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Ex-PlayStation boss Phil Harrison joins Xbox - OFFICIAL

Former Sony exec joins Microsoft following Peter Molyneux's departure

One of the former faces of PlayStation, Phil Harrison has switched allegiance to join the Xbox team as head of Microsoft's European Interactive Entertainment Business, it's been confirmed.

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Harrison, previously of Sony and Atari, was shockingly confirmed as a Microsoft employee this afternoon, following the departure of Fable creator Peter Molyneux from Microsoft last week.

'Big Phil' is most famous for his time as president of worldwide studios at Sony Computer Entertainment, where he confidently fronted the PlayStation brand in the media and on stage at multiple E3 press conferences.

The British exec has a long history with PlayStation, having worked at Sony for more than 15 years on each and every one of its home consoles to date. He fronted the world's first real-time demonstration of the PlayStation 3, where he famously showcased his rubber ducks game.

Phil also made some of PlayStation's biggest announcements in recent years, including the introduction of LittleBigPlanet and Home.

In 2008 he left Sony to became a non-executive director of Atari, before departing again the following year to take up a position at London Venture Partners, which specialises in game investment.

As the senior IEB leader in Europe, Harrison will now lead the Microsoft Studios European organization, and also oversee UK-based developers Lionhead Studios, Soho Productions and Rare.

Harrison will also influence the "broader performance" of Xbox's European business, says Microsoft, through strategic partnerships and "by bringing culturally relevant entertainment experiences to Microsoft platforms, now and in the future."

Phil said of the move: "I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry.

"I am really impressed with the company's long-term vision for growing the market for interactive entertainment globally and also with the incredible wealth of talent, technology and resources the company has available to succeed."

Microsoft Studios corporate VP, Phil Spencer said Harrison's experience makes him "ideal" for Xbox.

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