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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Random Quotes On PlayStation 3 Delays/Shortages

Browsing around today makes it sound like Sony actually is powering the PS3 with a kitten:

"pointing out why Sony is bound to fall into the endless pitful of doom..."

"Today's dual nuclear strikes by Sony have apparently tipped some loyalists over the edge, causing them to finally sever that umbilical game cord that's been tattered and barely hanging on since last May."

"Did Sony PS3 just commit suicide? AGAIN!"

"It's already deemed to lose this generations console war because of the broken promises."

"That’s it! I knew it! Sony has officially killed themselves."

Funny, because when the Xbox 360 pulled the exact same trick about this time last year, it sounded more like:

"but Peter Moore (who we interviewed not long ago) wanted to let everyone at DICE and elsewhere know that apparently Microsoft's nicked their component supply problems, and that "within the next four to six weeks, anybody will be able to walk into a store and buy an Xbox 360."

"The idea seems to be that would-be Xbox 360 buyers will be less unhappy with a steady but limited supply of consoles than a massive sell-off followed buy a drought."

"While shortages were expected early on, by Christmas time it was clear that Microsoft had overstated its shipping goals. The question is: why? The answer is pretty simple: the company overestimated its production capabilities."

Funny, huh? I guess it's just so much more entertaining to bash Sony. Shame, since there's still plenty of defective 360s to make fun of ... really got to learn to pace oneself I suppose.

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Greg Tannahill said...

I already did the "bash Microsoft" thing. I call that period of my life "1986 through 2004". Now it's getting old, and I need fresh victims.

I think really what's impressive is the impressive number of problems there've been with the PS3, and the fact they've been completely unmitigated by any sort of savvy media spin on Sony's part. Blow after blow's been coming, and Sony's total reaction has pretty much been to say, "Face it, we could sell you an empty cardboard box with the word PS3 written on it and you'd still pay $1000 for it."

I still say Nintendo dropped the ball on the name of the Wii, but at least they caught it on the first bounce and ran the rest of the length of the field with it (to use a painful sporting metaphor).

Josh said...

Well - yeah ... it's a PR thing. What's the actual number of problems the PS3 has had? Especially compared to the 360.

This is the first real engineering problem I can point towards, everything else is PR and largely the blogosphere nodding in the same direction as Microsoft spokespeople. How many times has Microsoft been the go-to guy for a comment on something Sony has done or said? The Escapist posted a news bit on Sony and in a three paragraph snippet quoted Microsoft twice and Sony not once.

Microsoft under-delivered to all their markets. Microsoft hasn't had any penetration in the Japanese market. Defective 360's are still quite common. The 360 has no HDMI route, no 1080p capability. The 360 hasn't been a crowning technical achievement or a grand market success ... but Microsoft has been very good at point attention the other way.

So far, the PlayStation 3 is going to be under-delivered. That shouldn't have come to a surprise to anyone. Is it a blow to Sony? Yes. A rather good sized one at that. Is it market suicide? No. For one thing, the high price tag and lack of HDTV adoption means the PS3 is going to have a slow acceptance rate anyway. The PS3 isn't a six month strategy, it's more of a six year one.

What's here isn't a technical thing - it's totally a PR thing. The blogosphere can't wait to say that the PlayStation 3 has failed ... even before it's launch. It's knee jerk journalism. It's like when Evil Avatar announced the PSP didn't sell well ... before anyone knew how much it had sold.

Yeah, Sony's PR has completely sucked. And I've commented on their lack of showability when it comes to why the PlayStation 3 is the superdupercomputer they say it is.

But I think the blogosphere needs to start distancing itself a bit from the industry reactions and their own reactions. Of course Microsoft has a negative outlook on the PlayStation 3. Just because Sony hasn't managed a decent PR response to that doesn't make it any more true.

There's a lot of open questions about the PlayStation 3. Some of which Sony could probably answer, but quite annoyingly aren't. Still, I'm going to wait until the machine actually launches and I see things like their online service, their handling of SDTV and the potential of Blu-Ray before pronouncing it DOA.