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Buy a PlayStation 3 and Sink Sony 441

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-be-sharks-in-them-there-seas dept.
sonnyweathers writes "There has never been a more perilous time for Sony than 2006. But if you think you can save the company by buying PlayStation 3 consoles, you're wrong. Analyst Evermore believes that selling 6 million PS3 consoles will make Sony a ripe target for takeover — perhaps even by Microsoft."
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Buy a PlayStation 3 and Sink Sony

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:02AM (#16184535)
    what's this? reverse psychology?

    "DON'T buy our console!"
    • by russ1337 (938915) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:18AM (#16184749)
      It appears they want to make the money back selling the games. Gizmodo [gizmodo.com] are reporting a projected increase in game prices to as much as $100 a game - the reason: Increased Dev Costs. So yeah, buy a PS3, but mortgage your house to get some games.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:26AM (#16184883)
        The saddest thing is that Microsoft is probably going to drop the price of the Xbox to $300 or $200 the moment the PS3 hits the stores. Consumers will have to make the choice between many $50 games on a $300 system or a couple $100 games on a $600 system. I think the choice is obvious. The Playstation line had a great run but complete corporate incompetence will probably kill it during this iteration. Pity, but that's life.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hoy74 (1005419)
        If Game prices really do go to $100 a game, it may help out a company like GameznFlix http://gameznflix.com/ [gameznflix.com].
    • by creimer (824291) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:37AM (#16185053) Homepage
      Or better yet... Get a Nintendo Wii, save money and sink Sony's market share.
    • I say Americans don't by PS3. Look how the Japanese didn't buy the 360 and prices went down even more. I say Americans ban together and hold out until Sony brings the price way down.

      Xbox should have a new slogan, "Buy American".
  • by pieterh (196118) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:04AM (#16184559) Homepage
    If Microsoft bought Sony, they'd own a whole lot of music and movies... I wonder what they'd do with that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      If Microsoft bought Sony, they'd own a whole lot of music and movies... I wonder what they'd do with that.
      That is highly unlikely, due to Sony's financial diversity. Check the middle of this page [wikipedia.org] for a little info on that. Sony isn't going to sink. They'll just take on lots of water and use their highly anticipated game titles as a bilge pump.
      • Yeah, but what if....What if MS did get Sony! Sony the insurance company. Sony the personal electronics company. Sony the Media Giant. Sony the bank. Sony the stock broker. Sony the realy big R&D lab. I think that if it happned MS would choke trying to asamalate Sony, and then they would both eather die or become serously smaller players in the process.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Sony the insurance company. Sony the personal electronics company. Sony the Media Giant. Sony the bank. Sony the stock broker. Sony the realy big R&D lab...

          ...Sony the T-shirt, Sony the Coloring Book, Sony the Lunch box, Sony the Breakfast Cereal, Sony the flamethrower!

          The kids love that one.
    • by muyuubyou (621373)
      Analyst Evermore is wrong. By the time you bought the 6E+6 console, Sony's value would be far away from Microsoft's reach. Microsoft can't afford to buy a company 1/10th the size of Sony, even more so with the uncertainty about Vista market outcome in the medium term. It would be suicidal.
    • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:39AM (#16185093) Homepage Journal
      Speaking for myself only (but, I am a MS employee), I seriously hope that _never_ happens.

      To say that I am ... dissatisfied with what we're doing in terms of DRM and content protection technologies for content we have no financial stake in.. would be an understatement. I've gotten in some pretty heated arguments with people closer to those groups internally and there are days I feel like looking for other employment options.

      Imagine how awful things would be if MS owned a bunch of "traditional" content (besides software.. which has grown up with "piracy" and the market understands how to deal with it..and the providers have grown up figuring out how to stay alive inspite of it)

      When one umbrella organization owns content and technology, the interests of one are going to suffer due to the other. Sony makes this plainly evident. I suspect that the content people at Sony are furious that the technology people haven't invented a remote "extort-money" button for the latest Sony-Style line of kitchen radios.. and the consumer electronics people are livid that they keep getting memos suggesting that they invent a TV that plays ONLY Sony Pictures movies from the content arm.

      When I talk about stuff like the broadcast flag, etc at work, I can still posture the argument that it's not clear that we make money by playing well with that thing vs ignoring it or taking a more consumer friendly approach. If suddenly "we" benefited from crap like the broadcast flag, those arguments would be DOA.

      (Just like slashdot - there is not a singular hive-mind mentality inside Microsoft, and it should be clear that not everyone is 100% thrilled with everything that gets MS's name attributed to it. I can only imagine that there are good engineers at Sony as well that are upset with what has happened to their company.. )

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:46AM (#16186111)
        Hrmm... that's a quite risky opinion you have.

        Please come to my office at ONCE.

        Bring a chair.

        Steve.
  • "Save Sony?" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plover (150551) * on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:05AM (#16184571) Homepage Journal
    From the article, Sony's CEO was quoted as saying "Want a PS3? Work a little harder."

    What do I have to do if I happen to like watching the company most actively pushing DRM on us flounder and collapse? How can I personally help to hasten that demise? Work a little harder? Be a little less greedy?

    Actually, that's a strategy that could possibly save Sony -- abandon DRM loudly and publicly, and tout themselves as the Kings of Unrestricted Media. A big campaign of "We trust you to not steal our stuff, but Microsoft and Apple think you're thieves."

    Hey, if they're going down the toilet anyway, try a little innovation! Work a little smarter, not harder.

    • Re:"Save Sony?" (Score:5, Informative)

      by plover (150551) * on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:10AM (#16184657) Homepage Journal
      OK, so I misquoted. It was Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi that said this:

      "Our ideal," Kutaragi said, "is for consumers to think to themselves, 'OK, I'll work more hours and buy it.' We want people to feel that they want it, no matter what."

      It was the article's author that summed it up as "Want a PS3? Work a little harder!"

      • by 955301 (209856)
        Clearly this guy has never heard of the "salaried employee". What if you don't get paid for overtime? Take another job? Whatever....
    • Re:"Save Sony?" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dan East (318230) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:20AM (#16184793) Homepage Journal
      Actually, that's a strategy that could possibly save Sony -- abandon DRM loudly and publicly, and tout themselves as the Kings of Unrestricted Media. A big campaign of "We trust you to not steal our stuff, but Microsoft and Apple think you're thieves."

      Sony is too big, and has an vested interest in too many areas. Thus they cannot serve only the consumer in any of their divisions. As long as we see movies with the word "Sony" in the opening credits, we can be certain that Sony hardware will embrace DRM to the fullest extent possible.

      If Sony could have their way, the only media and hardware channel between the movies they produce and the consumer would be Betamax®, oops, I mean Memory Stick®, oops, I mean UMD®, oops I mean Blue-ray®. And if someone is reading this 5 years from now, insert whatever DRM infected crap they're currently pushing at the end of that sentence.

      Dan East
      • Re:"Save Sony?" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dthree (458263) <chaoslite@@@hotmail...com> on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:21AM (#16185749) Homepage
        Why do /.-ers always trot out the betamax to "prove" sony's desire to foist proprietary systems on consumers? First off, sony didn't own any movie studios when they developed the betamax and there were no prerecorded tapes untill several years later. Secondly, they did attempt to license the technology to JVC, who they didn't know at the time was developing a competing format, and did license to Aiwa, NEC, Zenith, Sanyo and Toshiba. Thirdly, how is JVC/Matsushita's VHS format any less proprietary if manufacturers have to pay a license fee to make them?

        I'm not saying sony hasn't been stupid about other things, even in addition to the one's you metioned, (Mindisk, 8mm, rootkits, etc) but WTF do you people have against betamax?
        • Re:"Save Sony?" (Score:5, Interesting)

          by plover (150551) * on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:48AM (#16186165) Homepage Journal
          It's all about history. A lot of (old) people are still bitter about having to replace their Betamax VCRs. The feeling of having been screwed by a corporation doesn't fade -- it ossifies in the brain.

          It's not an issue of cold facts, it's one of perception. Keep in mind that at this time Sony was widely loved for having produced the Walkman, which was 1979's version of the iPod. I'm not saying Sony went out to deliberately screw the people who adopted Betamax. Far from it, it's obvious that they wanted Betamax to dominate the market. But it didn't, and people felt like they had wasted a huge amount of money trusting their beloved Sony (feel free to adjust a $1000 price tag for a VCR for 25 years of inflation.) When they spent that money, they didn't know it was a gamble or that there was a chance they'd "lose" -- this was Sony!

          Now, compound that disappointment with the rest of the restrictions and proprietary media that Sony's shoveled out the doors or supported ever since they entered the production side of the entertainment industry. ATRAC, the copy bit in DAT tapes, Macrovision, Memory Sticks, CSS, HDCP, (and the rootkit fiasco) and you can't help but notice a pattern of general contempt for their customers evolving over the years.

          So if a pissed-off grumpy old guy wants to whine about getting burned by Betamax, let him. He's got tons of evidence on his side, even if the facts are slim.

          (A lot of people who paid thousands of dollars for non-HDCP HDMI televisions a few years ago are about to enter that same ripped-off state, so look for a fresh crop of bitter young technophiles to adopt a similar attitude towards the makers of their plasma TVs.)

    • Re:"Save Sony?" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NDPTAL85 (260093) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:28AM (#16184897)
      You're one of those funny Slashdot people who thinks the masses would care about DRM even if they knew what it was in the first place, aren't you?

      Think about what you just said. "abandon DRM loudly and publicly." Go outside your home or office right now and run up to 10 people and ask them if they know what DRM means. Help them out even, let them know DRM stands for Digital RIghts Management but tell them nothing more. You'll be lucky to find one person who can tell you what DRM means. So how exactl would your suggestion help Sony again? And why is Apple so successful despite its use of DRM with iTunes?
      • Knuth said it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by xtracto (837672) on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:09AM (#16185547) Journal
        "Name and conquer"

        No, people does not know what DRM means, but what they do know is that they cant copy their music freely from their iPod as they could with the tape recorder. They also know they cant backup that game/app DVD as they could do 10 years ago, or that movie DVD as they could with their VHS movie.

        What happens is that they do not relate those annoyances they have everyday with technology with the Bad(tm) DRM. They just think it is "more difficult". Back in the times of the VHS you just inserted the original and the blank and presseed REC+PLAY and voila.

        It is your task as "computer expert" to let them know that it is not a consequence of advanced tech that it is more difficult or impossible to do that but it is a consequence of the restrictions that these corporations are adding to their content (wheter that is or not legal is another story)
    • 1) Your seriously delusional if you think the company who most wants DRM on its media would ever make a about face like that.

      2) "We trust you to not steal our stuff, but Microsoft and Apple think you're thieves." Except the fact that it MORE like "We are the reason Microsoft and Apple even had to put DRM on stuff in the first place, since we told them they couldnt sell our content without the DRM."

      Kinda helps if you know what your talking about before you go around saying things like Microsoft and Apple

    • strategy that could possibly save Sony -- abandon DRM loudly and publicly, and tout themselves as the Kings of Unrestricted Media. A big campaign of "We trust you to not steal our stuff, but Microsoft and Apple think you're thieves."

      You ARE aware that Apple doesn't want to have DRM, they're only forced to do it because of companies like Sony who will not let them sell their songs online without it?
  • Even better... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigDork1001 (683341) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:05AM (#16184577) Homepage
    ... don't buy it and just let it sit there on the store shelves collecting dust. Taking this approach also saves you $600.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimstapleton (999106)
      Sony already got all the money they'll get directly for those consoles, that just hurts the stores who's shelves their sitting on. By buying them, Sony will make more, and sell more, taking a loss on each.

      They get there money from games.

      A PS3 is a cheap computer for the processing power. Not a bad system for Linux/BSD, and Sony doesn't make money off of those, if that's all you use. And that's all I'll use on a PS3 if I get one.
      • by cHALiTO (101461)
        Then again, if you buy them, it'll get noticed, publicized, and game companies will make more games for it, thus helping sony make a profit. If you DON'T buy it, sony would have sold the first console to stores, but as these see the units gathering dust, and not selling, they're not likely to buy any more ( at least until they sell those ), and maybe game publishers will take notice too of how poor the unit is selling...
        So I think NOT buying one is actually better if you want to hurt sony.
      • But doesn't that then hurt the store who Sony just sold more to? I understand that by buying one and never buying a game from it, Sony is investing in a customer that does not actually exist. But for each console a store sells, they'll likely restock that console, and we'll be back at square one, with the store losing out on its predicted sale.
        • Stores typically restock based on sell rate.

          Ex: if it takes a year to sell all the inventory they bought, they may make only 1/4 of an order next time - they are still better off than if they didn't sell any. If it takes a month to sell all the inventory, the next order may be 3x of the previous. I guess it just depends on rate of sale as to how much it hurts the store.
  • Strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:06AM (#16184587) Homepage Journal
    Boy, that makes a lot of sense. If Sony makes "6 million PS3 units before April", and sells them all, then they recoup part of their expense. If they don't sell any, then they are somehow better off not recouping anything at all? More sensationalism.

    Dan East
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EVil Lawyer (947367)
      It's a dumb theory, but not for the reason you suggest. Sony won't produce 6 million units if it doesn't sell the first x-million. Their theory requires Sony manufacturing marginally more units for every unit sold.
    • Re:Strange (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DerGeist (956018) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:19AM (#16184771)
      I don't think you fully understand how this is supposed to work. You see, Sony is selling the PS3 consoles with the expectation that someone is going to buy them (at a loss to Sony) and then buy games (i.e., big profits for Sony).


      Think of a generic fast-food restaurant. Imagine they have a "value menu" with the Stinkburger Deluxe for only $0.99, but it costs $2.99 to produce. Drinks, however are $2.50 and cost about $0.15 to produce. Similarly fries are $0.99 but cost only $0.10 to produce. The restaurant will go out of business if every customer enters, purchases one Stinkburger Deluxe, and leaves. But most people aren't satisfied just downing a Stinkburger, they want fries and a drink too. That's the idea here; it's called the "razor and blades business model [wikipedia.org]."

      So if no one buys a PS3, Sony obviously won't produce six million. If people buy them and buy NO games, NO blu-ray discs, and NO accessories (extra controllers, etc.) then Sony will be in quite a bit of trouble.

      • You make a strong hypothetical economics argument, and an interesting one at that, but I can't agree with your analysis. In this case, if you buy the hamburger for $.99 you can eat it, it is self-contained. However, if you buy a PS3 for $600, it isn't self contained. You need things, like PS3 games or blu-ray discs, to use it. Otherwise you have a $600 paperweight. A better analogy would be that you can buy the Stinkburger buns for $.10 (below cost), but meat costs another $.55 and lettuce $.15, mustar
      • Re:Strange (Score:4, Interesting)

        by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:33AM (#16184979) Journal
        Yes, and along the same lines, what if people bought them en masse for a non-gaming, non-blu-ray purpose? What if, say, university workers started buying them, and salvaged them for parts, esp. the processors for a supercomputing system. You'd also get hard drives and graphics cards. I'm sure these could be used in other fields, and they're priced under cost -- a better deal than anywhere else.

        Then, they're just a charity for people who need computer parts. What would stop this?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Aladrin (926209)
        Take it 1 step further, though. Sony produces and sells 6 million units. They only sell 1 million games.

        Q: What are game producers going to think?
        A: That either people don't -like- the games or that they are all being stolen. I seriously doubt they'll think the games aren't liked, when they are selling well on the other platforms.

        So Sony now has a huge loss on consoles, poor game sales, and game producers that don't want to produce for their console. This approach hurts them in the future as well as the
      • Just to nitpick (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Most fast food places earn a profit on EVERYTHING they produce. At McDonalds circa 2 years ago, the ONLY thing the restaurant sold at a loss was a Big'N Tasty (sorry, I've already forgotten where the ' goes. It's their Whopper-clone) and even THEN it was only at a loss during a particular sale (1 dollar a sandwhich, very short lived) and even THEN only if used in conjunction with an employee discount of 50 percent. The sandwich was the most expensive one made because it required (1) Quarter meat, (2) Tom
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Grishnakh (216268)
          Most fast food places earn a profit on EVERYTHING they produce. At McDonalds circa 2 years ago, the ONLY thing the restaurant sold at a loss was a Big'N Tasty (sorry, I've already forgotten where the ' goes. It's their Whopper-clone)

          You mean the Big N' Nasty?
      • Erh... find a different analogy, please. Burger without fries works. PS3 without games doesn't.
      • Re:Strange (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:03AM (#16185463) Homepage Journal
        If people buy them and buy NO games, NO blu-ray discs, and NO accessories (extra controllers, etc.) then Sony will be in quite a bit of trouble.

        If Gamera the giant firebreathing space turtle lands on their offices, they'll bit in quite a bit of trouble too, and that's about as likely to happen.

        Who the hell is going to buy a 600$ piece of electronic equipment out of spite with no intention of using it?
        • by Silent sound (960334) on Monday September 25, 2006 @03:40PM (#16189715)
          Games: Playstation 3 launch at risk from giant turtles
          Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday September 25, @10:00PM
          from the could-things-get-any-worse dept.

          An anonymous reader writes
          On top of Sony's other problems, analysts are now predicting [tinyurl.com] that the Playstation 3 launch may be at risk of attack by Gamera, a radioactive turtle from beyond the dawn of time. From the article: "If Gamera the giant firebreathing space turtle lands on their offices, they'll bit in quite a bit of trouble too, and that's about as likely to happen." I don't think there's any question at this point that Sony is doomed.
          Sony is going to have a lot of trouble withstanding an attack from Gamera, as not only does he possess great destructive power, but he is also a friend to all children.
      • Re:Strange (Score:4, Interesting)

        by drew (2081) on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:53AM (#16186251) Homepage
        Two things:

        1) Sony doesn't make the consoles as the order comes in. Sure, they won't make 6 million right away if nobody is buying them, but they still have to have enough on hand for the initial launch to fill demand. So if they make two million consoles and manage to get half of those onto store shelves before stores realize that nobody wants them, then Sony is out $600*1M + $100*1M = 700M. If they make 6 million and they sell out, they are out $100*6M = 600M, and even that is assuming that there are really 6 million people out there who are willing to spend $600 on a console and nothing else just to spite Sony. Sorry, don't think so.

        2) Does anybody actually know that Sony is selling these consoles at a loss, or is this all just wild speculation? So far as I know, the only company that has ever sold a console at a loss was Microsoft, and they explicitly were not interested in making money on the console, but rather spending a boatload of money to make their way into a new market. The razor blades analogy is so bad for this market for a variety of reasons, but the most obvious one is that razor blades are consumed. You can't buy a razor and just one blade, because the blade will wear out and you have to either buy a new one or you're left with a worthless plastic stump. Console games are not consumed- you can buy just one, and it will last you the lifetime of the console. I know a couple of people who bought a PS2 just for the GTA games. If Sony had been selling that console at a loss, they would have never made their money back from three games, when one or two of them were purchased as "Greatest Hits" for $20. All of the estimates that I remember seeing for the "per console" cost to Sony of the PS3 included sunk costs such as the cost to develop the BluRay drives, which is misleading because Sony has already spent that money, whether they sell 1 PS3 or 100 million.

        Anyway, I think Sony really blew it on this generation. They are too expensive to compete with Nintendo, and they are a year later on the market than the XBOX. Unless they have some really good exclusive games, (which it's been a long time since they have had) they are in for a world of hurt pretty soon.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:07AM (#16184599) Journal
    The analysts are counting on Sony making up the sales of machines with the sales of video games.
    If you don't make a profit on the console, then you probably hate me. Usually the only reason I buy a console is because of a game or two that are specific only to that console. My game libraries are quite small and if I ever buy more than two or three games, they are used and cheap.

    My last console of purchase was a Gamecube. The number of retail games I purchased for it totals two: Super Smash Brothers and Windwaker. I hope Nintendo made money on that console because I doubt they made much on the games I purchased for it -- though I could be wrong.

    So how many games would I have to buy to make a PS3 profitable? Well if they lose $300 per console and let's be generous and assume they make $50 profit on each game, then I'd have to buy six games -- which there is no way in hell I'm going to do because each game is going to be $60. If I'm to drop $500-$600 on the console (which I'm probably not going to), I'm not dropping another $300+ on games.

    Now, if Sony makes big royalties on their Blu-Ray DVDs and the sales of the PS3 increase sales of that, they may be OK. It's hard to say but I think that the adoption of their Blu-Ray standard is crucial to their survival -- the PS3 being expensive because of it is just making the stakes all that much higher. And they've put themselves in that position so they have no one to blame but themselves. Quite the gamble. 'Will it pay off?' relies on too many factors for me to even ponder ... or care to ponder for that matter.
    • by Spad (470073) <.slashdot. .at. .spad.co.uk.> on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:22AM (#16184833) Homepage
      Luckily for Nintendo, they sold the Gamecube at a profit. It's a little known business trick in the console industry, but not selling your products at a loss is a great way to make money.
    • What you're saying is reasonable, but look at it this way: Sony could make a loss on the entire line, even after game license revenues. Why? You have to build a brand name first when you crack into the console business. Next-gen, maybe they don't have to take as big a loss. Maybe after they've sold two console generations already, then they can have the credibility to get better prices for their systems and not have to sell at a loss.

      Long story short, Sony is taking a loss because it's their first conso
    • Well, I usually buy the console only to find out if Linux runs on it somehow... Games? No time to play. But I'll need another console, the one I got is toast...
  • by EVil Lawyer (947367) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:09AM (#16184627)
    The only argument supporting their assertion that Microsoft might want to buy a beleaugured Sony is:

    "And who could be the potential buyer?

    Microsoft.

    That's right. I said it. Just think about it."

    Okay. I've thought about it. And it doesn't make very much sense. Neither does the rest of the article -- but at least they tried to support their main thesis.

  • Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by richdun (672214) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:09AM (#16184643)

    First, TFA suggests that MS could take over Sony's video game arm, not the whole company. Second, it pretty much assumes that MS would want it. Why exactly would MS need/want it? If Sony goes that in the hole over the PS3, meaning not only did they lose a ton of cash on the loss per sale, but also didn't make hardly anything in third-party licensing deals (something TFA seems to forget is the largest revenue driver for consoles these days), that would mean that the Wii60 combination dominated the market - all this after the PS3 sold 6 million units (see the faulty logic yet?). Both Sony and MS lost tons on sales of consoles with the Xbox and PS2, but more than made it up with first-party games, third-party licensing, and the like.

    Stranger things have happened, but I don't see it. Microsoft itself is a prime takeover target with almost zero debt and huge cash reserves, but it's too big for an LBO (at least we think it is).

    • I could see Apple buying the Sony Game are before Microsoft. Sony really wants the PS/3 to push Blue Ray into the home and provide a way for Sony to complete with ITunes. Anyone that looks at the PS/3 can tell right off the bat that it isn't about games it is about movies. A deal with Apple would be give Apple access to some Games which it could use to help it's penetration into the home market. Sony could get Apple to push the BlueRay format by simply giving Apple the ability to rip the BlueDisks to the
      • by richdun (672214)

        Interesting. But I guess from more of a philosophical look, I (and many others) have always seen Nintendo as the match for Apple. Sony has recently been the sort of stylish sort of cool kid in the room, but rarely with the cult-like following or true iconic status that Apple has had (in the past decade, at least, Walkman aside ... and no, Playstation fanboys have nothing on Nintendo or Apple fanboys). Apple + Nintendo just seems better matched - both used to totally dominate the market, tried to work wit

      • It gets better! The PS3 uses the Cell, which is PowerPC based, and Apple machines also use...

        Oh. Nevermind.

        Seriously though, the ability to buy movies and audio on your PS 3 from iTMS would be a great feature (for the less DRM-conscious Joe User), since the PS 3 is almost certainly already plugged into their big TV and Hi-Fi.

  • Would be curious to see if Evermore owns any stocks in Sony. Quite honestly I am not in the market of spending money for something I don't want. I don't care if Sony fails or succeeds, just as long as it quits screwing the public.
  • Simply sell their console to themselves at the typical loss. Then sell them on ebay for the price people are actually willing to pay. Serious profit!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      What you meant to write was:

      1. Simply sell their console to themselves at the typical loss.
      2. Then sell them on ebay for the price people are actually willing to pay.
      3. ...
      4. Profit!!!!!

      Please use the appropriate 'numbered list appending ellipsis and Profit!!!!!' format in the future.
  • by Speare (84249) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:13AM (#16184693) Homepage Journal

    There was the same talk about buying XBoxes just to "stick it to the man." Everyone who thinks they can hurt a company by vigorously buying their products, even if they were sold at a loss on the razorblade model, is deluding themselves.

    First, they will crow that they're selling tons of units, which will look good to their management and drive forward their strategies, whether or not games are being sold at the same rate. Second, the base units just get cheaper to manufacture over their product lifetime, so at some point, you're thinking you are still shafting them while they take profits to the bank. Third, as I've said before, once you're talking about millions of customers, any possible "hurt" done by a few thousand boycotters or complainers is something a megacorporation can simply shrug off and ignore.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by joe 155 (937621)
      your point is very true, and all the people on /. could do nothing to change this.

      If we run with the idea of Bill Gates or MS (If they can ever really be seperated) wanting to buy Sony (I know it's not very realistic) they could use the idea contained here to pretty much sink Sony before buying it. Say Bill Gates was to buy every PS3 which was for sale by buying all that the main distributors had, Sony makes a big loss and won't sell a single game for them. They can't make enough consoles to plug that
  • Basically, they're saying that if people buy the machines (loss leaders) and don't buy the games, Sony will be in trouble. No $hit, Sherlock, that's the way the console business has been for years now.
  • Let's not. What kind of an idiot wrote that article??
  • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NosTROLLdamus (979044) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:21AM (#16184819) Journal
    Yeah, right. Selling 6 millions PS3s would only cement sony's position in the video game industry. It'd give them a huge market, and would have developers lining up, purchasing *gasp* dev kits, and of course, licences to produce games. Big Name Games, and hell, sony'd make cash of the turdz as well. That's why they're selling it at a loss. I thought this was the basis of console strategy for a long time? (well, minus nintendo, but they're way out in left field anyway)
  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:25AM (#16184871)
    "Our ideal," Kutaragi said, "is for consumers to think to themselves, 'OK, I'll work more hours and buy it.' We want people to feel that they want it, no matter what."
    I'm not one to assume that I deserve to get a PS3, 360 or Wii, but Kutaragi's comments border on insulting.

    Yes, I know that if I want to purchase consumer goods that I need to work to earn money to be able to afford them. I have no problem with this, the problem I have is that Kutaragi's attitude is one of "The price is not our problem, the price is your problem, do something about it."

    If you own a business, and your product is rejected by the market fot being too expensive, then you either deal with the lost sales or change your pricing structure. If you cannot do the former because it would hurt your bottom line, and you cannot do the latter because your have designed a product with a very high materials cost, then it's your problem, not that of your potential customers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      "Our ideal," Kutaragi said, "is for consumers to think to themselves, 'OK, I'll work more hours and buy it.' We want people to feel that they want it, no matter what."

      This part of the quote really turns the rest of the quote around for me. The idea that the PS3 costs too much, but I should work harder to buy it-- you're right, that sounds silly and insulting. However, that last part that I emphasized gives it all a different context. I think he's really just saying that they're aiming to make the PS3 so

  • Well (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313)
    "In a February story for CNet, it was estimated that the total cost of components for the PS3 would be in the neighborhood of $725 to $905". I highly doubt that this is still the case, especially after they cut the price of the Japanese launch machine on Friday (link [bbc.co.uk]). This is backed up further by the fact that the Japanese market is by far their strongest and it is definitely where they are going to sell the most machines, considering the US has already got market proliferation from the Xbox 360 which will
    • by hibiki_r (649814)
      Sony claims that they'll have 400,000 consoles for the US launch, and 100,000 for the Japanese launch. How in the world are they going to sell the most machines in Japan?

      The fact is that Sony is more interested in the American Market. Since Microsoft is doing so poorly in Japan, they really don't need to try too hard to beat them. Nintendo will sink or swim on their own, regardless of what everyone else does.

      Sony will ship around half a million million consoles to Japan before the end of the year. Based on
    • by DrXym (126579)
      This is an interesting video clip [youtube.com] of people from 1UP talking about the PS3 vs XBox 360. Their opinion is that there is zero buzz about the 360 over in Japan and the PS3 got everything right.

      The 360 is going to tank in Japan, with the Wii taking the bottom end and the PS3 the top.

  • There's fans from every camp here on Slashdot for consoles: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. However, something to keep in mind despite whatever your affiliation is, if any: This is a BAD thing All of this, if it comes true, will equal gross complacency. Marketing analysts are preaching a damning future for the PS3 (though I rarely, if ever, take marketing analysts seriously), and though some people are cheering this on, they only should be if they're an enemy of the video game industry. Suggesting that M
  • Big losses or not, the big question for Sony is whether or not the second batch of 6 million consoles sell out or gather dust on the shelves. The first batch of consoles is going to sellout regardless of the retail price and of course games will be sold too. But if the price really is too high for the majority of consumers who would have an interest in the PS3, then that second batch could be in trouble. I just keep thinking about how the PSP has turned out, going from a lot of hype and excitement initially
  • If you think the Sony rootkit was bad. Consider what might happen if Microsoft was involved. Chilly...
  • Economics 101 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alchemar (720449) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:34AM (#16184997)
    This is based on how much sony will lose based on cost to manufacture vs. sell price. $750 - $400 = $350 in the hole. They will be spitting these things out like no tomorrow near the release date. They have to pay to manufacture the unit if you buy one or not. $750 - $0 = $750 in the hole. If you want to see sony go down for all their stupid behavior then Don't buy a unit. They will probably cut off production when they don't sell, but it should be too late by then.


    If we can find out who is making all the decisions it probably wont be hard to convince him that they aren't selling because they need to manufacture more units, maybe add a root kit to every box and recall the old ones.

    • by BenjyD (316700)
      Exactly. Selling 6 million PS3s gives Sony a large install base to wave around in PR, attract developers with and earn licensing fees from. Far worse would be to sell only 500,000 consoles or something: that would destroy Sony's revenue stream and the Playstation brand as well.
  • Selling no Playstation 3s will make Sony ripe for bankruptcy.

    OK, not exactly a likely thing (there are *some* people who will buy a PS3 on opening day even if it has no games at all), but you get the idea. The rumored numbers are just mind-boggling: $600 (at least) for the console, $100 per game, and who knows how much a second controller will cost -- especially since they apparently won't even rumble.

    Sony tried to make the PS3 into all things for all men, but are making a console that's all things to no on
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:38AM (#16185085)
    I think that the Japanese government would block a takeover of Sony by Microsoft for one reason: pride. Despite its faults, Sony is still widely preceived as being one of the crown jewels of the Japanese nation. If Sony went deeply in the red, the Japanese goverment is likely to not allow a takeover and bail them out.

    Most of Sony's troubles lie in its poor management. Sony could own the MP3 market if it hadn't been as concerned with content protection or proprietary formats. If Sony had made a deal with Toshiba with high definition format DVDs, Sony would be almost guaranteed to make moderate (billions) profits off of the new format. Sharing a positive number (profits) is better than having a negative number (losses) all to yourself. With a new format decided on, the adoption rate of high definition discs would be much quicker. Sony felt that it could win the format war easily by putting the Blu Ray drive in the PS3. I feel that Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 in 2005 because they knew that Sony would be in a poor position with the Blu Ray drive.

    If Microsoft could take over Sony, they should. Microsoft doesn't really have anywhere to expand in software, they need to find new products if they want to have growth. Consumer electronics would be a very good area to get into for Microsoft. It is a low profit industry, but Microsoft would be in a position to sell services and software on the products. Many of Sony's failing products could be attractive to various Microsoft strategies. Think Sony with better management, it is really hard to get worse management.

    This situation will most likely happen if the Wii is the dominant console this generation. If the PS3 doesn't do well, Sony will be in a position ripe for acquistion. If the Xbox 360 doesn't do well even though they had a year head start, Microsoft will either drop out of the console market or buy Sony and combine the Xbox and PS3 brands. If the Wii is the dominant console, then the anti-trust people will look more favourably on the merger of two failed brands.
  • Not MS But... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by skribble (98873) on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:45AM (#16185199) Homepage
    Disney would buy Sony (with some part being sold off to Apple) MS would have nothing to gain by buying Sony except to just put them out of business. Even though MS is getting more aggressive in competing directly in the Hardware business, buying Sony would freak out the Dell's and HP's of the world (And honestly the anti-trust gov't types would have to be smoking something real good to let this one get through... essentially MS would likely have to sell off the hardware stuff, leaving just the media, which while interesting to MS would turn away the other media people and make MS's media/DRM play more difficult for them). Disney on the other hand would be a perfect fit. They would add the media to their portfolio (give them more theme park ride possibilities even) The PS3 is great since Disney like to publish Games... They could hire the right game developers and go all Nintendo on everyone (in stead of Mario though, think Mickey). Of course this would benefit Apple indirectly since well their interests are currently tied together pretty strongly (iTunes now gets Sony movies, and has more leverage in future iTunes Music negotiations), yet still Apple maintains the guise of neutrality. The computer hardware would likely get sold off (Sony Laptops are quite cool). The software could get sold off too (maybe to Apple, Combining Acid IP with Garageband, Vegas with iMovie, FCP, maybe creating a PC version of iMovie and GarageBand?). The Camera business, Chip making, and all that could continue under the Sony name or get sold off as well, heck the peripheral stuff would also mesh well with Apple (except the Walkman but again the IP could be valuable). Of course Steve Jobs could make this happen without too much problem making a win-win for both of his companies.
  • Perhaps not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dark Paladin (116525) <[jhummel] [at] [johnhummel.net]> on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:51AM (#16185285) Homepage
    If you look at the upcoming November console elections - I mean, launches, there's an interesting thing going on:

    1. The Wii is launching with more games than the PS3, and in greater numbers
    2. Therefore, developers who develop games for the Wii or the PS2/360 will have greater sales than PS3 sales, simply by available units.
    3. If a publishing company wants to make more money, make a PS2/Wii/360 game first.

    I've even heard some publishers moving to shift their games to the Wii just because the PS3 will be launching in such low numbers. Eventually this will change, but if you're looking at your angry stockholders wondering why "Murder Death Kill 2000" sold only 100,000 copies on the PS3 while the Wii version of "Shoot Him In The Head III" sold 300,000 copies.

    If the PS3, however, sells 6 million units within six months, you bet those same developers will want to be heading to the big lake since they expect bigger fish there. Personally, I'm holding off on the PS3 until about 2008/2009 (depending on certain game launches), and I'm actually considering getting a 360 next year with Mr. Tax Return or some such (once they get "Shenmue 2" and "Panzer Dragoon Orta" backwards compatibility up).

    I'm getting a Wii this Christmas, if for no other reason than a) it looks sweet, and b) My Lovely Wife (MLW), Mrs. Non-gamer herself who got hooked on "Brain Age" is curious to try out that "Cute tennis game you showed me".

    Just because any chance I get to have MLW jumping around the TV set in a cute little tennis outfit is a good day for me :).
  • Horrible article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by harryk (17509) <harryk20022002 AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday September 25, 2006 @10:57AM (#16185373) Homepage
    OK, so I did something I'm not supposed to do before ranting, I actually read the article. Forget for a second that the author specifically repeats itself, but its poorly written as well.

    First, lets take the blue-ray drive. Lets assume for a moment, that the article correctly reports the price at between 200 and 300 dollars. So you're telling me the that between half or more of the cost is in the drive itself, to say nothing of the components that make up the system. I think Sony is run by baboons most of the time as well, but come on. Maybe at a full costs level, being sold to OEMs the blue-ray drive costs that much, but lets be real here for a second, they're not paying that much to have them.

    Going further into the article, it suggest that Sony will force you to buy a bundle, big surprise there. Every console during launch has basically forced you to buy some bundle. And lets be honest for a second. What good is a console without atleast 1 game. Show me one early adopter that bought anything, just to have it sit on the shelf and collect dust. Of course you're going to buy a game, possibly two. As long as I can pick the game, I don't really think thats a problem. Now, on that same note, don't force me to buy an extra controller or any other 'accessories' especially since now the low-end model will offer HDMI port. Personally, I think thats a plus. Yes it will drive up the core costs just a touch, but lets be honest again, chances are that if I bought one today, I'd still end up buying the propietary component cables. This way I can buy the HDMI cable from a vendor of choice, and probably at a non-inflated price. I'll be standing just outside of BestBuy offering HDMI cables at half the cost of Monster on release day. Digital is digital.

    Is the price of the PS3 high, yes it is. Do I still want one, yes I do. Will I buy it, probably not - but maybe. Does it cost more than the xbox 360, not necessarily. I can buy the 'base' console for the same price as the 'premium' 360. Plus I get BlueRay without any additional costs. The only advantage I can immediately see the 360 currently having is the modability. Give the PS3 1 year and I'm sure we'll see the same results.

    I could go on, but to be honest I don't have the time or the energy to further crap on this article. I think someone had a word quota to fill, and this was there attempt at getting it done with.
  • I already proposed this earlier this year: Let's buy Sony. [everything2.com]

    Then we can make our own gaming console / digital camera / MP3 player / laptop / movies / music / DVD player / HDTV.
  • by Broken Bottle (84695) on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:21AM (#16185731)
    Is that a sister site to The Wall Street Journal or the Gartner Group? :)
  • by Mal Reynolds (676267) <Michael_stev80@h ... com minus author> on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:14PM (#16191447)

    The key to sinking Sony is not just to purchase their subsidized console. It's to do that while dissuading a massive proportion of these subsidized PS3 owners from buying PS3 games.

    There is a way to accomplish this, but I suspect it will not be easily or quickly accomplished. Sony's Achilles heel in all of this is not the underpriced PS3, it's the PS3's game-disc copy protection scheme. To have any hope of sinking Sony, a torpedo will have to be directly aimed at that copy protection.

    In a best case scenario (or worst, depending on your perspective), a comprehensive crack of Sony's game-disc copy protection would be released at the very instant PC-based Blue Ray burners drop to a reasonable price, say $300. This game-cracking software should be so easy to use that any punter with a PC and a Blue Ray burner could easily make copies of Sony's only profit center, the game discs. To truly sink Sony, this crack shouldn't require swapping discs or modifying hardware. The cracking software should be very easy to use, completely effective, and comprehensive across all of the PS3 line.

    If such a comprehensive crack were released after Sony had shipped say, 5 million PS3 units, it would be nearly impossible for Sony to "fix". Of course, if Sony have done their work correctly, the execution of this will be supremely difficult.

    Sony has almost certainly used some sort cryptographic hash to sign the game discs. So unless Sony has left a gaping hole in their copy protection system, a massive effort would be required to unravel the keys. If I were to suggest an avenue of attack, it would not be a brute force assault against the cryptographic keys. I think a far more productive attack would be a signal analysis of the PS3 chipset. Just such an analysis managed to crack the Xbox keys.

    It's a big job, but if someone out there really has it in for Sony, this would sink Sony right to the bottom.
  • by jazuki (70860) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:23PM (#16191617) Homepage
    Two basic criticisms with Evermore's analysis.

    First, she (?) assumes no economies of scale for Sony in manufacturing the console, and no ability for Sony to squeeze its own supply chain. Perhaps there is or isn't, but I remember when the iPod first came out, there was a lot of discussion about Apple's margins on the device were marginal at best, and perhaps even negative, given the known component costs. But that fact was not in evidence in Apple's financial reports for that quarter or since.

    I'm not arguing that the PS3 will be profitable initially or any particular year of its life, but Evermore's analysis (a $300 or $400 loss per unit over 6 million units ?!?) has a weakness that a lot of economic projections seem to share: assume perfect knowledge not only about current price structures and individual and corporate economic behavior, but also assume you know exactly how it's going to turn out in the future.

    Second, her comparison of the DaimlerChrysler merger to a putative Sony-Microsoft merger does not make sense from a anti-trust perspective. Daimler and Chrysler largely had a complementary market presence in that Daimler-Benz's strengths were in markets Chrysler was weak in or did not serve, and vice-versa. In fact, I'm not aware of any market or market segment where both could be regarded in the top two, like Sony and Microsoft, or even the top five. (If anyone knows different for any of the national markets, please apprise us. I'm honestly curious.) There may have been other reasons to question the merger, but anti-trust issues were not one of them.

    In other words, Daimler/Chrysler didn't trigger heightened anti-trust scrutiny. Microsoft/Sony most certainly would, and not only in the United States.

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928

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