Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sony's Difficult Road Ahead...

Ken Kutaragi and Phil Harrison's blasphemy is essentially being called out. Remember that the PS2 and PS3's are computers? The UK Court of Appeals says otherwise.

I am not protesting about [the Sony appeal's] inordinate length, nor about its discursive quality, nor about its frequent and unnecessary resort to hyperbole, although all those unappealing features are present...

This means that Sony isn't getting a refund for mislabeling their products as a personal computer rather than an entertainment device in Europe. Several years ago, this mislabeling would have benefitted Sony, although today the situation is different:

Although games consoles are no longer subject to EU import charges, they were between 2001 and 2004 - while computers have always been exempt.

However, this is just another piece of negative news chalked up for Sony. They are already perceived as a company in decline. This isn't helped by consumers viewing the Sony brand as less of a premium brand as opposed to several years ago. Then there's the bungling presentations, cocky interviews, and bad practices to add to that.

If the 360 sees a price drop this Holiday season, then Sony is in for even more problems. I wouldn't dare suggest that the PS3 won't sell out initially (because it will), but cheaper gaming options are going to speak to the general gamer a lot more than $500-600 for a PS3 that will be difficult to obtain. The general gamer is what is important, as proved by the PS2. It seems fairly apparent that the average gaming consumer is going to see what little more the PS3 is going to offer for %25-33 more money than the Premium Xbox 360. Let's not forget about the Wii that is expected to already be a hit or most gamers as well.

How Sony handles themselves in the near future could make or break them. With all the required upfront costs of continuing to game via Playstation, they are making it hard for fans to continue to continue to follow them. Not all gamers have it in them, Sony.

Edit: I misunderstood the situation with the failed Sony appeal. Made changes accordingly.


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