Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sony is stumbling around...will someone call them a cab?

Sony is killing itself. I say this as a friend. I have a second generation PS2 and I really love it. It's a DVD player that's hardly any bigger than a DVD case. I've enjoyed many Sony products over the years and I hope that the PS3 debacle isn't going to kill the company, but some analysts have suggested that that Sony is gambling the entire franchise on the PS3. "Rishad Tobaccowala, [entertainment]specialist at the global ad giant Publicis [declared in late 2006]: [Sony is] betting the company. If this thing bombs, there is no second coming. Everything else about Sony is a sideshow. [The PS3] is the show." |Frank Rose|

Eary evidence is not good. Sony's multiplayer set-up is primitive and disappointing , the PS3s are being returned in droves to stores in North America because they are not moving on Ebay. The Wii outsold the PS3 in Japan over the Christmas shopping season. (NYT, reg reqd). The Xbox 360 outsold the PS3 in the US over the holidays. |Game Info Wire|

Sony is trying to put a good face on it in this press release, but the bottom of the release is telling. The list upcoming games is anemic and Sony is now touting they will have remote access through the PSP, thus shackling one commercial flop to another.

Sharon Fisher at Betanews lists several reasons for the PS3's slow sales.

1. Price point too high at $600.
2. Limited supply early in launch.
3. Wii priced better & had tons of free publicity from wrist strap issue.
4. The PS2 is still popular and selling for $100 with 5 games bundled.

A factor she doesn't identify but that I think is highly relevant is consumer's relunctance to pick sides this early into the battle for the High Definition standards (or the Hi Def War as I'm sure it will come to be known in the media's hyperbolic manner).

I'm a bit sad because I like Sony despite their technological meglomania. In essence, I think their problem is that they have no respect for consumer choice and keep trying to strong arm consumers into products based upon their strategic mission rather than trying to cater to consumers fears and desires.

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