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Why Sony Needs a 'Major Nelson' 84

Microsoft's 'Major Nelson' and executive Peter Moore have been visible representatives of the 360 console for well over a year now. 'Grandfather of Gaming' Shigeru Miyamoto and asskicking Reggie Fils-Aime have have preached the Wii concept through good writeups and bad name jokes. Sony ... well, Sony has Ken Kutaragi, Phil Harrison, and Kaz Hirai. They say helpful things like 'we don't care', and 'disks won't matter', and (my personal favorite) 'the PS3 is a computer'. RPG Site has a compelling argument stating that Sony needs a Major Nelson to cut through this crazy executive talk, and reconnect the company with real gamers. From the article: "While it's not something that appeals to every group of people that play games - the casual market and kids, for example, the existence of these people allows the part of the market that is most opinionated - the core gamers, those who have a very clear opinion on what they want and what is good and bad - to interact with somebody who can actually bring about change. Hell, on a lesser note, it even gives the fanboys someone to worship."
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Why Sony Needs a 'Major Nelson'

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  • I Agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    Sony does need a human face. Recent Sony press conferences and interviewed have showed so much spin I have felt dizzy after reading them. Although my post may reflect some anti-Sony bias, I sincerely hope the PS3 doesn't flop. The console market could use three players.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox ( 846076 )
      Sony does need a human face.

      I have to ask this... Why?

      If they games are fun and the PS3 doesn't break easy and doesn't have bugs that causes freezes and lockups or have massive DRM lockouts on things you've purchases legit, then why do we need a public spokes person?

      The casual gamer doesn't care and it is only a few hardcore gamers that watch the press conferences.

      I've said this before and I'll say it a again... No matter how well you do at E3 nor how many millions you dump into marketing campaigns... If yo
  • by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @07:59PM (#16330221) Homepage Journal
    The PS3 has been quoted as saying, "I'm a computer! Stop all the downloadin'!"
  • Major Nelson? Wasn't he the astronaut that uncorked the bottle in I Dream of Jeannie?
    • by amuro98 ( 461673 )
      That was exactly my thought as well.

      Forget the Major - Sony really needs Jeanie to summon millions of PS3s for Christmas.
    • by bunions ( 970377 )
      yeah. could someone explain what a "being a Major Nelson" means? Because all I can think of is a guy who always does spit takes.
      • I was thinking a "Nelson" was someone who needs a swift kick to the balls. That would help Sony tremendously in the idea department. A little Viagra wouldn't hurt.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        "Major Nelson" is moniker of Larry Hryb, he's the Xbox Live Director of Programming for MS.

        What makes him so special is that whenever there is any confusion over some kind executive double-speak "The Major" is quick to ask the right people within MS and blog about what's really going on [] in plain English without any of the BS. Basically he puts all the hype and confusion into laymen terms. His blog is probably one of the best and most straight-forward sources of info for what's REALLY going on with Xbox
        • From the Gamespot Community Spotlight []

          Sketch: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what it is you do?

          MN: My Name is Larry Hryb...Gamertag: Major Nelson. My official title is "Xbox Live Director of Programming." When I started working here 2 years ago..I did not know what it meant either, but since then I've been able to better define it: I keep my finger on the pulse of the Live community and come up with interesting ideas to keep members happy and coming back for more. You can find me

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      I thought he killed himself after he became an oil baron? [] What's he doing alive and working for Microsoft?
    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 )
      So who do they have in charge now? Major Healey? Colonel Bellows?
  • Have have you double-checked the article before posting to the front page of Slashdot?
  • by justchris ( 802302 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:16PM (#16330405) Homepage
    Peter Moore and Reggie Fils-Aime serve in much the same capacity as Kutaragi and Hirai. They have just as much ability to change the future of the console as anyone who speaks for either of the other companies. Having a game designer as a spokesman wouldn't necessarily help the PS3 image. It more depends on who the person is rather than what they do.

    Peter Moore is good because he's enthusiastic about what he does and he's a great speaker. That enthusiasm carries to his audience. Major Nelson is great because, whatever else he may be, he feels like a real gamer, and is osmeone we can all relate to, because he's just as fanboyish as we are. Miyamoto is great because, aside from his proven history, he is really dedicated to games beyond all else. He'll comment on other things, but whenever you approach him, it's all games, all the time. Reggie is great because he's an excellent marketer. He knows how to sell things, he knows his target market, and he knows how to talk to them. Nothing else.

    Sony fails not because of the position of the people who speak for it, but because of their lack of skill in speaking for their company. They just need a spokesman who A) can relate to the customer and B) can keep their foot out of their mouth, even as the ship is sinking. Nintendo had the same problem with Yamauchi, but even then Miyamoto was still a figurehead that anyone could rally around. Ever notice that a bit into the GC lifespan Yamauchi stopped speaking for the company, even before Iwata was promoted to president? There's a reason for that.

  • I think Sony has done such a good job at ruining their image that no single person could help them. But my vote goes towards them needing a Steve Ballmer :-P
  • Sony... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...doesn't need Major Nelson. Sony needs Colonel Tibbets [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:35PM (#16330587)
    I'm familiar with purple nurples, indian burns, nipple twisters, swirleys, etc., but just what is a Major Nelson, anyhow?

    Uhh, not that I have anything against giving one to Sony. Feel free to give them a few swirleys or whatever until they learn their lesson.
    • by radish ( 98371 )
      Major Nelson [] (aka Larry Hryb) is the Xbox Live Director of Programming. He's also the main community liason for Xbox and runs a personal blog and does weekly podcasts. He's a really great, genuine guy (I've met him on a couple of occasions), and he really is interested in trying to give gamers what they want. Think of him as the human face of the Borg, kinda like 7 of 9 but not as curvacious.
  • This is definately something Sony needs asap.

    Major Nelson's podcast I quite enjoyed for a while around 6 months ago approximately.
    It definately "works" I was thoroughly hyped for the X360 (6 months ago was launch time in Australia, where I am bear in mind)
    It's also great to get MS specific news and information, he presents the podcast well and it's slick.
    I ended up no longer listening to the podcast because it felt too "markety" too me and my interest in the X360 has waned due to other reasons.

    Now on the So
  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:49PM (#16330729)
    * Applications for the cell have to be written to a high level language or else a world wide system crash could occur. * The PS3 will take your current movies, work with other PS3s and digitally enhance them. It's not upscaling, it's digital aging, like a fine wine. * Real time weapon switching * Genji 2 is based on actual historical Japanese facts. Hit the giant enemy crab's weak spot for MASSIVE DAMAGE!" * Ridge Racer. RIIIIIIIDGE RACEEEER!! Ridge RACER!!
  • I think what Sony is going to get instead is a Full Nelson( []) from Nintendo and Microsoft.
    • by splutty ( 43475 )
      Sony indeed needs a Full Nelson, and preferably by someone that can then drag them kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat.

      (Translation: Sony needs a bleeding clue...)
    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
      I'm thinking they're going for a Charlie Foxtrot.
  • That Sony doesn't have such a person but they only speak in Japan? To Japanese gamers?

    The Japanese seem to
    Who is Xbox's Japanese leading man??? Japan is a market about as big as the U.S. right?
    • by radish ( 98371 )
      Who is Xbox's Japanese leading man???
      I don't know his real name but his GT is "Strawberry".

      Japan is a market about as big as the U.S. right?
      I can't find any real figures but my impression is that it's somewhat smaller, but not hugely so.
  • Actually, what Sony really needs to is shed its content divisions and go back to just producing kick-arse hardware with none of the crippled crap that's infected their stuff since the minidisc. OR they need to sell their hardware divisions to someone who still cares about making a good product, before the brand is completely ruined.

    What they don't need to do is sell a bloated peice of DRM-infected junk for A$1,000 while the higher-profile members of their organisation effectly say "we could poop in a bag a

    • What Sony really needs is for Apple to buy up most of their consumer electronics/hardware divisions. Apple (Jobs) has a unified (sometimes a bubble of distorted reality) vision of delivering a product in hardware AND software, and keeping the unified architecture as it adds on and obsoletes your new fancy 6-months old hardware (as both do a lot of).

      If anything, Apple IS Sony without the massive hardware clout nor resources, and without Sony's massive software integration blindspot. Just look at iTV; anoth
  • So Sony needs a guy to sit around with two robots and make fun of bad movies?
  • Why Sony Needs a 'Major ...what? []'
  • "The PS3 isn't designed to lean towards games." A million Sony fanboys cried out in terror and then were silenced. Right here: html?tid=233&tid=212 []
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Good. If I spend $500 on something (or $400), I want something that can do more than play games. As the PS3 looks from all impressions to be able to play music, pictures, and video clips, and to stream them throughout the house if you wish and have a web browser, and play HD content, and support bluetooth & USB devices, and still be a kick ass console, I'd say the thing is going to do very well. I expect that Sony intends to gain revenues not just from games but from bluray disks, and music & video
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:51AM (#16332709) Homepage
    Hell, I doubt if even Jeannie can help Sony out of the mess they're in now.
  • Forget that!

    Sony needs a Full Nelson... RRRrggh!!
  • Sony doesn't need somebody to make the fanboys happy. Sony needed to (1) get their box into the stores in volume by Xmas (2) at a price comparable to the competition and (3) with some games that were visibly better than anything on the PS2. So far they've blown (1) and (2). We'll have to wait and see about (3).

  • I thought it was Admiral []?
  • The article mentions both Major Nelson and Shigeru Miyamoto... a Sony counterpart to either man wouldn't be a bad thing, but the more valuable of the two is the latter, and the reason has little to do with PR. /I'm getting a Wii60!!!
  • lol (Score:3, Funny)

    by hb253 ( 764272 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @08:54AM (#16335095)
    <Larry Hagman voice ON/>


    <Larry Hagman voice OFF/>

    • I picked up a PS2 about a year ago, initially for Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. The collection's grown since then; most of it from discount bins (for instance, Ace Combat 4) and eBay (Naval Ops: Warship Gunner, to name one), although every so often something new piques my interest (Ace Combat Zero, Warship Gunner 2, Yakuza, and the upcoming Red Star adaptation). That said, I'm in no hurry to pick up any of the new consoles, although The Outfit and Blazing Angels:
  • by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @09:46AM (#16335639)
    I suspect that Sony doesn't specifically need a "Major Nelson" but rather that they need an "American Major Nelson". I think much of what Sony's talking heads say makes sense from a Japanese point of view while they just appear dumb from an American point of view. Sony says "It's not a game machine, it's an entertainment machine" and the American audience only hears "It's not a game machine".

  • Wrong Title (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ctrl-Z ( 28806 ) < minus bsd> on Friday October 06, 2006 @01:52PM (#16339035) Homepage Journal
    Sony doesn't need a 'Major Nelson'. What they need is a 'Full Nelson []'.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell