Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If I were SCE and I Had a Time Machine

Sony has made heaps of PR related mistakes over the Playstation 3, just one after another, it also made a massive mistake with the Playstation 3's marketting and SKU's.

The problem with Sony was its own arrogance, it had to have the bigger hard drive and it had to have the Blu-Ray player built in, it had to have its games on Blu-Ray and it had to not have rumble. It had to focus on 'cutting edge' entertainment and forget about the fun factor it had to as such set its goals up way too high only to disappoint severely.

Sony, or to put more specifically, SCE, made a few key PR and marketting blunders that tarnished the Playstation 3's strengths and exemplified its weaknesses.

Here are a list of things that I'd change if I had a time machine, both from a PR standpoint and marketing one.

E3: Both Nintendo and Microsoft opened up show casing games, the key to selling consoles, the unfortunate Playstation 3 audience had to sit through an extremely long monologue about how great the Playstation 2 is from a pink shirt wearing Kaz Hirai. This was the start of the terrible press conference that would seal Sony's fate up until the announcement of Playstation Home months later.

Price: I'm not going to say something as dumb as 'too expensive', but Sony could have done two things about the price. First, it should have cut off the two sku's and settled for the 20 gigabyte Playstation 3 with HDMI 1.3 as its only unit. By doing so the 60 gigabytes specialness becomes null and void, the only. Furthermore during E3 the price should have been aggressively justified, not just Kaz muttering 'yeah it's a big investment', an investment for what? Spell it out Kaz, it's a big investment but you get a Blu-Ray player, upgradeable hard drive and free online play, even if you didn't want the Blu-Ray player the free online play would have been worth it on its own. Also the advantages of online play on the Playstation network should have been spelled out, dedicated servers being the big seller (no P2P ala Xbox Live), something like 'and unlike our competitors, we will provide a more robust and solid online experience via the use of dedicated servers instead of peer to peer networking'.

Games: What made those early pre-rendered trailers of games like Killzone or Motorstorm so exciting was not the fact they were on the Playstaiton 3 but that they looked genuinely exciting. This is what gets peoples attention, to this day nobody cares on what system they are playing on, even after years of market dominance the Playstation brand does not hold its own. This isn't fashion accessories or Stephen King novels, this is gaming and despite the fanboys by and large the generel consumer is interested in getting entertainment and getting it cheap from wherever. So focus on games, no more monologues from Kaz Hirai at E3, change it with another spectacular trailer, maybe of Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy 13, or heck, how about another pre-rendered Killzone trailer, who gives a damn?

Ken Kutaragi: Cut him from PR duties, no interviews, no word with the outside world, when that man claimed people should take out extra jobs to be able to afford the Playstation 3 he should have been bound and gagged, preferably sent to sleep with the fishes. Nothing is worse than that particular brand of arrogance, it turns people away in disgust, it's worse negative PR than if a competitor just nicked your biggest exclusive franchise.

SIXAXIS: Cut the crap, put in rumble, stfu.

No comments: