Thursday, April 05, 2007

Why Sony has a bumpy road ahead of them

After reading This article at, which questions whether the PS3 is running in a futile race, I was reminded of a point that I always mention in passing. That point would be the internet:

The internet has put impatience on full-throttle.

Consumers are more "NOW!"-oriented than ever. The one thing Sony has done right so far is made their product available. But there is much more to it than that.

It's easy to say, "Just wait!" However, as opposed to a decade ago, consumers are used to getting their little desires satiated much quicker than before. We don't even have to go to the store any more, we can do immediate bargain shopping and product comparisons at home. Dozens of reviews from real people are available in multiple places. While this has made more impulsive shoppers out of some, it has also made smarter shoppers out of others.

Word-of-mouth has also increased exponentially because of the internet. The power of the forum and review is much bigger than before; no special magazine subscription is required to get equivalent information.

I think Sony is the only company of the three that seems to have not paid proper attention to how the internet affects controversial products such as gaming consoles. If you notice, Microsoft plays well to those at home on the internet. Nintendo knows how to keep their collective mouth shut. Sony isn't close to either of those strategies; their mouth is big and they often speak before they think. When a problem arises, they do a very poor job at recovering from it. These problems may hurt them significantly this generation, but it's unlikely to "bury" them.

Sony will be okay in the end, but that doesn't mean the road will get any smoother for a while.


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