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Favorite Sony Gaffe?

Displaying poll results.
PSN/SOE data breach
  3813 votes / 12%
Removal of OtherOS
  2955 votes / 9%
War on PS3 hackers
  2399 votes / 7%
PR guy retweeting PS3 Master key
  7755 votes / 25%
Rootkit DRM
  9885 votes / 32%
Tenenbaum lawsuit
304 votes / 0%
Star Wars Galaxies
  2201 votes / 7%
Any of their portable consoles
  1389 votes / 4%
30701 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Favorite Sony Gaffe?

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  • Missing option (Score:5, Informative)

    by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:54AM (#36007570)
    I don't usually complain, but c'mon: you forgot about their fake movie critic [wikipedia.org].

    Or every single stupid proprietary format they've ever introduced that died unloved and alone 18 months later.
    • Or every single stupid proprietary format they've ever introduced that died unloved and alone 18 months later.

      Their mommy loved them. Just sayin...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:06PM (#36011780)

      I really loved Planetside, stopped playing it for a couple years then came back to it - only to find myself with a suspended account for a month (immediately I tried to cancel the subscription and they charged me again - refused to cancel until the suspension was lifted) due to "cheating" because I had a graphics card that apparently counted as a cheat due to it's ability to process faster than cards did nearly a decade prior when the game had come out. When I filed a bug report they added another 2 weeks to the suspension for "spamming their forums" with a single post about the glitch they had apparently just left in to exploit customers that would otherwise choose to cancel their accounts - getting me charged for another unplayable month. Planetside is by far my worst Sony experience and those fuckers should be shut down for how they treat users.

    • by sqldr (838964)
      and what about the 80s being dominated by people in spandex on rollerskates with pink earmuffs on?
    • by camperslo (704715)

      I hadn't heard about the fake movie critic. I wonder if the choice to do that was cooked up by the same people that decided to use graffiti to promote the PSP?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4567236.stm [bbc.co.uk]

      It is sad to see some of the bad choices made by what was long a much loved and highly regarded company. With the many bright engineers, I really wish they'd get their act together to ship great products and embrace the diversity of customers and the varied uses they find for those products. I think th

  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:12AM (#36007644)
    [ ] Thinking I'm ever going to buy anything from them again.
    • by game kid (805301)

      I voted "PR guy retweeting PS3 Master key" here because it was my favorite, in terms of hilarity. My least favorite (but most important) ones are "Rootkit DRM" and their general PS3 feature-whittling (option 2 and maybe option 3), because they are why I agree with you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by smelch (1988698)
        I'm pretty sure the PSN outage is the most important. Nobody even knows what a rootkit was, this outage is actually bothering people.
  • Ooh! My favorite is that period from the mid-90's to the mid-00's when their batteries would catch on fire. Ruined the reputations of many competitors, because Sony supplied batteries to a lot of companies.
  • by Ganty (1223066) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:29AM (#36007710)

    Not on the list but here's why I'll never buy anything Sony ever again. Three years ago I purchased a Vaio notebook and within six months the letters had started to wear off of the keyboard, the battery had failed and the DVD writer could only read disks. Sony refused to honor the warranty because I had wiped the hard drive and installed a Linux distro, they regarded it as an 'unauthorized modification'.

    Friends don't let friends buy Sony.

    Ganty

    • by Shadyman (939863)
      Sounds just like their stance on PSP modding
    • Yeah, I don't know why a lot of people have Sony in high regards and consider them 'quality' products. Probably like Apple products, they mentally associate higher price with better build quality. Hah! In the 80s I had two Walkmen die on me after only a few days of use. They refused to honor the warranty, claiming I'd dropped them, which wasn't the case. They lost a customer forever on that day, and looking at their long list of 'gaffes', it did me good.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well, the reason I consider them quality products is because, in my experience, they are. I had a Vaio SZ1HP which worked without problems for 4 years! In fact, the only reason I stopped using it was because performance was lacking already (for the latest releases in tv shows I could see some flickering).
        For 4 years this laptop went back and forth with me every day, going inside my bag, being thrown to the ground and it did not fail on me. By the end the fans were noisy, the battery was totally dead (cause

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          By the end the fans were noisy, the battery was totally dead (caused most likely by the shitty charger I bought after 3 years, because until then it still had 1 hour of battery or so), some small parts of the plastic shell were broken and I had two dead pixels (who showed up late in its life)

          So the signs of a quality product is noisy fans, dead battery, dead charger (why else buy a new one?), broken shell and dead pixels?

        • David Manning? is that you?
      • dargaud said:
        "Yeah, I don't know why a lot of people have Sony in high regards and consider them 'quality' products. Probably like Apple products, they mentally associate higher price with better build quality."

        Except that Apple's quality isn't a false perception, some folks have had runs of bad luck with Apple (or, insert quality hardware company). Our company, which I do I.T. for, has had very little problems (software or hardware, Xserves to iPods) with them.
        I've been doing this for quite a while, it's a

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Our company has had problems with many of the Apple computers we have purchased. From keyboards and trackpads sporadically not working on the original MacBook, video scrambling and freezing on MacBook Pros, which were given logic boards as a temporary fix, to blacking out video and video flicker on newer MacBook Pros (Late 2008 Model and newer). Some of these Late 2008 and newer MacBook Pro models, when under their first year warranty, were given new logic boards as a temporary "fix". And after enough failu

        • by SharpFang (651121)

          You realize you are actually praising Foxconn (and the likes) products manufactured for Apple, following Apple's design?
          Would you think the same of them if they were branded "Foxconn" instead?

      • They used to build quality products.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        I used my walk,an for over a decade, and it still worked great they day I got rid of it. 1980 to 1993.

        In fact, every Sony product I ahve every owned ahs worked like a champ...hardware wise. Obviously online use has been a different issue,

    • Not on the list but here's why I'll never buy anything Sony ever again. Three years ago I purchased a Vaio notebook and within six months the letters had started to wear off of the keyboard

      Not the keyboard letters!

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        Not on the list but here's why I'll never buy anything Sony ever again. Three years ago I purchased a Vaio notebook and within six months the letters had started to wear off of the keyboard

        Not the keyboard letters!

        Think of it as a free upgrade to Das Keyboard! [wikipedia.org]

    • by JBMcB (73720) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @09:54AM (#36010112)

      Sony refused to honor the warranty because I had wiped the hard drive and installed a Linux distro, they regarded it as an 'unauthorized modification'.

      That's horsecrap, you should have sent them a copy of the Magnuson-Mass warranty act. If you change something to a product that has nothing to do with it's failing, they must honor the warranty. For example, if I put a new radio in my car and a month later the transmission falls out, the car company can't claim that they won't honor the warranty because I modified the car.

    • by PhotoBoy (684898)

      Yeah I've found the decals on VAIOs rub off just by looking at them. I think within 6 weeks my last VAIO had lost all the labels for the ports on the sides, and all I'd done with the laptop was pick it up from one place and put it down in another. Several of the keys had lost parts of the letters too. The wrist guards also tend to show rub marks and wear after about 12 months too.

      VAIOs look lovely on display in the Sony Centre, but give it a few months and they start to look quite ratty. For the price premi

      • by gnapster (1401889)

        I'm sure people wouldn't buy replacements as often if their old laptop still looked pristine!

        (+1, nailed it)

    • That's why you buy a new HDD for your install.
      I got an acer aspire one when they hit costco, first thing I did was swap the HDD out for my install. If anything goes wrong it's an easy swap back to the OEM Win7 disk.
      -nB

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In Sony's defense, we all know that Linux will cause the letters to wear off the keyboard. I'm still waiting for a patch so I can stop buying replacement keyboards every other week.

      • by bb5ch39t (786551)
        Linux causes the letters to rub off because it remains useful longer, thus extending the life of the hardware, leading to more keyboard usage, leading to greater friction on the keys, leading to the letters to become more worn. QED.
        • by idontgno (624372)

          Don't forget, too, that the availability of mature user interfaces other than point-n-drool means that, unlike MacOS or Windows, Linux means the keyboard is actually useful. And that means that even if system useful lifetime were exactly comparable, the keyboards would be more likely to wear out.

          Which is also the reason that Linux types actually know how to type. Especially on nigh-indestructible keyboards like Northgate Omnikeys (ca. 1991) or IBM Model Ms.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I wouldn't honor the warranty either. That's a pretty big modification, and they probably didn't test the hardware. And yes, Different OS's use the hardware differently.

      Why you didn't just restore and then make a claim I'll never know. How do tyhey know it's wasnt' a DVD driver issue?

  • PS3 Master Key (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuel@@@bcgreen...com> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:37AM (#36007738) Homepage Journal
    Re-tweeting the PS3 Master key was actually something reasonably positive.
  • Gee, I won't know until Spiderman 4 comes out..

  • All of the above (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MadKeithV (102058) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @03:20AM (#36007870)
    There really should be an "all of the above, and then some" option.
    • by sstamps (39313)

      Agreed, or "All of the above, and more!".

      I find it so difficult to choose just one; they are all faves to me. :D

    • That's the option I was looking for. +1 if I had mod points today.
  • Missing options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by proverbialcow (177020) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @03:36AM (#36007918) Journal
    Betamax? Blu-Ray?
    • by Tukz (664339)

      So what's wrong with Blu-Ray?

      • They fought tooth and nail with the HD-DVD consortium for years over which would be the next standard for video discs, only to find that consumers are basically indifferent [slashdot.org] to the technology and are pretty much waiting for whatever comes next.
        • Other formats I'll add: MiniDisc* and UMD


          *I owned a MiniDisc player years ago - and I used it to make re-writable mixes from all that music I was getting from (the original) Napster.
          • by macshit (157376)

            hmm? minidisk was a massive hit in Japan; pretty much everybody used it for a few years. Stereo equipment came with MD players built in, bags and clothing came with special MD-player pockets, etc, etc.

            • Maybe, but by the time it made it here, CD-R drives were roughly the same price, and a wide variety of mp3 players was soon to follow. Writable MiniDisc media was three times as expensive and could hold about a quarter what a CD-R would (180 megs, IIRC).
              • Re:Missing options (Score:4, Informative)

                by penguinchris (1020961) <penguinchrisNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @06:44PM (#36017548) Homepage

                They remained quite popular in a certain niche - recording enthusiasts. Nowadays I'm sure you can get a flash-based digital recording device that's much better, but up until just a few years ago minidisc was the best reasonably priced option for recording things (like concerts/demo tapes, nature, or anything else you may wish to record the sound from without spending tons of money).

                With Hi-MD you could record in lossless WAV format for however much the 1GB discs could manage (90 minutes or so), or in compressed format for quite a while longer (though in classic Sony fashion it was their proprietary ATRAC format). It's true the regular minidiscs had a laughably small capacity once mp3s were in common use, but the Hi-MD discs at 1 GB (for about $7-8 per disc) were pretty good for the time (soon to be made obsolete by iPods and similar devices with large capacities of course).

                I bought one in around 2005 or 2006 because I wanted a music player, but I didn't want an iPod and I didn't like the other mp3 players that were available (basically I chose it to be different) and I was interested in making bootleg concert recordings (I only ended up doing that once, but it was cool and the recording is great quality). It played mp3s and everything, you didn't have to use ATRAC. It turned heads when I swapped out discs to play different stuff. Practically speaking, it was kind of ridiculous, and an iPod at that point would have been the smart choice for a mp3 player, but I liked it a lot (I still have it but don't use it).

                I bought a Cowon X5L a couple years later, and kept using that until last year when I got a smartphone (Nexus One). Both the Cowon and the N1 are much better media players :) But, the minidisc still holds a special place in my heart, and I suspect it's the same story for most people who used them (especially in their heyday, which was a few years before I got mine). There are very few technologies that you can really say that about, I think.

                • They remained quite popular in a certain niche - recording enthusiasts. Nowadays I'm sure you can get a flash-based digital recording device that's much better, but up until just a few years ago minidisc was the best reasonably priced option for recording things (like concerts/demo tapes, nature, or anything else you may wish to record the sound from without spending tons of money).

                  This is surprising - not that I disbelieve you - but my experience with MD was so negative that it perplexes me that people who take their music this seriously would latch on to this particular technology. The small size of the disc meant that it had to strip the original signal to make it fit. It was very lossy, in my experience - comparable to Laserdisc storing the RF signal digitally as opposed to DVD having a digital signal and outputting it analog. The player would then try to compensate for the loss,

                  • I bought a regular MD recorder in 1999, compared to your Hi-MD in 2005/6, which probably has a lot to do with our variance in mileage. =)
      • Re:Missing options (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vectormatic (1759674) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @05:39AM (#36008430)

        the fact that new blu-rays come with a warning notice that in order for it to play, my player might need an update?

        honestly, the day i am unable to play a blu-ray i bought, on my blu-ray player because it needs an update which isnt available, i'll throw all the blu-ray junk on ebay and just enjoy my network media streamer..

        • honestly, the day i am unable to play a blu-ray i bought, on my blu-ray player because it needs an update which isnt available, i'll throw all the blu-ray junk on ebay and just enjoy my network media streamer..

          actually, it would be even worse if you had to update your player to play a disc you rented.

      • It came at a time when many people were switching to streaming media. I believe the original Blu-Ray specification allowed up to 50GB of storage, and if I'm not mistaken it is now at 100GB. Nobody's making games or movies which need 50GB of space. The only thing that comes close are MMORPGs, and those accumulate via patches over a long period of time, anyway.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Nobody's making games or movies which need 50GB of space.

          Metal Gear Solid 4 is dual layer.

  • by Tukz (664339) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @04:14AM (#36008058) Journal

    Not sure if it counts as a gaffe, but I was rather pissed they removed PS3 backwards compatibility.
    I still don't understand why. To cut costs? I was willing to pay extra for that feature.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eudas (192703)

      i think the only reason ps2 backwards compatability was included in the ps3 was to help drive adoption rate for the ps3. as ps3 adoption went up, then ps2 backwards compatability was phased out, until it was gone and the ps3 stood on its own.

      it's not like sony really wants you to have a single device to play all their games on - they just wanted the new item to have a better sales ratio until a critical mass of buyers had been achieved.

    • Two way win:

      1) Cut costs

      2) Makes you buy a PS2; they still sell slim-line models for $100, you know.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      This is truthfully the reason why I don't own a PS3. There are a few PS3 games that I'd like to have, but I have a lot of PS2 games that I like and I don't have a PS2.
    • by JoeWalsh (32530)

      I was willing to pay extra for that feature, too.

      Instead, I don't own a PS3. Sony got $0 from me. Yay, Sony!

  • These should be check boxes, not radio selections! I want to vote on more than one thing! (it REALLY shits me when programs and pages don't stick to that paradigm, by the way... Check boxes implies tick any, radio selection implies select one).

  • They sold exploding batteries [slashdot.org] to nearly every major laptop manufacturer. I could understand if it was a genuine mistake, but it's curious that their own Sony laptops did not have the problem.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Probably same problem, they just didn't organise a recall making the problem public in the process.

  • by methano (519830) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @07:39AM (#36008938)
    The Gaffe that underlies them all is putting an entertainment company and an engineering/design company together. Using engineering know-how to protect all that Copyright stuff instead of making good products was the ultimate cause of Sony's slow but sure decline. Sony used to look at customers as someone to delight with their know how and ingenuity. Sony products used to be works of art. Now they see the customer as some idiot trying to steal things from them. And guess what? They got what they were looking for.

    What many saw as a synergistic mix of businesses, was actually schizophrenia waiting to happen. As a minor shareholder, I hope Apple doesn't start doing content.
    • The Gaffe that underlies them all is putting an entertainment company and an engineering/design company together. Using engineering know-how to protect all that Copyright stuff instead of making good products was the ultimate cause of Sony's slow but sure decline. Sony used to look at customers as someone to delight with their know how and ingenuity. Sony products used to be works of art. Now they see the customer as some idiot trying to steal things from them. And guess what? They got what they were looking for.

      What many saw as a synergistic mix of businesses, was actually schizophrenia waiting to happen. As a minor shareholder, I hope Apple doesn't start doing content.

      This is the best comment about Sony I've read on /. in a long time. I wish I had mod points right now. Sony's acquisition of CBS Records and Columbia was the catalyst for their decent into madness.

    • by tombeard (126886)

      I heard a rumor they might be buying iTunes.

    • Finally, a comment worthy of being tagged "Insightful"!

  • by Viceice (462967) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @07:57AM (#36009032)

    Sony Memory Stick. The entire product line is a joke. Three times the cost and 1/3 the capacity of "Generic" memory like SD. I laughed so hard when i found out they got over their 128MB limit by including a switch and gave you 256MB in 2 isolated parts. And then MagicGate came along where they wanted you to pay even more for the privilege of having DRM on your memory stick

  • or, for that matter, the entire San Francisco Metreon [wikipedia.org].
  • Where's Betamax you insensitive clods?!?!
    • Betamax was not a gaffe. It established the noninfringement of selling consumer electronics with a "substantial non-infringing use" in the United States as well as the noninfringement of time-shifting television in the United States. The gaffes started once Sony bought Columbia Pictures.
  • by chocapix (1595613) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @08:58AM (#36009478)
    link [bash.org]
  • You sank my battleship!
  • SWG (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @10:16AM (#36010390)
    Since the only thing on that list that affected me was SWG, that is what I voted for.

    To date that is still my favorite mmorpg, until the CU. Most equipment was player made and the stats depended on the raw materials that randomly generated around the galaxy with random stats. It could take years to accumulate the mats to make uber armor, but you could then make a killing while selling it. Slicing armor/weapons was risky, which made the combination of great armor/weapon and a beneficial slice even that much more rare. A player could spend all their time crafting, which opened up the game to more casual players.

    SOE was scared of WoW and tried to make their game more WoW like... but they did a terrible job and that's why I ended up moving to WoW.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      the failure with SWG was it's lack of star wars feel.

      No one want's to hunt rats and craft crap. They want to:

      Shoot Storm troops
      Fly a ship through asteroid
      play a Wookie
      Kick ass with a light saber
      And be important.

      And they tried to make it like EQ, not WoW.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @10:18AM (#36010420)
    Sony seems now to think of itself as a media company not a gadget company. And the media side wags the dog. Hence the DRM and the anal retentiveness. But the latest data leak surely must have done it for many people; some might think that they simply don't care about their customers so long as they keep handing over cash.

    I find it interesting that Asus seems the least confused about its role in life of all the electronics companies, hence its introduction of the netbook (and now the ARM netbook/tablet) where they seem quite uninterested in how the "content providers" will see things. I would rate HP as highly if they didn't seem so concerned to keep pushing ink-based printing, which is often not a good deal for end users. If they really do decide to push webOS and make rude gestures at Microsoft, I might revisit that ranking. If Sony and Apple ever merged, OTOH, they would collapse into a kind of proprietary black hole.

  • Several months ago, my boss bought a Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 7 Home on it. I was tasked with installing various work software on it. As part of that, I did a clean install of Win 7 Enterprise. While installing drivers (and trying to get the various hotkeys to work), I installed some power management software from Sony. After installation, there was continually a dialog box coming up saying that the battery is not properly connected. The only option was 'Click OK to hibernate.' Nothing was wrong with t

  • ...you insensitive clod.

  • The Rootkit DRM was the only actual evil thing on the list. The others are all either misguided, dumb, sloppy, or misunderstood.

  • I think Sony's failure is due to insistence on proprietary formats, many of which had their strengths but being Sony-only made them useless.

    Betamax (as mentioned before)
    DAT
    Minidisc
    ATRAC
    Memory Stick
    UMD

    http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/kit-eaton/technomix/memorystick-micro-die-sonys-older-proprietary-standards [fastcompany.com]

    And, probably related to this, letting the iPod take over from the Walkman as portable media player of choice.

    I remember when Sony portable electronics were the Apple of their day - beautiful, well-designe

  • Back in the 70s and 80s, Sony made some really great gear, TVs, CD players, Walkman. I even bought a Sony point and shoot camera right before the rootkit debacle that's been very good camera. The rootkit, was so completely wrong and revealed a corporate culture so anti-consumer that I've completely done away with owning any Sony gear.
  • by Ossifer (703813) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:47PM (#36013370)

    I wish Sony had decided to just make a few choice gaffes instead of so many varied ones.

  • "IT ONLY DOES EVERYTHING.(TM)" [playstation.com]

    Therefore the true missing option is "All of the above".

  • Had Sony not been the playground toddler that wouldn't share his toys the Mini Disk had the potential to replace the normal CD early on. Instead it's just a footnote in obscurity.

  • In all fairness, Nintendo and MS never made any attempt to allow that type of thing.
  • If I'm asked what word I think of when I hear "Sony" my answer is "Proprietary formats" and then I would trail of by saying something like "... Wait... that is two words?...".

    I actually surprised myself when I bought a Sony PRS-350 eBook reader. For my purpose it is optimal; small (5"), well build (aluminum) good screen. No darn keyboard, supports almost all known eBook formats, and best of all - is fully supported by the open source http://calibre-ebook.com/ [calibre-ebook.com] eBook management software... I haven't installe

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst

 



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