Anyone who got March’s issue of EGM probably read their article, “BattleStation!”. To put it mildly, this article incensed me. It outlines the troubled launch of the PS3 and interviews Sony’s CEO, Jack Tretton. Mr. Tretton’s response to the very first question posed to him by EGM clearly underlines Sony’s arrogance. When asked where the negativity surrounding the PS3’s launch came from, Tretton replies. “The problem we have…its society in general.”
You mean to tell me that the reason the PS3 had a rocky launch isn’t because of its exorbitantly high price tag, or the feeling that the PS3 is a Trojan horse for Blu-Ray, or that there really isn’t any seriously compelling software titles to warrent an immediate purchase is because there’s something wrong with me?
Sony has clearly lost its mind. They have lost touch with what their consumers want, and just how much one is willing to pay for what in reality is expendable. For example, if the whole video game industry magically dissappeared tomorrow, we would all be fine and we’d spend our money elsewhere. This is not that far fetched…the early 80’s saw the bust of the video game industry until the NES brought it back around again.
The argument is that you’re getting more than just a next-gen gaming machine. You’re getting a powerful media center complete with a Blu-Ray player and a rich online experience. While its undoubtedly more robust than Nintendo’s paltry online capabilites, the PS3’s online arm is no where near as far reaching as the Xbox 360’s. Tretton himself even admits that nearly 62 percent of televisions sold this past year were not hi-def in the article. This was the reason given as to why there are no component cables packaged into the system. It also goes to show that a vast majority of consumers don’t even have the capabilty to see all those amazing polys being pushed around. Additionally, the public at large doesn’t even know the difference between a standard DVD and an HD-DVD let alone what the competing format that the PS3 supports is.
When told that 50 percent (a conservative estimate) of the people camping out to score a new system were Ebay blood-suckers, Tretton clearly feigns ignornace with the simple response of “really?” Then, he goes on to say that anyone who managed to get a system and indeed re-sell it on Ebay at a profit is no reason for him to say the launch was a failure. From a purely buiseness stand point, they acheived their objective which was to sell their initial supply of product. However, they were not selling it to their intended target audience. They were selling it to a load of get-rich-quick-schemers who were then in turn left out in the cold when a majority of the systems didn’t sell on Ebay neither. However, to be fair I’m willing to bet that if those lines weren’t filled with Ebayers, people who legitimately wanted the system would have filled the ranks.
Last but not least (for this post anyway), Tretton dares anyone who finds a system in-stock at a store that he will give them 1,200.00 dollars. The article plays fair and mentions that this interview was conducted in mid-January…which at my count was only 2-3 weeks ago. The GameStop (yuk) down the street from where I work had them in stock at Christmas time. But Tretton didn’t make his promise as of then, so I’ll let that one slide. However, just yesterday I was in my local Best Buy and there was three (3) PS3s 60GB models just sitting there. I stared at them for a minute with a strange nagging in my head. And now I know why.
Jack Tretton, you owe me 3,600 dollars.