlayStation 3. How do you see that?
Gates: I wouldn't change positions with them in a million years. I mean, we know what it's like to be a year late. We feel great about the position that we're in. And, of course, they're going to sell a lot in Japan.
You know, Sony can make 80,000 bricks, and people would buy them. So the real competition--you're going to see the impact of our innovation and all the momentum we have in Christmas 2007. This Christmas, the story is: XBox 360 is going to sell super-well, and they'll sell the rounding error amounts they can make.
I came back from Barcelona to a message from an old friend asking me if I can get Gears of War. The 360 does have innovation, but Sony's sales figures being small enough to be "rounding error" Ouch!