As the official Nov. 17 PlayStation 3 launch date draws near, fans and those who are watching from the sidelines might be wondering just how important to the company the next-gen console’s success is to Sony.
“Critical,” says an article in Wired Magazine.
Pointing out that Sony’s electronics division has posted a profit only once in the last five years and that its share price has fallen, the article goes on to list some of Sony’s conga line of failures – Sony Connect, the Net MD Walkman, Mini-Disc, Betamax – you get the picture.
The PS3 is “critical to its entire strategy,” the piece stresses.
Up until a year or so ago, I wouldn’t have taken much note of the Wired piece. And, I probably wouldn’t have agreed with the above statement.
Sony, the company behind tons of brilliant tech gadgets, would never lose sight of its goals so far as to face a possible end. But, after its series of failures and what appears to be some seriously flawed decision making, I find myself wondering if a PS3 failure could push Sony down that slippery slope.
I’m afraid that could be the case.
Sony’s banking a lot on the PS3. So much so, in fact, it’s pushing it hard as a device that will meet a whole lot of needs beyond gaming. Justifying that high price tag is very important and in the midst of Microsoft’s latest Xbox 360 price drop announcements that justification seems even more vital.
The way things are shaping up, it honestly looks like Sony has hype while Microsoft has a plan. I’m not saying the PS3 doesn’t sound like an incredible console, because it does. And, I’m also not saying the Xbox 360 is perfect, because it’s far from it. But, MS seems to be a bit more visionary as of late while Sony’s coming across like a mad cat backed in a corner with a bucket of water over its head.
The now immortal words of Kaz Hirai (The next generation doesn’t start until we say it does) might just come back to bite Sony in a big way.
Is it too late for the giant that’s become a household name?
Not likely. As Wired points out, “Sony Electronics needs to embrace the networked world, obviously, but does it really need to be allied with a Hollywood film studio and a consumer-wary global music label in a global campaign against Microsoft? Probably not. It just needs to make cool products for the century we live in.”
I’m in a love-hate relationship with Sony myself. I love to hate and begrudgingly play its EQ line. I hate its customer service – something Wired also takes note of. I’m sorely disappointed in what I see as a major lack of planning in regard to the PS3 launch. But, at the end of the day, I really do love Sony’s stuff.
Here’s hoping the company eases up on the hubris and learns from its mistakes and the mistakes of others before it’s too late.
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