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The Almighty Buck Sony PlayStation (Games) Businesses

Sony Shrugs Off Bad Press - Still A Strong Brand 281

Posted by Zonk
from the no-one-knows-what-a-rootkit-is dept.
netbuzz writes "The Sony brand name took a beating last year over all those burning batteries and the rootkit fallout, right? Wrong, at least according to a recent survey of 2,000 adults who are apparently willing to forgive just about anything ... if you give them the right reason. Other technology companies, most anyway, also fare well in the brand survey. From the article: 'According to the survey, the Sony brand finished a gaudy ninth among the "Top 20 Winners for 2006," sandwiched comfortably between a couple of saintly American icons: Oprah and the National Football League. Moreover, the respondents see Sony climbing to No. 4 among this year's gainers, right above Amazon and eBay. Moral: Build a better PlayStation and the American consumer will forgive all else.'"
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Sony Shrugs Off Bad Press - Still A Strong Brand

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  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:18PM (#17475634) Journal
    I bet Sony still wishes their Vaio line had a Ferrari-logoed laptop right about now...
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:11PM (#17476620) Journal
      This survey was done by a company called "Landor Strategic Brand Consulting." Obviously, these guys are not in the business of taking impartial surveys, they are in the business of PR and building brand recognition and loyalty. Now somehow they have everyone talking about how the bad press just doesn't matter. No one is asking, "does it matter?" anymore, they are asking, "Why doesn't it matter?"

      Very clever PR. I'd take these results with a Great Salt Lake sized grain of salt. Don't let these sleazy PR hacks brainwash you into doing their work for them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Ixne (599904)
        Indeed. From http://www2.landor.com/?do=cCapabilities.home [landor.com] :

        "Transforming brands that transcend competition is the core value that drives Landor. It is what we've done for over 60 years. Our clients come to us for many reasons. Their single commonality is their desire to change perception..."
  • No brainer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AutopsyReport (856852) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:18PM (#17475642)
    Battery fires and rootkits are Slashdot tech news, but not everyday Mom & Pop frontpage news. It's then quite obvious why Sony still has a great reputation with the majority.
    • Re:No brainer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:32PM (#17475890) Homepage
      Rootkit maybe -- Sony is right in that most people don't know what it is, and don't understand the explanation -- but not the battery. People know what "battery" and "fire" are. It was on the news a lot (for something like a product recall), and plenty of my completely non-techie-no-computer-much-less-laptop friends had heard about and even cracked jokes about Sony's batteries.

      It really is that people will forgive anything, at least if there's no personal memory of pain involved. I'd be willing to bet that those whose batteries caught fire aren't going to think so fondly of the Sony brand from now on. Everyone else will just think "oh, they must have fixed it by now" and move on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Total_Wimp (564548)
        Companies have recalls all the time. Consumers are used to it. If they gave recalls too much weight, no one would ever by a car again.

        Aside from the Sony battery recall, can you name five other recalls in the last year? Can you name two? How about one? People have short memories unless they were personally affected, and often don't consider it an issue unless the effect hurt them in some way, like the fires you mentioned. Since the number personally hurt is usually a tiny percentage, the company does
      • Re:No brainer (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ivan256 (17499) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:47PM (#17477230)
        People know what "battery" and "fire" are. It was on the news a lot (for something like a product recall)

        Almost everybody associates the problem with Dell, not with Sony. Quite honestly, they are right to. Dell sold the batteries, and they should have tested them to see if they were faulty. They also should have designed their chargers to prevent the problem.

        Almost nobody with an exploding Sony battery purchased a package that said Sony on it anywhere.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke (6130)
          Almost everybody associates the problem with Dell, not with Sony. Quite honestly, they are right to. Dell sold the batteries, and they should have tested them to see if they were faulty. They also should have designed their chargers to prevent the problem.

          Good point on who the perceived source of the problem is, though I don't fully agree that it is right to blame Dell. Sure they should have done better testing, but Sony produced the faulty components and distributed them to many others than just Dell.

          In a
    • As much as I like Sony products that are getting more evil. Is the little news that matter, such as Sony forcing "lik-sang" to close. I have bought stuff online there before, and was pretty mad to find out Sony stepped all over them with their expensive lawyers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Actually, both the battery fires and the rootkits were covered on CNN's Headline News. However, CNN's coverage is very forgiving (as I suspect the other major news networks' coverages are) to Sony, unlike what you see in the tech news world where Sony gets just absolutely lambasted for their mistakes.

      One reason for this difference in news coverage, I think, is that the mainstream news editors don't understand tech news all that well, so they err on the side caution. After all, they don't want to get sued
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        One reason for this difference in news coverage, I think, is that the mainstream news editors don't understand tech news all that well,

        The real reason for this is that Sony is one of the biggest advertisers on the planet.

        Thanks for playing though.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      True enough, a lot of the reasons why people hate Sony on Slashdot are not going to impact the average consumer all that much because they (probably) do not care that much about exploding batteries, DRM and Rootkits but the impact of other decisions Sony has made (probably) has not been felt by the majority of people yet.

      Of potential PS3 owners probably about 10%-20% know that the PS3 has been released and know what it costs, and many of those are (probably) anticipating a quick price drop; if the price rem
    • by Idaho (12907)
      Battery fires and rootkits are Slashdot tech news, but not everyday Mom & Pop frontpage news.


      Frontpage news, maybe not, but I've seen both covered quite extensively (i.e. in regular articles, not just "filler" side-bar articles) in at least 2 of the larger dutch newspapers. I assume others may have covered it as well.
    • Geeks try to rationalise everything in terms of measurable physical factors (e.g. reliablity, stability, performance per dollar). But, we tend to forget what everyone else cares more about the human factor...

      Put that this way, Vaio is an overpriced laptop (so as designer clothing, Rolex and Ferrari). But, it makes the owner looks cool. It is more important than anything else. As long as the product kind of works and the price tag remains high, Sony can get away with it... According to my biased samplin
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by chip35 (1047394)
      I know when I took my Sony CD back to Best Buy because of the rootkit, the clerk told me that I breaking BestBuy's return policy of returning open product. While BestBuy were forgiving and allowed me to exchange the CD for a non Sony product I did feel like I had entered a new dimension.... The Service Clerk had not heard of the rootkit at the time. I agree there are 2 worlds. However as a boomer my reality is that Sony have been on a slippery slope for awhile now. I strongly desired my first Walkman and T
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Radon360 (951529)

      The problems have to be something that can be sensationalized in the main stream media before they become damaging...or at least make for a good viral email warning ("Sonya Soandso had her Sony Vaio in the back seat of her car. The battery exploded, killing the three occupants." type of thing). Once the media latches on, sensationalizes it and starts damning the company responsible, then does the damage occur.

      The rootkit was (is) essentially innocuous to most computer users...it was there with the rest

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:19PM (#17475652)
    "Ninety percent of everything is crud," said Sturgeon. I would amend "And 90% of people will believe anything."

    It's the 10% who see through the BS that are worth listening to.

    -Eric

    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      It's the 10% who see through the BS that are worth listening to.

      Still can't find a citation but I'm told that Ben Franklin said that 9 out of every 10 men are living suicides. Might as well be dead. Whether he said it or not I wholeheartedly agree. Most men are walking around empty. They have no convictions and if they did they'd have no courage to go with them. All they have left are anger and helplessness.

    • I wish democracy and election systems would agree with you.
    • by Knuckles (8964)
      Close, but not entirely correct [wikipedia.org]: the world population can be divided into three groups:
      • The 85%, who are the humble masses, mentally deaf, dumb, and blind to the truth about themselves and the world in which they live.
      • The 10%, who understand much of the truth but use it to their advantage to keep the 85% under their control through religion, politics, entertainment, economics, and other methods.
      • The 5%, who are the enlightened divine beings, having repossessed knowledge of the truth regarding the foundations
  • People just have too short an attention span today. I remember when a company does evil and at least try not to deal with them anymore.

    I won't bore you with my Sony stories, you have probably heard them before.

    • People just have too short an attention span today. I remember when a company does evil and at least try not to deal with them anymore.

      I'm right there with you - in regards to Sony Music.

      Sony games on the other hand is a totally separate division, who has brought us a PS3 with Linux support. Just as you remember when a company does evil I try to remember when a company does good - and realize that really large companies are made of divisions that are almost totally independent in deed and leadership.
      • by powerlord (28156)

        Sony games on the other hand is a totally separate division, who has brought us a PS3 with Linux support. Just as you remember when a company does evil I try to remember when a company does good - and realize that really large companies are made of divisions that are almost totally independent in deed and leadership.

        Yup.

        My favorite are the ones bashing Sony and therefore boycotting the PS3, while bashing MicroSoft and then playing their XBox/XBox360 (especially when then include tone of righteous indignatio

        • by EdwinBoyd (810701)
          With Sony this is simply not the case. Sony Electronics (SEL) is supposed to be separate from the other parts of the company but is constantly hamstrung by Sony Entertainment(SME).

          The Minidisc was an amazing piece of technology that had no competitor but thanks to piracy concerns it was 're-tooled' to the point of being useless. Without the artificial limitations imposed by SME minidisc could have cornered the flash drive market before it got off the ground.

          Sony DVD players work well enough but until r
    • by PingSpike (947548)
      People just have too short an attention span today. I remember when a company does evil and at least try not to deal with them anymore.
      I tried doing that but I ended up living in a shed in the Antarctica pedaling a bicycle hitched to a generator.
  • by blowdog (993153) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:19PM (#17475666)
    Take $200 off the PS3 and all is forgiven
    • hell, if they throw in some 3D capable linux drivers for their video card on the PS3, I'd go for it. with the 200 dollar rebate of course :)
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        hell, if they throw in some 3D capable linux drivers for their video card on the PS3, I'd go for it. with the 200 dollar rebate of course :)

        Yeah, I have to agree... but that would be a sign that Sony "gets it" and as such I don't expect that to ever happen. So I feel safe in saying that yeah, I'd probably buy that :)

        Sony is not interested in your freedom. In fact they can and will do everything they can to prevent you from having any as relates to them. Which is why they're not giving you full access

  • Sony (Score:2, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
    is dead to me
  • No such thing.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ozzeh (954692) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:21PM (#17475714)
    There is no such thing as bad press. If your brand is in the news and keep people talking about your brand, it's more likely to be remembered.

    Sad but true..
    • Re:No such thing.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ameline (771895) <ian.ameline@gmailMOSCOW.com minus city> on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:02PM (#17476474) Homepage Journal
      The only bad publicity is an obituary -- and only then if you're actually dead.

    • Yeah, like Enron, Worldcom, President Bush, Iraq, Martha Stewart, AOL...

      The canard that there's 'no such thing as bad press' gets disproven again, and again, and again, yet someone always brings out the stock line that it doesn't matter much.

      I'm going to let you in on a little secret us working as marketers try to keep to ourselves. The idea of 'bad press' keeps us up at night and working long hours to prevent.

      Publicity can't turn shit into gold, regardless of whether it's positive or negative.
      • by PingSpike (947548)
        Publicity can't turn shit into gold, regardless of whether it's positive or negative.
        Try telling that to William Hung. That guy rode that shit train all the way to the bank.
        And Martha Stewart seems like a bad example, because I've seen her doing everything up to and including reality shows. And Bush...well, he got re-elected somehow. I think that little line takes into account that most people just aren't actually paying attention, so as long as your name is getting drilled into their brains through som
        • William Hung became 'famous' for comedy, not talent. And I'll admit, he's funny to watch making a complete fool of himself.
          Martha Stewart got fired from her reality show.

          You ignored Enron, Worldcom, Iraq.

          Bush got re-elected by making the other guys look worse than he was. That's bad press for the Democrats (I was for it before I was against it) That's more of a point in my favor.

          Sony is currently succeeding based on inertia and the fact that some of their products aren't half bad. (I love my Sony universal
    • There is no such thing as bad press.

      Michael Richards is that you?!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Reverend528 (585549)
      I'd argue with you, but the sony battery in my dell laptop running sco unix seems to be smoking, so I guess I'll just nod my head in agreement and sign off.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:23PM (#17475746)
    I bet it is painfully uncomfortable being sandwiched between Oprah and the National Football League.
  • Not So Sure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HRbnjR (12398) <chris@hubick.com> on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:24PM (#17475754) Homepage
    I was originally planning to sit on the fence regarding the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war until a dual format player was released.

    And then I heard Sony was using their licensing agreements to prevent such a device.

    Sony just refuses to do what is best for the consumer, be it root kits, memory card interoperability, or licensing rules like this.

    I can certainly say that *my* image of them has tarnished over time, and I am now seriously thinking about buying HD-DVD just to spite them.
    • Re:Not So Sure (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ozzeh (954692) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:29PM (#17475842)
      I try to be as objective as possible when buying electronics. Brand-loyalty never did nobody any good! (if Sony markets the best solution, I'm game!)
    • Re:Not So Sure (Score:4, Interesting)

      by multipartmixed (163409) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:29PM (#17475846) Homepage
      Why does this surprise you?

      Sony also would not allow VHS/Beta devices.
      • by powerlord (28156)
        This has got to be a troll.

        Why would anyone have wanted to create such a device?

        Can you point to an article about someone who did? (or wanted to?)

        Unlike Blu-Ray and HD-DVD where the disks are the same size, and use basically the same hardware (with a slightly different wavelength to read I think), the only difference is software for the initial Media Format (heck even the compression codecs are identical).

        I could swear that VHS and Beta used different cassette formats, and thats just the beginning of the is
        • by PingSpike (947548)
          I have no idea about the validity of that statement. However, VHS and betamax players cost something like $800-1200 dollars back in the day. I remember reading the VHS was cheaper because it sold for under $1000 at one point. These days its easy to say the savings would be minimal when you can buy a VCR for $50 and a DVD player for $40...but back then just sharing the tuner hardware might have added up to a few hundred dollars of 1980s money. I could see the appeal to at least some people for that kind of h
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kirin Fenrir (1001780)

      I was originally planning to sit on the fence regarding the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray format war until a dual format player was released. And then I heard Sony was using their licensing agreements to prevent such a device. Sony just refuses to do what is best for the consumer, be it root kits, memory card interoperability, or licensing rules like this.

      Of course they are! Do you damn Apple for not releasing OSX on PCs? Microsoft for not allowing Halo on Playstation hardware? A Ford dealer for not selling you a Nissan 350Z?

      Companies exist to turn a profit based on a percieved customer need or want. Sony invested quite a lot of money into the development of Blue-Ray and is trying to recover from a gaping finacial wound brought on by that and the PS3. They would be very, very stupid to allow a dual-format player to exist this early in the game, w

      • by Azarael (896715)
        You're on the right track but your examples are faulty. Apple does allow you to run Windows(and other OS's) on their hardware, Microsoft doesn't prevent sony from developing games for the 360 and Ford dealers don't prevent Nissan dealers from selling Fords (like in the case of trade-ins). You're right in that this is all about Sony maintaining an iron grip on what their products are used for, which is what the GP was getting at as well.
      • by JoshJ (1009085)
        Halo not running on Playstation hardware is due to technical issues, not artificial restrictions (like, say, DRM). Apple itunes music not playing on anything other than an ipod or itunes, on the other hand, is an artificial restriction, and I do damn them for that. There's a difference.
        • by xero314 (722674)

          Halo not running on Playstation hardware is due to technical issues

          Halo not running on PS Hardware is due to licensing issues not technical issues. There are no technical issues stopping Bungie from compiling Halo for PS. Allowing Bungie to compile halo for PS would be outside the MS license agreement with them. Bungie would be foolish to not create and sell halo for PS if they could. On the other hand MS would be foolish to let them since they can license it exclusively.

          Apple itunes music not playing

      • You're comparing products not being cross-compatible (OS X, Halo, Ford) with standards (Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD). I am okay with a Ford Dealer not selling me a Nissan (although I've seen plenty of Subaru dealers wanting to sell me a Kia) or not playing Halo on Playstation. I am not okay, however, with a company trying to hijack a standard and use it as a license (literally) to fleece people.

        If Sony wants to create a standard, they ought to play nice. If they want a proprietary technology, they can feel free to fl
    • by adam31 (817930)
      So in your estimation, both formats sustaining life via dual-format players is 'what is best for the consumer'? Maybe that is true for early adopters who are willing to spend the dime to hedge against picking the loser... But in the long run, for the ordinary consumer it is best if there is a winner.
    • by frieked (187664)
      Dual format players are NOT good for the consumer. They are more expensive and the ones who really benefit from them are the ones holding their nice shiny license agreements
    • Re:Not So Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

      by powerlord (28156) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:54PM (#17477372) Journal
      Sony just refuses to do what is best for the consumer, be it root kits, memory card interoperability, or licensing rules like this.


      You're in luck. The part of Sony behind the PS3 seems to have heard your complaints.

      The PS3 ... ... includes the ability to load Linux, which makes it the cheapest Cell development platform available. ... includes support for "standard" memory cards in their 60GB model with the card-reader built-in. Pop one out of your camera and bring your saved games with you. ... includes support for "standard" flash drives, none of the previous proprietary memory card formats that we're used to on consoles, just in case you only have a flash-drive. ... includes support for "standard" Bluetooth wireless. Got a Bluetooth headset from your cellphone? Great, use it on your PS3. ... includes only "standard" usb ports, which can be used to connect Keyboards and Mice (as well as PSPs and SIXAXIS controllers using ... shocker ... "standard" USB-USBmini cables). ... includes support for using a "standard" HDMI cable (go on-line and find one for $20 including shipping and handling instead of shelling out $80-$100 on the MonsterCables). ... includes support for "standard" 2.5" hard-drives. You can swap it out yourself if you want to.

      The group working on the PS3 have incorporated standards practically every place that made sense.
      The few places they didn't: ... Linux only has a frame-buffer, not GPU access. Most likely either NVidia or Sony made this decision. Would have been nice for the home-brew market, otherwise I don't see the issue. ... Linux also does not have access to the part of the Hard Drive where the PS3 stores games and data. ... gee ... I wonder why they did that. Yes it prevents "legitimate" use, but they also include a backup utility which will back up most data from the PS3 partition. I can not think of a legitimate use for this that would be in Sony's interest, and would mitigate the fact that allowing access would break the security of the system, allow games to be easily pirated, and would allow a steep rise in non-supported apps, which could crash the system, propagate as viruses, etc.

      Regarding Sony stance on Blu-Ray and their use of it in the PS3:

      Yes, they decided to use an in-house developed format for the media storage. Since it WAS developed in-house I can hardly fault them for that.

      Since even "poor PS3 sales" has already sold over 1 million units, thats quite a jump start on HD-DVD. Even if the system flops (which I hardly expect it to), If they ship 4-6 million units in North America in the next year, then they've probably cemented the lead for Blu-Ray over HD-DVD, unless stand-alone HD-DVD players drop in price dramatically, or the XBox360 add-on unit sells equally well.

      Considering those possibilities its in Sony's best interest to hold on to the war of attrition as long as possible, since they probably can win it, with the help of the PS3.
  • Yeah, right. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:26PM (#17475798)
    http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm ?story_id=8173422 [economist.com]

    "... reduced headcount by 10,000 ahead of schedule. It is also on track with factory closures, asset disposals and winnowing its product line-up ..."

    It's good to read that things are going so well.

  • Oh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by LikeTheSearchEngine (995759) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:28PM (#17475816)

    Moral: Build a better PlayStation and the American consumer will forgive all else.

    They didn't even have to do that, apparently!

    *Ducks.*

  • by mpapet (761907) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:28PM (#17475834) Homepage
    In action in this story.

    It takes a whole lot to piss off a customer. DRM and broken batteries certainly isn't close enough. This is why Marketeers get all hot and sweaty about being the first brand that people think of. You can abuse your customers and they keep coming back for more. Lesser brand consumers generally won't tollerate the abuse and switch to sony and still get abused, but since it's "sony" they take it.

    This one reason why Apple's switching campaign while noble and a general good for all who switch from Windows is so slow. It's why consumers of all kinds who switch to Linux won't switch because windows has some problems. They'll switch because of an application they can't get on windows. Given the way Microsoft is tightening the DRM and market segmenting nooses, most consumers will simply tollerate the abuse.

    Lesson #1: Be #1 in the hearts and minds

    • o/~

      I'm a marketeer.
      You can be one too.
      Cause saving our brand is the thing to do.

      Rootkits and DRM are not the way.
      Here's what the Open Market has to say!

      The POWER is OURS(tm)

      o/~
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      This one reason why Apple's switching campaign while noble and a general good for all who switch from Windows is so slow.

      Okay now look. I have two points to make. The lesser one is that OSX is not necessarily a general good for all who switch from Windows. I use both daily, side by side, I use them both all day, and I am ordering software for the PC so I don't have to use the stupid fucking MacOS any more. It is horribly inconsistent, it is not very reliable (without doing anything but running some stan

  • by DeeDob (966086) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:36PM (#17475984)
    When you go into a mall and see a Sony shop that scream prestige and high class where no other electronic manufacturer even HAS a shop.

    When you go into an electronics store and notice that Sony televisions are placed in their own private sections aways from the others.

    When you go into a video game store and notice that the PlayStation brands are located at the front of the store and the rest are in small corners or at the back, behind the PS3 advertisements that are hanging on the ceiling.

    When you go into a large retailer and notice that PlayStation games take twice the amount of shelf space for the same amount of games available than it's competitors.

    Those are the signs that say that Sony "dictates" to some retailers how to put them in a positive way and how they "manipulate" their own image.

    Here's Mr. Jow average's reasoning:
    The product in front of my eyes in the diamond incrusted mahogany display that cost 1000$ has GOT to be better than the one in the back of the store, on the lower metallic cheap shelf with dust all over it that is priced at 500$. I don't need to do research, it's fairly obvious...
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:39PM (#17476036) Journal
    I've said for years and years now, Sony is pretty good at "walking the thin line" of how much the average consumer will tolerate and still keep buying their products.

    The "techies" have been complaining about them and their proprietary, incompatible product releases since at least the era of the Sony "minidisc" format. But the public doesn't really care. If a Sony product turns out to be a "dud", it sort of fades away into non-existence, and their more successful products are still all over the store shelves, regularly recommended by magazine reviewers, store salespeople, and satisfied consumers.

    "Techies" had nothing good to say about Sony's proprietary "memory stick" technology either. Yet I bought one of their camcorders (a TRV-730) which has proven to be an excellent buy as the years have passed, and it uses a memory stick for the still photo feature in it. Truthfully, when it was new, I preferred the physical format of the memory stick to the alternatives. The "SD" format is pretty darn similar in thickness, weight, and overall size ... but back then, you didn't really see SD media around. You had mostly CompactFlash, which was noticeably bigger/bulkier, and those "Smartmedia" cards which always seemed flimsy, like they'd accidently snap in half in your pocket.

    They're also a major motion picture studio, releasing quite a few films the public wants to watch and purchase, and some of the slimmer, ultraportable Sony Vaio laptops are among the "best in class". Of course, the PS2 wasn't exactly a marketing failure either - and I maintain that the PS3 has plenty of time to enjoy a good success too, if the right game titles start coming out for it and the price comes down a bit. (And why wouldn't it? PS2 prices had several significant drops over the years.)
  • by Pojut (1027544)
    "Moral: Build a better PlayStation and the American consumer will forgive all else.'"

    A more powerful playstation, yes. Better? Eh....that remains to be seen.
  • by Speare (84249) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:48PM (#17476212) Homepage Journal

    I've suggested several times in the past that it appears that democracy (as well as commercial democracy, voting with your dollars) breaks down around 10e6 to 10e8 scales. Once a governed population reaches this size, it can no longer assume that reasoned debate will be able to sway casual opinion at all. Once a customer marketplace reaches that size, no boycotts are effective and bad products don't change anything in the general perception, since so few people actually inform themselves. A politician or a company would have to be caught red-handed burying razorblades in the babyfood before the mass public will even notice and associate badness with the politician or company in question.

    Blind fealty to parties and brands just compound this situation. A politician who is caught shredding the constitution is forgiven merely because they are in the favored party, as if that were salient. A technologically dangerous product is forgiven merely because the company spends a ton of cash on those "lifestyle" branding ads that don't even talk about their product anymore, completely contrary to logic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JoshJ (1009085)
      You have an excellent point, but I would argue that democracy doesn't even work. The fundamental assumption you must make in order to assume democracy is the correct system is that "the majority is always right". This is clearly wrong, and has been time and time again in American history alone- consider slavery, the lack of women's suffrage, jim crow laws, etc. The majority is a bunch of blind sheep scared by the media and the church. They care more about whether "the gays" can get married than about th
      • by Stumbles (602007)
        Well, I would agree democracies do not work, which is why they don't teach civics in schools here in the states. Why bother with what we were really founded as.... a Republic.
  • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:52PM (#17476302)
    ... in their commercials can't be all bad ;)
  • this article in a more accurate way. There are customers on this planet so stupid, nieve, willing to part with their cash and hooked on consumerism, they would gladly take a porkin' up their dirt road....... and be happy about it....... all because company (insert any you like) compensated with a better game, game console or whatever. Yeah that sounds about right.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday January 05, 2007 @01:54PM (#17476328)
    The long view is traditional (ignore the Welsh CEO they have) in Japanese business culture. If you think they get bad press in the English speaking world, wait until you read what the Taiwanese, Chinese, and other Asian (read ASEAN) press skewer them with.

    And for good reasons:

    * They've been hurt badly in every market they have; viz the iPod, Wii, XBox, and consumer electronics entertainment markets
    * They've shown little respect for media consumers, viz the installable rootkit, and the HDDVD wars
    * They've shown little innovation-- a former hallmark
    * Their PCs break, they have rotten warranties, and they're not designed for real-world mobility; worse, they're anti-FOSS and have no formal Linux support mechanisms worth mentioning

    The ultimate problem: their value proposition used to be high-- and priced high, but no longer leads the markets they're in-- they're followers now. They've had their lunch eaten by lots of astute competitors.

    Dare I say it? Ok: they've jumped the shark.... sadly.
    • I think the Linux support is pretty irrelevant but one thing I have noticed is that consumers in this country (the US that is) will not stand for the short product lifetimes of the more expensive Sony products. Sony has pretty much the smallest window of support for all of their systems and they typically do not release drivers for operating systems which come out during their window of support, let alone after it. I had an older Vaio with a neomagic graphics chipset for which the manufacturer had actually

      • My PCG-C1X Vaio mini-laptop uses 2.2 Linux. Not for much, mind you-- with a 4GB hard drive, but it's useful once in a while.

        We totally agree.... the battery warranty expired in 90 days-- for a battery that cost 4x what a 108a/12v car battery costs.

        Then, one of our notebooks had an exploding Sony battery in it. It melted, but the effect was noxious. Egads. I once waited eagerly for each of their new items. Now, they're easy to skirt on the aisles of the big-box retailers. Foo.
    • The long view is traditional (ignore the Welsh CEO they have) in Japanese business culture. If you think they get bad press in the English speaking world, wait until you read what the Taiwanese, Chinese, and other Asian (read ASEAN) press skewer them with.

      Maybe I'm wrong, but I have for a while wondered if part of the problem was that the Japanese don't run Sony anymore and basically Americans (or their European white bread counterparts) do. American businesses have a "Drive up the stock price today! Sc
  • The Sony name has just as much cache now as it has ever had among the general public which likes their DVD players and televisions, doesn't have a clue about what DRM is or means (until their kid starts screaming that their favorite Disney DVD will not play anymore because it is heavily scratched. Then, when the parent buys another one and looks to make a VHS copy that the kid can destroy, they find out about the wonderful world of Macrovision) and absolutely ZERO knowledge of what a "rootkit" is and why th
    • Let's face it, there are companies that make it on their technical excellence, and there are those that make it on their marketing. The sad thing is, it takes a fair amount of money to get by on just your marketing, so most companies that do were initially those that had some technical excellence. I think that's why geeks hate companies like Sony and Bose so much: it's like they sold out, milking their formerly-deserved reputation while cranking out products that are markedly inferior to their competition
  • Simplicity (Score:3, Informative)

    by felonious (636719) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:16PM (#17476720) Journal
    I can simplify this subject.

    90% of American consumers, know nothing or could care less, about DRM, proprietary hardware, etc. so, as long as they like a product, they will buy it. If the product is over-priced, for their specific incomes, they will not buy it.

    The PS3 is a good value based on the hardware, involved, but most people don't care about that because they are not technically savvy. Most do not care if the PS3 includes a BR drive, either. People but consoles to play games. The public, at large, do not buy consoles to install Linux, to play around with homebrew, mess with clusters, etc. The crowd that does those things are in the minority, unfortunately. The PS3 is simply priced too high, for the average consumer and, is overkill, in terms of their needs. Force-feeding BR, which jacked up the price, big-time, was a mistake. Microsoft chose to modularize the 360, in terms of HD-DVD, and that was an excellent idea. They gave the consumer the choice and that kept the price down. I can afford the PS3, but I can't justify $600 for it. The only reason I'd buy it is for the BR, but I am in the minority on that one. I bought a 360 and the HD-DVD drive. I am very happy with both products and the entire service, as a whole.

    I am not a fanboi of either company/system, but I have to admit, Sony has made some major mistakes this time around. The proof is out there.

    Back to the American audience. I am American, if it matters. I will speak of Americans, here, as they since I am not a sheep:)
    The majority of Americans are sheep, know very little and/or don't care enough to learn about the things, that matter around them. From politics, to technology, to rights as citizens, to government, and everything else, in between. They will take anything they like, regardless of it causes cancer, makes them fat, infected with DRM, etc. if it satiates their "must consume" at all cost mindset. You have to know that DRM keeps getting worse and worse because the majority of American, and the world at large, do not care enough to speak with their wallets, in terms of not buying such fucked up products. Corporations are slowly, but surely, ruling the world, making the laws, and are no longer selling us products, instead, only issuing us temporary licenses to use the products ,we thought, we bought. It's virtual ownership in the real world. It's bullshit, but people don't care enough to stop consuming it. They are ambivalent and addicted. When will people stop being sheep and put an end to this bullshit?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ivan256 (17499)
      Back to the American audience. I am American, if it matters. I will speak of Americans, here, as they since I am not a sheep:)
      The majority of Americans are sheep, know very little and/or don't care enough to learn about the things, that matter around them. From politics, to technology, to rights as citizens, to government, and everything else, in between. They will take anything they like, regardless of it causes cancer, makes them fat, infected with DRM, etc. if it satiates their "must consume" at all cost
  • Wrong moral (Score:3, Informative)

    by defile (1059) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:31PM (#17476984) Homepage Journal
    Moral: Build a better PlayStation and the American consumer will forgive all else.

    The correct moral is that bloggers are a vocal minority and not trend-setting taste makers as previously thought.

  • Consumers are dumb (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:35PM (#17477046)
    No, not only the US consumers. It's a global phenomenon. People will always fall for shiny and price, even if the company behind it would make the shell of the item out of little kittens and have it assembled by 8 year olds who get whippings instead of lunch breaks.

    The average consumer is dumb. He will buy everything, not even bothering to check what the company he is buying from is actually doing to him. Vendor lock-in doesn't exist to him, at best he'll ponder whether that means he has to get outta the mall before they close.

    The attention span of a goldfish is actually longer than theirs. Now that I ponder it, it seems the average consumer is also the average voter.

    Heck. The average person is just utterly stupid.

    Sorry for the rant, it's just what I feel when I read stuff like that.
  • Sony TVs and Receivers are still excellent. Their LCD projection TVs and sub $500 recievers are the best in the market.
  • Ask a geek (Score:3, Informative)

    by yusing (216625) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:48PM (#17477244) Journal
    With regard to hardware: at one time Sony hardware was generally high-quality. But about 20 years ago they started broadening their market by selling lesser-quality hardware. You could no longer expect the name to reflect quality. Many other tech companies have faded in the same way... it happens (GE and RCA among them).

    The manipulation of subjectively perceived quality by manufacturers is inversely proportional to knowledge, particularly technical knowledge, of the consumer. A favorite example is bad audio gear which has enjoyed a reputation far higher than observation allows. Prime examples: a certain speaker manufacturer, and a certain absurdly high-priced-cable manufacturer.

    People can be fooled by what sound like legitimate technical specs which are, in fact, techno-babble. Virtually meaningless wattage "standards" for amplifiers, for example, can turn a 50-watt RMS amplifier into one that puts out several hundred watts. A geek knows there's no such thing as "music power".

    If you don't know enough to avoid getting burned, talk to a geek that does. And find a way to reward him/her for the studying that went into that expertise.
  • I am sorry but the American consumer is among the dumbest and most astonishingly ignorant in the entire world. I don't think its about forgiveness Its about ignorance. Plain and simple. When we the people realize that Sony is at the forefront of purchasing away YOUR RIGHTS from congress. When we the people realize that Sony is among the most arrogant and draconian companies in the world and regards all their customers as criminals. When we the people realize that Sony will stop at nothing to dominate and d
  • by UncleGizmo (462001) on Friday January 05, 2007 @02:59PM (#17477452) Homepage
    Landor polled 2,000 consumers. Knowing what you know about consumers and their knowledge of tech, how many of them do you think were even aware of rootkit issues and bad batteries (unless they were personally affected)?

    The article is right, the Playstation cures much bad press.
  • by k2r (255754) on Friday January 05, 2007 @03:30PM (#17478108)
    I'ts not this one dimensional and the way down is non linear.
    You can fsck up many times and still have a excellent name before people will remember ALL YOUR FAULTS AT ONCE.
    It's like the greenhouse effect.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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