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Why Sony is Ready to Self Destruct 722

Posted by Zonk
from the doomcasting-a-console dept.
jammmma writes "Before even launching the PS3, Sony is ready to self destruct." From the article: "PS3 is doomed, thanks to Sony's ignorant attitude. None of us had the chance to seriously evaluate PS3 and the experience it has to offer. It's impossible without a series of titles and an official product at hand, but from where we stand, Sony's damaging attitude is all it takes to diminish the value of PS3. Kutaragi may be right in defending PS3; after all, he can't criticize his own product, but instead of exciting users with valuable features and winning them over so they can start saving, Kutaragi makes bearish statements in response to Nintendo's announcement and Microsoft's take on Sony. Last I heard companies were at E3 to impress media personnel, which yielded positive publicity, not make childish remarks when chances were against them."
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Why Sony is Ready to Self Destruct

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:35PM (#15336395) Journal

    SONY isn't ready to self-destruct, but it may be nearing the final disposition of its actions the past ten years including more and more proprietary technology, higher prices, and disdain for the customers.

    Consider:

    • Ten years ago, SONY began making integrated stereo components, designed to interact with each other. I found this an exciting and enticing trend until I discovered if I wanted to take advantage of it, I'd have to completely replace all components in my system -- no accommodations for any "foreign" components. I know their ultimate motivation is to sell SONY, but with even a modicum of extended compatibility I would have considered their new systems. In its "introduced" form, I not only refused to buy, I steered any prospective customers away (and I had lots of people asking for recommendations).
    • Also about ten years ago SONY introduced the mini-disk. It was cool before mp3, but it was theirs. I took a chance at the high school dance and got a recordable mini-disk unit... knowing (thought so) the prices would plummet in a year or so and I could round out my collection with much more reasonably priced players. It never happened. When pressed for an explanation, my local favorite salesman explained SONY refused to license the technology for anything less than exorbitant fees so no one was offering the technology other than SONY, or if they did, it was for continued outrageous prices. (This was about the time I really started developing the "fuck you SONY" attitude.)
    • SONY jumped into the small-gadget fray by gambling they could introduce their idea of what was the perfect storage device, the memory stick. Memory ick ! It was expensive, held less data, and once again jealously guarded by SONY. If the rest of the world didn't like SONY's game, SONY would just take their ball and go home.
    • SONY and RootKit-gate. 'nuff said.

    I don't know who's truly at the helm at SONY, but it's almost as if they've intentionally dug this hole, about six feet deep. I long ago eBay'ed and divested myself of all SONY equipment (still have SONY music CDs, sorry... ) and swore that, until SONY plays a little more nice, I'll never buy, recommend, anything SONY again.

    I've never been a video game fan, so I don't know about SONY's escapades around those, but from what I see and hear it seems SONY is consistent across their offerings and markets.

    So, it isn't SONY "ready to self-destruct", it's SONY reaping the rewards of what it's sown. It's too bad, they've shown they're capable of creating sophisticated and innovative new technologies.

    • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:41PM (#15336446) Journal
      If the rest of the world didn't like SONY's game, SONY would just take their ball and go home.
      This really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone; Sony exhabited the exact same behavior all the way back to Beta days. When it finally conceded defeat and released VHS decks, it still outpriced them comparing to other competitors.
      • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday May 15, 2006 @05:53PM (#15338683) Homepage
        all the way back to Beta days. When it finally conceded defeat and released VHS decks

        Conceded defeat? they never did that. Sony simply took the BetaMax and refined it to BetaCam and BetaCAM SP and owned the professional video market ever cince. Only now is sony losing it's fooding in the pro video market with the digital standard set up by JVC called MiniDV and DVCAM. Which is robust enough to handle the HD signals on the new HD camera systems.

        Sony even tried to wedge in there with their own tiny digital camcorder tape. It died a horrible death just like SACD did.

        In pro video Sony is still the defacto standard. Live events still use a DME9000 editing suite made by sony, most remote live semi-trailer studios are mostly sony gear as well still to this day.
        • I think SONY's are completely skewed by two facts: - first they do own significant portion of the professional market with their products - like what the parent post said about video. It's the same with minidisk, a very large portion of the professionals needing a way to record on the job use it a lot still. Of course it'll eventually be replaced by mp3 recorders. - second, they see their prospective base through the japanese market which is significantly different. While even here the price tag isn't pun
        • remember Trinitron (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ^Z (86325) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:31AM (#15341033) Homepage Journal
          Another good piece of Sony engineering that evaded a death by hands of Sony's marketing is Trinitron CRTs. This was (and still is) the choice of DTP / photo-editing pros.

          BTW, I feel really sorry for Sony's engineers: they often develop brilliant things that die undeservingly because of inadequate marketing, licensing, etc.
    • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonfa m i l y . org> on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:54PM (#15336562) Homepage
      But also forgot about Sony's line of wonderful MP3 players. Those are fine pieces of technology that really enables the consumer.

      Hmmm -- ATRAC, "Connect" software -- never mind.
      • Parent post has it right with "disdain for customers". I bought one of their new walkmans for about $300 and the thing was a disaster. The only thing it had right was battery life. ATRAC was irrelevant, the software and method of connecting it to the computer were overly complex and required Windows. And as icing on the cake, the software didn't support Chinese language file names despite being purchased IN CHINA in the middle of their splashly product launch.

        It worked for about two weeks before the screen
    • Remember Betamax? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NetDanzr (619387) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:11PM (#15336700)
      Just to add to your list, with which I fully agree, the wonderful case of Betamax. Sony does have the tendency to deliver truly innovative pieces of technology, but due to their licensing strategy, which you already described, this technology usually goes down the drain. Sony Betamax is a perfect example of that.

      Sony's philosophy of overpricing takes a toll with other items as well. For example, I find their computers vastly overpriced, thanks to their short lifespan. Unless you are producing a truly superior product, you shouldn't charge premium prices.

      On the other hand, I'd like to mention one Sony product I fell in love with. A long time ago, I got one of their early Sony Clie PDAs. This was at a time before Sony realized they had a gem on their hands. The retail price of the Clie was $99; I guess they were selling it only as a platform for their memory sticks. I'm still using it on a daily basis, and I got a replacement unit, just in case.

      • by asliarun (636603) on Monday May 15, 2006 @05:57PM (#15338703)
        I agree with the parent and grandparent's views as well. Sony always positioned itself as a "cutting-edge" premium brand, and priced itself accordingly. The difference between then and now was that in those days, Sony's products were THAT good that people were willing to pay even double for the brand.

        We still have a Sony Trinitron television that is is over 10 years old but still runs as good as new. Those trinitron picture tubes were truly revolutionary and the quality of electronics that went in was excellent as well, which is why they still run like new and give the best of LCDs a run for their money. Looking at a product like that, i would gladly pay through my nose for it. The modern day equivalent would be, i guess, to drop $500 for a pair B&W (or equivalent) speakers, i guess.

        The problem is, these companies end up suffering from hubris more often than not, and things get dramatically worse if say, they miss a couple of key innovations. Now, you have a company that's a little behind the technology curve, and is still pricing itself way more than the market. Perhaps, the company will ride on the strength of its brand for a few years but not for too long.

        Intel is, i feel, in a very similar situation. Like Sony, it too considers itself not as a market competitor but as a market creator or as a visionary. Both these companies actually walked the talk for quite some time, but slid real bad when they missed a couple of key market signals. The only difference is that Intel has a sufficiently strong senior management to learn from its mistakes, or at least from the really horrible ones. It's really trying to turn itself around after it has got shafted in the backside with its NetBurst offerings. In fact, i predict that it will come back stronger than ever after it successfully ramps on Woodcrest, Conroe, and Merom. I'm not so sure if Sony ever will recover OTOH, but then i only say that with the stereotype of Japanese bureaucracy in mind.

        Lastly, i see this growing trend of flaming or dissing companies like Sony or Intel. Remember, these might be giants poised to fall, but its only a very very lucky and nimble David that manages to beat a very dumb and complacent Goliath. Another thing is that these Goliaths have also been responsible for creating markets and pioneering technology. Give them some respect for that, at the very least. It's easy to leech off market share AFTER a market is created, but the pioneer at least deserves the credit for having the cojones to take the first step.
    • by PaulMorel (962396) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:35PM (#15336894)
      Regarding your question about Sony videogames, their record isn't good.

      They pioneered the MMOG, in a significant way, with Everquest, but since then, they seem to be dedicated to destroying valuable intellectual properties.

      Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) was one of the most hyped games of all time. As the first Sony follow-up to EverQuest, with one of the best SciFi properties out there, EVERYONE expected this game to be great. The pre-launch registered users who contributed to the SWG forums daily was ridiculously high. Every gamer was desparate for info about SWG because it just looked so hot. Sony bragged on and on about all the features the game would have: you could occupy any planet, play any race, take up a multitude of professions, buy a starship, go into politics ... etc.

      Well, as the launch date approached, strange things started to happen. First, the features that were cut were small. I think the first thing that was cut was owning property. Everyone said, ok, you won't be able to buy a house at launch, but with all the other features, who cares? Then came the deluge.

      Amid a sea of rabidly eager fans, Sony cut the feature list in half about a month before launch. Needless to say, the release was a fiasco. Even the features that were left in were buggy, and the development team was slow to react.

      The impression from the Dev team was: the higher-ups forced us to release a product that wasn't ready yet, just to get the revenue flowing. So the game was stagnant; eventually they fixed a lot of the bugs, and the addons added some of the features that were left out, but by then it was too late. Now the game is all but dead.

      Outside of the MMOG arena, Sony has been similarly unsuccessful; they have some great licensed games (God of War, GTA), but the games developed in-house tend to be god-awful crapfests (imho).

      I also boycott Sony products btw, but more as a response to SWG, EQ2, and rootkitgate than anything else.

      • by TheRealFixer (552803) on Monday May 15, 2006 @04:26PM (#15338011)
        If you think the launch was bad, you should see the game now.

        Overall, even with all the faults that SWG had at launch, it still was really one of the most innovative MMORPGs out there. You really could follow your own path in the game. It appealed to all kinds of people, both male and female. If combat was your thing, there was plenty of choice in that path, and plenty of challenge. If you'd prefer to sit on the sidelines, non-combat professions were a very valued part of the community. Even people who just prefered the social aspects of the MMO world could server a purpose. From a community simulation perspective, it was easily the most flexable game around.

        But, there was a serious lack of game content at launch. Promised features like player cities and vehicles were conspiciously missing from the game. Other features like instanced battlefields that could support massive numbers never worked correctly outside of the test lab and were abandoned shortly after launch. Quests would lead nowhere (Vader says, "Go speak to the Emperor." The Emperor says, "Go speak with Vader."). The overall point of the game (the Galactic Civil War) wasn't even really implimented, as PvP battles served no purpose other than virtual chest beating and bragging rights, and had no big-picture impact on the game. The game itself was beautiful, but shallow. Players tried their best to make up their own content, with player-hosted events and pointless (but still fun) battles in NPC cities. But by December of '03, the game was really bleeding subscriptions badly.

        Then, some brilliant person at SoE decided that what everyone really wanted was to be a Jedi, and that would magically stop the exodus from the game. So, instead of adding the missing content, they dangled the prospect of unlocking a Jedi character in front of every player (something they had promised would not be the case). And it did keep a certain element from cancelling. Thus was born the Great Holiday Hologrind, which severly damaged the social aspects of the game, and also wrecked havoc on what had been a fairly healthy in-game economy.

        Eventually it was passed around that the big, mysterious secret to unlocking it was nothing more than just mastering every profession in the game in turn. Now, Jedi were originally planned to be *extremely* rare, even to the point of being random and only a handful on each server. Since god-mode characters are generally not a good idea in an online game, their power would be offset by the threat of perma-death for the character, forcing you to start all over again. When enough people started unlocking Jedi characters, the ritilan-addicted "power gamer" element whined and complained about perma-death, SoE capitulated, and it was removed. Now, you had high-level Jedi running around one-hit killing everyone with no consequences. Even if by some miracle you took one down, it did little good. PvP battles became nothing more than competitions to see which side could pull out the most Jedi. People who had no interest in playing Jedi (otherwise defined as "subscribers with real long-term potential") were forced into hiding.

        SoE made one blunder after another after that. Each modification to game balance seemed to throw the game further and further off-base. This can directly be traced to overpopulation of Jedi and the fact that they were never meant to be a balanced profession in the first place. The type of player who was attracted to playing a Jedi (and who could sit there and grind combat XP for 16 hours a day for a month) seemed to be the type of person who had little to no patience for complex combat systems that required forethought and strategy. So, SoE took their unique "HAM" multi-health-bar system, and turned it into EQ-style combat, dumbing it down to simple hack-and-slash.

        Eventually, SoE made the amazing decision to eliminate the profession system altogether, and force everyone into clones of the same 8 "classes" and dub it the "New Game Experience". They completely eliminated
        • Thats a fantastic summation of the events which lead to SWG's death. I quit SWG around the time that they discovered the secret to becoming a Jedi and im realy sad to see that its continue to fall into its proverbal void.

          Realy makes you wonder what pond MMOG developers creep out of these days, and why on earth someone dosent give me there job =)
    • MiniDisc licencees included:
      JVC, Kenwood, Aiwa, Sharp, Denon, Alpine, Yamaha, Panasonic, Onkyo and Marantz.

      Even granting that Aiwa is owned by Sony, I'd hardly call that "no one was offering the technology other than SONY."

      Minidisc was cool, and I last recommended one to a woman who was doing anthropological field research in Africa. Why? The advantages of cassette (vs. an iPod, for example) with the ability to jack it directly to a computer through USB.

      Next wave of MP3 player/recorders may make this redund
    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:02PM (#15337145)
      This sounds very much like IBM's problems in the 80's. IBM had a very proprietary attitude regarding busses (MicroChannel Architecture), networking (LUA / SNA), and probably others. My impression (and I worked at IBM for a while) was that IBM figured it could get away with designs that required end-to-end IBM'ness, because the big customers would buy ALL their kit from IBM anyway. And in that sales situation, why let other companies have an in?

      Similar thing seems to happen with Microsoft in the last 10 years or so. They want soup-to-nuts control of the software ecosystem. For example, ActiveDirectory on the servers and clients. And like IBM, other companies will have to pay $$$ to MS if they want to be part of that ecosystem (i.e. if they want to provide domain servers). A bit more open than IBM, but not much.

      Now, it's possible that the architects at these companies aren't attempting lock-in. Instead, perhaps that think to themselves, "We have some customers who are willing to buy everything from us. For that scenario, let's rethink (and re-build) the entire infrastructure so that it's totally clean and convenient." Thus, the strong affinity of that company's products for working with that company's other products.

      But either way, the result is as the parent describes with SONY: In the end, it's just too risky and expensive for most potential customers do swallow that red pill.
      • by SillyNickName4me (760022) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:23PM (#15337389) Homepage
        This sounds very much like IBM's problems in the 80's. IBM had a very proprietary attitude regarding busses (MicroChannel Architecture), networking (LUA / SNA), and probably others. My impression (and I worked at IBM for a while) was that IBM figured it could get away with designs that required end-to-end IBM'ness, because the big customers would buy ALL their kit from IBM anyway. And in that sales situation, why let other companies have an in?

        While you are quite right with regards to IBM's general attitude back then, MCA isn't a very good example of it, it is actually an interesting incident.

        As you may know, some companies (Appricot comes to mind inmediately) produced MCA machines as well. Compaq could have if they wanted to, but had its own reasons for wanting an alternative.

        What happened was that those companies that actually produced, or could produce MCA machines had settled outstanding licencing issues regarding dma and some other patents used in pcs. This was basicly a requirement for obtaining a licence on MCA technology.

        It never caught on for various reasons, the fact that you could mostly get IBM hardware for MCA was an important of them (I do have MCA cards from quite a few other companies here, including 3com, creative, adaptec and intel).

        (former IBM employee during the late 80s and all of the 90s)
    • by Chordonblue (585047) on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:20PM (#15337364) Journal
      I think a reorganization of the company is at hand with spin offs of non-profitables inevitable. For one thing, every division of Sony is clearly at odds with every other division. Numerous examples have already been stated above.

      I would not be surprised to see a Re-Org happen as soon as July, but probably no later than December. If Sony is smart, they'll spin off their record company and get back to doing what they do best.

  • Article Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:38PM (#15336424) Homepage
    For those of you who can't be bothered to read TFA, here's a quick summary:

    Sony isn't going to win this round 'cuz they're too high off their own success to see the writing on the wall. How stupid are they? I mean, are they total morons? Could they possibly be any dumber? I mean, really--Sony is sooooo stupid!

    For some reason, it took the author two pages to get this point across.

    • by moochfish (822730) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:52PM (#15337041)
      For those of you who can't be bothered to read TFA...

      Unless their server can pick up its own pieces and reboot, that would be all of us.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sbrown123 (229895) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:55PM (#15337070) Homepage
      I can summarize it even more: the author felt that Sony was doomed due to its arrogance. So what? Apple is snobbish and arrogant as hell but people buy their products by the truck loads. Microsoft doesn't give a crap about their customers and they are still own the operating system market. So what if he didn't get to play with a PS3 at E3. Get over it! There were plenty of other demos by various companies there and to cry over the lack of a playable PS3 is just childish.
    • Re:Article Summary (Score:3, Informative)

      by bahwi (43111)
      Actually, it sounds to me that the author was just bitter he didn't get to play with the PS3 much.

      "None of us had the chance to seriously evaluate PS3 and the experience it has to offer."

      Not that that is a good sign about the PS3, but the early adopters of the PS3 have already decided to buy or not, and, if sony wants to tell the other media people to go rot in hell, they're free to. It won't affect sales more than a few units, probably units that aren't at market yet due to shortages.
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info&devinmoore,com> on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:42PM (#15336452) Homepage Journal
    provided it's at least 10 years old. The newer stuff just doesn't stand out from the fray very well, especially stereo-wise, since high-end companies are offering entry level equipment at prices competitive with practically any component system, even Sony.
  • Well...yeah. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:43PM (#15336459) Journal
    Honestly, they're asking for a lot with the PS3. $600 for a console is too much, and most of the people I know could honestly care about the additional features. It can play blu-ray? Great...except I can't afford a TV that the movies will look good on, and I'm not too keen on replacing my (perfectly fine) DVD collection this soon.

    Unfortunately, they seem to be banking on the fact that people will think the PS3 is better and they'll dish out the extra money for it. Guess what? It's not. Sony isn't what it once was - Microsoft and Nintendo give it valid competition, and it's looking more and more like the Walkman-created giant is toppling.

    It's nice to see that history hasn't taught them that the "We're the best, so people will like us no matter what!" attitude doesn't work too well.

    • It can play blu-ray? Great...except I can't afford a TV that the movies will look good on, and I'm not too keen on replacing my (perfectly fine) DVD collection this

      This is a perfectly valid argument for 2006, but what about 2008? When HDTV hits critical mass, the choices of pre-recorded medial are either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. Period. If Blu-Ray becomes VHS and HD-DVD becomes Beta (we'll see) then the PS3 is going to have a very nice selling point over the competition, especially if the price of stand-alon
      • Re:Well...yeah. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        2008 is still to early. TVs last a decade, sometimes more. The early adapter market is over, HD is now only being bought by people replacing their primary TVs (remember, many game machines are used on 2ndary TVs- kids bedrooms and the like). Some of those people still opt for non-HD, as its cheaper. Given the low penetration today, I wouldn't expect significant penetration until at least 2010.

        And even if 2008 was the watershed, its still too late. If PS3 is in 3rd after 2 years, you'll see most 3rd pa
        • Re:Well...yeah. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cadallin (863437)
          It's even worse than that: the bulk of HDTVs now being sold are still going to early adopters, who are now UPGRADING their old HDTVs to new models, the majority of non-early adopter purchases are STILL SDTVs.
      • Re:Well...yeah. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ericspinder (146776)

        If Blu-Ray becomes VHS and HD-DVD becomes Beta (we'll see) then the PS3 is going to have a very nice selling point over the competition, especially if the price of stand-alone Blu-Ray players hovers around $200 or more.

        Blu-Ray is Sony and it's more likely to be the Beta than the VHS [wikipedia.org] as Sony has a long history crippling innovative ideas by holding to tightly to intellecual property.

        Now they are trying use the success of PlayStation to push this format into consumer homes. Unfortunately it cripples the un

      • Re:Well...yeah. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jason Earl (1894) on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:01PM (#15337127) Homepage Journal

        You are assuming that HDTV is going to hit critical mass by 2008. You are also assuming that HD-DVD or Blu-Ray will become the preferred medium for movies in the next few years. Heck, it's far from certain that Blu-Ray won't become the next Betamax.

        The fact of the matter is that Sony is using the PS3 in an attempt to drive the market towards HDTV and Blu-Ray because Sony sells HDTV sets and owns the Blu-Ray format. Worse, Sony is apparently willing to gamble its lead in the ridiculously profitable gaming industry on the off chance that it helps it maintain an edge in the electronics market where margins are razor thin.

        Sure, the PS3 might be a value to consumers that already have a HDTV and $600 burning a hole in their pocket, and who happen to be looking for a gaming console combined with a Blu-Ray player, but that's a ridiculously small segment of the community compared to folks that simply want to play some games on an existing "normal" TV set, and are willing to spend $300-$400 on new hardware. While the PS3 might sound like a better deal when transported to a mythical HDTV/Blu-Ray future, the PS3 has to compete with the XBox360 and the Nintendo Wii today in a world where HDTVs are relatively rare and where no Blu-Ray content is available.

        If the PS3 doesn't sell in today's marketplace then developers won't support it, and the PS3 will find a place in the gaming history books with the NeoGeo and the 3DO.

    • Re:Well...yeah. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The-Bus (138060) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:45PM (#15336980)
      If anyone can get away for charging a premium on their hardware, it's Sony. When we look at their other consumer lines, it's not so out of place.

      Their consumer TVs? Circuit City right now has several 32" conventional TVs to choose from. At the low-end you have a Sylvania for $340. Other brands, like Sharp, Magnavox, Phillips and RCA, command up to $499. The Sony TV? $649.

      What about MP3 players? Sony has their bean-shaped Walkman players (1GB) available for $120-$160 depending on features. Compare that to an iPod shuffle for $100 or an iPod Nano for $140.

      Sony has, through a combination of marketing and engineering, managed to convince a lot of people that their products are of a certain quality and demand a premium. It doesn't mean their worth the extra price, it just means people are convinced (In the same way that Mercedes-Benz, Starbucks, Bose, and Banana Republic customers are convinced).

      Outside of consoles, paying 50% to 200% more for something with Sony in the title is commonplace. So I can see how they can continue to expect that. Whether consumers will follow suit is another story completely. I'm thoroughly convinced that if the PS3 launched at $899 with LuminesBlu and Ridge Racer 7, they would sell out of their initial 3 million in shipments. Whether they reach 100 million in shipments again is an entirely different matter.

    • Re:Well...yeah. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:40PM (#15337568) Homepage Journal

      It's nice to see that history hasn't taught them that the "We're the best, so people will like us no matter what!" attitude doesn't work too well.

      One of the basic tenets of business is that the quickest way to go from the #1 spot to the #2 spot is to act like you're #1. The best way to stay in the #1 spot is to keep acting like you're #2, always driving to improve your products and your methods of business.

      Sony clearly does not have a handle on this principle.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:47PM (#15336515) Homepage Journal
    Hmmm. While I do think that it is true that Nintendo won E3, based on all the blogs at Washington Post, Seattle Times, Seattle PI, and New York Times, as well as more typical ones on gamer sites, I don't know that, as an investor, I'd say that Sony killed themselves.

    I would instead say that they missed an opportunity and need to rethink their marketing price points and possibly their game releases.

    Sure, Microsoft (nope, don't own it, sold it to lock in a technical loss, and as of today don't own any of these companies) did manage to get the media to cover their GTA release on the xBox360 and most press never clued in that it is releasing on both the P3 and the 360.

    Sure, Nintendo got all the buzz and those of us who really aren't into FPS very much are buying the Wii (hate the name). Heck, they even demo'd a really cool FPS or two, and Red Steel swordplay sold me on the controller more than even the fishing and driving demos.

    But, in the end, if they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, reset the retail price for the non-crippled P3 to something reasonable - as in, less than $500 US and less than 500 EUs - then they can still regain the market.

    Battles frequently can be won even with major setbacks - sure, Sony was routed at E3, but they've got six months to get their act in gear and learn from their mistakes.
    • sony hasn't learned from their mistakes in 10+ years at this point. I highly doubt 6 months will help them any.

      The fact is, the Sony of the 80's is NOT the Sony of the 90's-00's. They lost touch with reality.

    • But, in the end, if they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, reset the retail price for the non-crippled P3 to something reasonable - as in, less than $500 US and less than 500 EUs - then they can still regain the market.

      But they can't. Sony PS3 is so hightech (with their 3 cell processors and blue-ray) they are losing a lot of money selling at $599. I think the $499 version is so crimpled is because they know the buyers of this version arn't as likly to buy as many games, so they can't afford to sell
    • by thebdj (768618) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:18PM (#15336749) Journal
      Battles frequently can be won even with major setbacks - sure, Sony was routed at E3, but they've got six months to get their act in gear and learn from their mistakes.

      You seriously think they will adjust the price point? Sony is going to ride this $600 to their demise. To think they will drop it is absurd. Sony is notorious for over-pricing products in the hopes of selling on some sort of reputations, which they still have with many normal consumers.

      Now, granted they have undershot the price of their launch Blu-Ray player (and everyone elses really), but if they go much lower the other companies will start screaming foul, which they already should be, because Sony is technically selling a BD player for almost 1/2 the market price. Though I still believe Blu-ray players will drop below the PS3 price sooner rather than later.

      Also, using estimated number the penetration of HDTVs has been projected, at best, near 30%...by 2010. This means that nearly 70% of televisions (probably close to 80-90% now) will have no gain from the new format, making Blu-Ray (and HD-DVD) largely pointless for most Americans. I think Sony might be signing their deathwish by making the console with a blu-ray player.

      I do not want to come out sounding too much like a conspiracy nut, but Sony is trying to use the PS3 to launch BD and not the console itself. There is much more money to be made in movies then in the game market, since movies are a much more "universal" form of entertainment. If Sony made the console with only DVD support, like 360 and Wii, I would almost bet that they would have pricing that is much more competitive to the other consoles; however, I think their true competitor is HD-DVD and other Blu-Ray drive makers.
      • I do not want to come out sounding too much like a conspiracy nut, but Sony is trying to use the PS3 to launch BD and not the console itself. There is much more money to be made in movies then in the game market, since movies are a much more "universal" form of entertainment. If Sony made the console with only DVD support, like 360 and Wii, I would almost bet that they would have pricing that is much more competitive to the other consoles; however, I think their true competitor is HD-DVD and other Blu-Ray d
        • by jchenx (267053)

          Well, from a marketing and format-domination perspective, wouldn't a larger user base for Sony PS3s mean that more people would use Blu-Ray and its DRM, thus giving them a lock on the next format?

          So, yes, I think at some point they will realize that they want to win the war, not be stuck on past glories. And to succeed at selling movie titles, which is probably more revenue than games, it helps to sell more PS3s.

          Retail of $500 is not going to make them bleed to death - $600 is a sweet price for them, but if

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:49PM (#15336535)
    Because people on the internet hate them. I mean, just read any Slashdot article and you'll see. And just look at these cooltechzone.com people. They're clearly really cheesed off.

    With the combined might of the Slashdot userbase and "cooltechzone.com" aligned against them, how can Sony possibly survive?
  • Keep dreaming. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:52PM (#15336550) Journal
    Sure Sony is run by a bunch of jackasses. Sure their PS3 product doesn't seem to match up to the current competition. Sure they're schizoid with regards to their music distribution, etc.

    But they are not today, nor in the next 10 years, at all likely to "Self-destruct". This is a corporation, not a political party. They're not losing money at present, and if they pull off the PS3 thing well enough to set blu-ray as the new hd standard (who cares about the games?), their entire board of directors is going to spend the next decade snorting coke and gold dust off the asses of high priced prostitutes.

    They're taking the long view in this situation, and I'll be surprised if we'll know how it worked out for a decade or more. The value of owning the dominant video standard cannot be overestimated.
    • Sony IS losing money. Just do a Google for "Sony Profit" and look at the troubled times they have had these past few years.
      • Re:Keep dreaming. (Score:4, Informative)

        by rcamera (517595) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:13PM (#15336718) Homepage
        Sony IS losing money

        really? [yahoo.com]

        and when i do a google search, the 3rd result states that " Sony's profit jumps 68 percent [zdnet.com]".
      • The first two google results are both 2+ years old, and the very first one talks about profits dropping dramatically to _only_ the 1 billion dollar range.

        Big corporations don't die. You have no conception of the actual amount of value that is attached to a company the size of sony. If they never made another product, and switched purely to research and liscensing, they'd still be making a nice profit. They employ more people than a small country.

        Yea, they'll look stupid if the PS3 flops, and stupid if blu-r
    • The value of owning the dominant ______ standard cannot be overestimated.
      Beta.
      Mini-Disc.
      Memory Stick.

      Sony has proven that it can't win ANY standard. Beta and Mini-Disc are dead, and the Memory Stick is kept on life support by Sony laptops and cameras.
      • Re:Keep dreaming. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928)
        You forgot about that stupid psp video format.

        Just because they haven't won one yet, doesn't mean they never will. they're banking on the PS3 to get blu-ray into every home. If it happens, they'll be geniuses. If it doesn't they'll be idiots.

        This time, they're trying to do it the right way, which I think is interesting. They're putting the player out before they're putting the media out, and they're attaching cool stuff(games) to the player, which will almost certainly get people buying them. Sure it'll be
    • Yeah, 'cos Betamax, MiniDisc, UMD and MemoryStick worked out so well.
      Most of Sony's problems in the past 10 years have come from attempts to establish proprietary media standards. DRM has just pushed this stuff into hellish rootkit overdrive.
      This is compounded by open civil war between the hardware and content divisions where the company is suing itself repeatedly.
      And while they aren't taking losses yet they have had preciptious profit drops, including the notorious 98% drop back in 2003.
  • by amuro98 (461673) on Monday May 15, 2006 @01:58PM (#15336605)
    I think I can sort of understand Sony's strategy with the PS3, but I also think they're too early.

    At this time the PS3 is intended to be an inexpensive blu-ray player - just as the PS2 was more popular as a DVD player than as a game machine when it first came out in Japan.

    Problem is, blu-ray isn't DVD. Blu-ray isn't the only standard out there, nor is blu-ray that established.

    I've yet to meet anyone who's actually interested either of the next-gen DVD formats at this time - mainly because of the uncertainty of having competing formats on the market at the same time. Does anyone actually want to take a shot at having 50% of his next-gen media being declared "Obsolete"? Not to mention that if Sony wants the PS3 to sell as a blu-ray player, they're going to have to convince the high-end A/V market that the PS3 can stand toe-to-toe with the pricier models.

    In a year, there will be more Blu-Ray titles on the market, players will begin to drop into the range of mainstream consumers, and the technology in the PS3 will be cheaper, allowing Sony to still position the PS3 as both a game machine and affordable blu-ray player.

    If blu-ray fails to win the market, it would not surprise me to see Sony starting to talk about an earlier launch for the PS4, just so they can get away from the failed, and expensive, blu-ray.
    • In a year, there will be more Blu-Ray titles on the market, players will begin to drop into the range of mainstream consumers, and the technology in the PS3 will be cheaper, allowing Sony to still position the PS3 as both a game machine and affordable blu-ray player.

      Here's a flaw to your theory: In that same year, assuming HD-DVD player prices drop, and drop at a rate similar to Blu-Ray, HD-DVD players will not only be cheaper than the PS3 but will also be cheaper than the Xbox 360.

      I know the gaming
  • by denisbergeron (197036) <[DenisBergeron] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:00PM (#15336622)
    http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=179036&c id=14837957 [slashdot.org]

    The problem with Sony is That the media division control the development division!

    They can do thing that can eventualy and may be remove some little part of the profit of the media division !

    So Sony will be in 5 (or lest) year a Media company only !(...)

    Well if they don't change !
  • NeoGeo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:04PM (#15336649)
    Let's not forget video game history. The most recent example I can think of that's similar to what the PS3 is making itself out to be is the NeoGeo home system. The system was more expensive than its competitors (Genesis/SNES/TGX-16) and the games were up to $200. The system WAS higher quality. It DID bring the arcade experience home. But guess what? It was way more expensive than the competition and sold poorly (except as a coin-op machine).

    I'm looking forward to seeing the PS3 in action on its release. And I'm wondering if the $600 price tag will stick for very long. It will be interesting to see what will happen. Will Sony get poor sales (at least initially)? I think so, but could be wrong. Will reducing the price of the system cost Sony a TON of money because of the major cut they will face at "giving" it away for less than it costs to manufacture, or will the adoption of the system and licensing fees balance it out and make the endeavor still profitable? It's tough to say, but if I was betting on this, I'd bet that Sony may have their first living room console flop.

    It seems a lot of bad PR is coming up lately.

    I'm not sure that spells the end of Sony in the video game arena, however. Anything can happen and Sony, as a whole, is not doing too shabby (yet).

    Only time will tell...
  • ... situation is that Sony is in nearly the EXACT same position Nintendo was in when they "fell from grace".

    Nintendo simply didn't have enough games to push the N64, where as the competition (mainly Sony) did. Now Sony is on the losing stick of console exclusives and with the loss of GTA4 exclusivity, I can only see more titles making the leap as developers realize the 360 cant be taken for granted.

    Nintendo used a format that was not in the best interest of the market (cartridges). Blu Ray simply isnt goi
  • Something tells me that Sony is going to be shoveling gobs of money at certain game development companies for exclusive rights to a couple of truly awesome games so that the only way to play them is to buy a PS3.
  • by wickedj (652189) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:13PM (#15336717) Homepage
    Blu Ray is probably the biggest reason why the PS3 costs so much. It was a mistake for Sony to push that tech into the PS3. I would say over 95% of the consumers interested in the PS3, are not interested in Blu Ray or HD DVD for that matter. Their home systems can't even handle it. The 5% that can, can go out and buy a stand alone Blu Ray player.
  • From the looks of their site, I'm guessing they're running on a Sony server, eh?
  • by gandy909 (222251)
    This is a non-issue because -

    "Most people, I think, don't even know what a SONY is, so why should they care about it?"

  • bollocks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theantix (466036) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:25PM (#15336808) Journal
    Sony is not going to self-destruct because their console is priced high on release day, it was simply a tactical decision to attempt to capitalize on the willingness of their most eager fans to spend whatever it takes to get one on or near release day. Recall how with many console releases they can sell out the initial batches to the point where it is difficult to find one in a store for the first while? Sony is avoiding that by pricing their console higher on day one, they will make more money from the initial adopters and run less risk of selling out. THEN, when they have ramped up production and can produce more units at lower lost, then they will drop the price to a more reasonable level and all of a sudden the console looks a lot more affordable in comparison with the less-powered consoles from Nintendo and Microsoft.

    At least that is the theory. It could easily backfire, as it seems to be doing judging by comments on this and other sites, by having a backlash against the initial price so strong that it actually turns people away from the console and onto the other platforms instead of them waiting for the price of the PS3 to drop as it inevitably will. But still, people are looking at this scene like it's all based on what happens in November and December of this year instead of looking at it like it's a multi-year game. In 1 year, in 2 years, in 3 -- the initial price of the PS3 will not be a big deal anymore.
  • by Frobozz0 (247160) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:26PM (#15336816)

    Anti-SONY Alarmists: Remove your horse blinders and take a look around. Let's take a step back and look at this again.

    Price:

    While I will wholeheartedly agree that the price is about $100 too much on the PS3, is it really THAT big of a deal? Nope. Everyone planning on getting one before the announcement will continue to do so. They're early adopters who pay for the masses to buy at cheaper cost. How is this different from any other product launch?

    Convergence:

    My comment about horse blinders is appropriate here, because nobody is seeing the pink elephant in the room. Or, should I say blu-Elephant. Blu-ray is the next generation format for watch-at-home movies. So is HD-DVD, as some would argue. There's only one catch-- MILLIONS of blu-ray readers will already be in the clutches of PS3 owners. They'll get a next generation HD format with the bonus of a next-generation game machine. Stand alone players will cost $600 to $800 at the time the PS3 launches but you won't get a game machine with those. And because this all comes standard on BOTH the low and high end PS3, it's a winner. If this was optional equipment I wouldn't be singing the same tune. HD-DVD will not win the format war because SONY will have blu-ray standard on the PS3. End of story.

    Proprietary what?

    Some complaints have arisn about SONY's stance on proprietary technologies. Well taken. And while I am the last person to say ATRAC was a good idea, please point out the problems in the PS3 for me. I don't see them. Memory sticks come from many vendors. Bluetooth is a communication standard. Blu-ray is a movie standard backed by almost the entire movie industry. USB? Check. HDMI? Yep. Also a standard.

    Market Timing

    Microsoft has had a pretty good launch with the 360. They haven't done much wrong here. I'm amazed by that as much as anyone else. They have a cool UI, online distribution, etc. But so will SONY. The difference is that people with gaming PC's won't see much original (or better looking) content on a 360. They'll get unique titles on a PS3. SONY has sat back and looked at what was good and bad with the 360 (and Wii) and made their priorities known. While there may be a people who can't affor gaming rigs buying 360's, I would challenge that PS3 owners will own more games per console.

    My point is that SONY isn't making a lot of mistakes with this launch aside from the costs of a blu-ray movie trojan horse. They'll have a great system, some great titles, and probably the same run-up time to first-class titles like any other new platform launch. Sure they could have better PR ... but I don't think that matters as much as some people are claiming.

    • by The_Real_Quaid (892126) on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:09PM (#15337227) Homepage
      "Everyone planning on getting one before the announcement will continue to do so".

      Apparently you missed the thundering herd of people abandoning their PS3 plans in favor of Wii and Xbox 360.

      Who is wearing the horse blinders again? Also I find it rather amusing that you write SONY with all caps.

      I smell a plant.


      "MILLIONS of blu-ray readers will already be in the clutches of PS3 owners. They'll get a next generation HD format with the bonus of a next-generation game machine."

      Again, this is assuming that those MILLIONS actually want BluRay and PS3 at all, when they are tempted by competing products with much better prices.

      Both HD-DVD and BluRay are a waste of time, but nonetheless, HD-DVD is already off to a big head start. The prices will drop faster than BluRay, and let's not forget that M$ has an add-on device for X360 which will still keep the price lower than PS3. Atleast with the X360 route you have a CHOICE whether to be flogged or not.

      Let's also not forget that NEC backs HD-DVD while Sony backs BluRay. NEC is a true technology leader and pioneer, they will outweigh the cash-strapped Sony in this fight.


      "They have a cool UI, online distribution, etc. But so will SONY."

      Don't put the cart in front of the horse just yet. Sony has only announce plans, they don't have anything to show for it yet. If precedent is any indication, they will come up short against Xbox Live.


      I would challenge that PS3 owners will own more games per console.

      That's quite an assumption. For $600 people could get a Wii and 8 games, or an X360 with 6 games.


      "The difference is that people with gaming PC's won't see much original (or better looking) content on a 360. They'll get unique titles on a PS3."

      OK, by now it's obvious that you are a lunatic fanboy, or an astroturfer.

      The unique games will be on Wii, not PS3. The best looking games will be on X360, as we learned from this E3. For all of Sony's hype, they won't be able to surpass X360, because X360 developers are a generation ahead and most Japanese devs haven't figured out how to use a pixel shader yet.
      • Apparently you missed the thundering herd of people abandoning their PS3 plans in favor of Wii and Xbox 360.

        That is more or less irrelevant as long as Sony can sell their consoles as fast as they can produce them. The price is Ok (from a business POV) as long as they announce a lower price by E3 '07. Microsoft had to sell at $299/$399 because those analysts criticising MS didn't see that it was less about making money and more about making a point. I assume Sony did a quick calculation, saw that the 360 w

      • Apparently you missed the thundering herd of people abandoning their PS3 plans in favor of Wii and Xbox 360.

        Yup... that's what my friends are saying. They're going to buy a Wii AND a 360 for the same price as the PS3.

        Me, I'll buy one if they come out with a Linux Kit like they did for the PS2 but that's only because I'm a total nerd :-)
    • The low end PS3 (with no HDMI) may not display all blu-ray DVDs in HD. Once movie studios enable copy control on blu-ray discs, they will only display in HD from an HDMI port.

      Sony have stated that they won't enable it because obviously they want the format to take off and for everyone to enjoy the full HD quality of blu-ray discs. It's also debatable who exactly is going to pirate films like resident evil if they haven't already done so. Sony Pictures blu-ray DVDs will play in HD but no other studio has com
    • by The-Bus (138060) on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:33PM (#15337502)
      There's only one catch-- MILLIONS of blu-ray readers will already be in the clutches of PS3 owners. They'll get a next generation HD format with the bonus of a next-generation game machine. Stand alone players will cost $600 to $800 at the time the PS3 launches but you won't get a game machine with those. And because this all comes standard on BOTH the low and high end PS3, it's a winner. If this was optional equipment I wouldn't be singing the same tune. HD-DVD will not win the format war because SONY will have blu-ray standard on the PS3. End of story.


      Re: The format war.

      First off, the low-end PS3 does not have HDMI output. If the studios choose to enable the ICT (on a per-title basis) Blu-Ray movies will NOT be watchable at full HD resolution. At best, you get 720p resolution over component cables. At worst, you get DVD resolution, making your investment into a movie player worthless.

      Second, Blu-Ray is an extremely new and extremely untested technology. To compare it to DVD ca. fall 2000 is a fallacy.

      A. Timeline. By the time the PS2 came out, DVD players were not $50, but the format had been established for years. You could buy thousands of DVDs. When the PS3 is out, Blu-Ray discs (BRDs) will be out for a few months, and you can buy maybe a 100 titles. Selection will be similar to UMD, and we know how well that does.

      B. Incremental benefits. DVD offered clear benefits over VHS.

      DVD benefits over the previous format winner (VHS):
      • Better picture and audio quality without the need of expensive equipment upgrade.
      • More convenience than the previous tape-based format: chapter skipping, etc.
      • Extra features beyond just the basic film on most titles.
      • Easier storage of packaging for consumers and retailers.
      • Considerably cheaper pricing for new releases (remember, VHS had the rental window).


      How many of those benefits are delivered by BRD and HD-DVD? Zero. Read through that list again. If anything, BRD/HD-DVD will introduce higher pricing for new releases ($5-$10 more on average) and have more DRM.

      To suggest that people are buying PS3s as replacements for Blu-Ray players is nothing short of insane. For years, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will be fringe technology enjoyed by the same people who have D-VHS tapes, SACD players, Kaleidescapes, laserdiscs, and 7.1 surround systems today. Consider that the top selling movies on HD-DVD barely crack the top 600 DVDs sold for the day. This will continue once BRD players hit the street.

      Look at Amazon's page on the BDP-S1 [amazon.com], (Sony's flagship BRD player) under "What do customers ultimately buy after viewing items like this?"

      - 5% buy the Sony player
      - 23% buy the HD-DVD player
      - 63% buy a regular DVD player

      That to me says, very strongly... "Oh... movies on HD are here. Wait, I don't care."

      You seem to share the same blind optimism that Sony has.
    • by aafiske (243836) on Monday May 15, 2006 @03:33PM (#15337508)
      "While I will wholeheartedly agree that the price is about $100 too much on the PS3, is it really THAT big of a deal? Nope. Everyone planning on getting one before the announcement will continue to do so. They're early adopters who pay for the masses to buy at cheaper cost. How is this different from any other product launch?"

      This is untrue. I make plenty of money, I am an early adapter, and I buy video games and video game systems at the drop of a hat, if there's something that I like on it. The price tag for the non-gimped PS3 is really, really high. There's no way I'm buying a cheaper system that is unupgradable to a better version. I am the target audience, and I no longer want it at that price.
  • by nosredna (672587) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:29PM (#15336843)
    I don't think Sony is going to have nearly as big a problem with this generation of the console wars as people think. The entire American consumer system is based on a flawed precept anyway, and Sony is well-poised to take advantage of that.

    It is expected that people will push their spending to match their income. This results in people with a lot more house than they need, a lot more car than they need, and so on. It's not uncommon for people working low-end jobs to have a new car that they can't actually afford, and sure as hell don't need (as an example, my brother works as a restaurant manager... he has a 2001 Honda something or other, with a $119/month car payment. One of his employees, a waitress, has just traded in her previous car, a 2004 something or other, because she couldn't afford the $379/month payment. Her solution: Get a 2006 something or other with a $325/month payment). This is, unfortunately, not the exception to the rule.

    People will buy expensive stuff as a status symbol. How often have you been at some gathering of people (high school reunions are notorious) and heard people talking not about their kids, but about how much they spent on their boat? Doesn't matter that they're going to estate sales every weekend to stock their pantry (Sweet, 10 cents for a box of cereal, just because the guy who died opened it and had a bowl or two? I'm there!), they still have the status symbol of the boat, and their 3,000 square foot house, and their brand new H3.

    It's soulless and evil to take advantage of that attitude, but Sony never claimed to be a church. And there are enough people out there who will buy the more expensive console for either the status symbol, or just to shut their kids up about the damn thing (you might be amazed how far that one will push parents... ever done a price-check on a Disney World vacation? Compare that with a run to DC to hit up the Smithsonian museums for a week). And hell, they don't even need the high market share they've enjoyed in the past... with that price point, they'll have outstanding revenues even if the number of units sold is only 30% of what the PS2 did.

    As much as I hate to admit it (the side of me that co-owns a business is fighting with my pseudo-hippie minimalist personal life on this), my hat is off to Sony for this. I think they've found a capitalist's utopia for this cycle.
  • ..I'm going to call my company Bony.
    I'll install Rootkits on people's computers, and charge $600 for a game system in 2006, while my competitors chrage less.

    Will my company self destruct? 9 out of 10 dentists agree that regular screwing up will result in company decay.
  • The problem that Sony doesn't get about this coming console is that it isn't that much better than the PS2 to the average consumer. The fact is that some people that are even slightly technically inclined (e.g. my brother) already think that the PS2's graphics are HD, or that DVDs are HD, and probably wouldn't notice the difference even if you pointed it out. The problem is one of diminishing returns. I'm sure some people will buy anything because they have become Sony fans, (how, I have no clue, because
  • by SparafucileMan (544171) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:53PM (#15337050)
    Ya'll realize, right, that whether the PS3 fails or not on its own right is going to have a minimal impact on Sony compared to the value of the Yen in the coming months/years.

    Sony is a Big Corporation in the Big Game, and they're far more concerned with the BoJapan than a bunch of Fanboys. In the past 2 months the Yen has appreciated about 7%... which dwarfs just about everything.

  • by Irish_Samurai (224931) on Monday May 15, 2006 @02:58PM (#15337094)
    I'll wait and see what actually happens when the console becomes available. While certain facts point to Sony taking a serious hit, it has been proven over and over again that the US market is often overestimated in their sophistication.

    Are hardcore gamers pissed of at Sony? Sure. But there are more than enough fanbois doing damage control for free.

    Is the video game media a little miffed about Sony's attitude at E3? Sounds like they are, but that is kind of a moot point. Game magazines CANNOT put a major player out to hang, or they run the risk of losing subscribers. With the constant barrage of criticism that the gaming press constantly receives, they don't want to lose any more readers than they have to. Otherwise the doors close.

    Has Sony done this type of thing before? You bet.

    Have they been removed from the face of the earth? Not yet.

  • by Tsiangkun (746511) on Monday May 15, 2006 @04:05PM (#15337817) Homepage
    So when I see $600, I just wonder, are these going to be available in stores, or is Sony moving the first batch directly on E-bay ?

  • by blainn (681354) on Monday May 15, 2006 @04:58PM (#15338331)
    Looking around at a lot of these posts, it seems even the basic facts aren't being referenced (just more alarmist articles from other sources). Let's get back to basics for a second.

    from google finance

    Sony (ADR)
    2006 Revenue (USD): 67.53B
    Net Profit Margin: 1.47%
    2006 Employees: 152,700

    Microsoft (MSFT)
    2005 Revenue (USD): 39.79B
    Net Profit Margin: 31.59%
    2005 Employees: 61,000

    What do these basic, high level overviews tell me?

    Not much, really. I don't even know how revenue is calculated, and based on the posts I've seen, neither do you. It's okay. If you think the PS3 costs too much, that's fine. If you think Blu-Ray will fail, that's fine. But please, pretty please even, don't confuse your convictions with actual knowledge.

    There are three kinds of ignorance: ignorance, abject ignorance, and quoting random statistics.
    • Revenue is the amount of money a company takes in, not accounting for expenses.

      Profit margin is the amount of the revenue the company keeps vs. the amount they spent.

      Profit is the amount of money that the company keeps after expenses.

      By your figures:

      Microsoft made $12.57 billion in profit.
      Sony made $1 billion in profit.
  • by Mongoose (8480) on Monday May 15, 2006 @07:05PM (#15339099) Homepage
    As a game developer, everytime I see the next 'let's bash PS3 before we see it' story I can't help but wonder how many of the people writing these stories will turn a 180 once they see the console firsthand. One thing I don't understand is all the bitching about the two systems. The only difference is HDMI. You can use usb to add the memstick, ethernet to hook up to a wireless access point, and you can upgrade the 2.5 sata drive off the shelf at this point. Comparing the PS Network with Live before it's even launched is brilliant as well. You can't even store media on an xbox -- you have to handle the core case. Also once you get HDDVD with the 360 you'll be paying a lot more for the 360 and still not have HDMI, which is likely to be a year or more off I might add. Now consider what's missing. How many people even know what HDMI is, and on top of that have a device that can use it? The 360 doesn't even have HDMI, so how do you think that HDDVD will work? I hope the media can get this message at some point. You might want to stop and think instead of guessing in fourms and horriblely uninformed blogs. I have to tell you it's funny to me how little people know and then the meme is carried by others.

    On top of this PS3 may have an 'arcade' service that allows you to develop on Linux with OpenGL, and other easy to use APIs. That was mentioned during a Japanese interview during E3, but I'm considering it as a rumor for now.

    If you think the PS3 is the doom of Sony it will only be due to the fact that they sold the console too cheaply for having too many features.

    I'm not even leaking super secret information here -- this is all in public anouncements no one seems to read.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday May 15, 2006 @11:11PM (#15340040) Homepage
    That's what a core system just went for on eBay. So that's the real price, the amount a willing buyer will pay a willing seller. There's been slow price erosion on eBay, from the premium above retail at launch to slightly below it now. The "pent-up demand" is gone. When Microsoft relaunches the thing, they'll probably have to cut the price. (Or, more likely, throw in unsold game and accessory inventory.)

    The PS3 is going to face some real price resistance. For most kids, it's only slightly better than the PS2, and for the parents, it's more than twice the price.

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