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Monday, May 22, 2006

Sony's Short Term Strategy

Apparently several of Sony's launch titles might not make it for, you know, launch. In response to this, Sony's David Reeves says "we have built up a certain brand equity over time since the launch of PlayStation in 1995 and PS2 in 2000 that the first five million are going to buy it, whatever it is, even it didn't have games".

The more I read about the PlayStation 3's launch ... the more I think that Sony's short term strategy is that they don't have a short term strategy. Competitive pricing? Nope. Great launch library? Apparently not. And that's likely both games and Blu-Ray. Unique features unavailable elsewhere? Doesn't look like it.

Sony's strategy seems to be - sell it at high prices for the early adopters and in 6-8 months hope to be able to drop prices somewhat when there is a better selection available. In other words, let the high tech collectors pay for some of the costs up front. Honestly, it's not completely unlike Microsoft's 360 launch, except we're throwing in new factors like high def storage formats.

I think it's a bit of a shame, but I don't share in the Sony doomsday theorists. It's easy to lose sight of Sony's weight in the consumer electronics market. A good example could even be the PSP. It's not that unique of a product, it's not cheap and it has some questionable technical choices (UMD) combined with some very solid ones (that pretty, pretty screen). Anyone else would have probably had both knee caps taken out by Nintendo long ago. While Sony might not have been able to knock the DS off the handheld throne, it certainly doesn't seem like it's going anywhere.

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