All 3 entries tagged Sony

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September 15, 2006

UK shafted by Nintendo, Sony

Not for the first time, UK gamers are going to be ripped off by the new third-generation consoles coming from Nintendo and Sony.

While the Nintendo Wii will cost under $250 in the United States, here in Blighty it’ll cost the equivalent of $336 (or £179).

Similarly, the Sony PS3 is expected to retail for over £400 (that’s $800) even though in the States you’ll be able to get one for $600.

Why are we getting so badly shafted? Is it because we’re not in the Euro? Well, yes it is partly, because the rest of Europe is getting a slightly better deal. But it’s also because while we get our VAT slapped onto the price, in the US it’s added afterwards (and starts at 8% in Texas).

So we are being ripped off – for no particularly good reason – but it’s not quite as bad as it looks on the surface. Still, it’s going to be worth buying games from the U.S. and having them shipped over.

September 06, 2006

Imbecile of the Week #5: Ken Kutaragi

Last week Airbus announced it was replacing the guy in charge of its A380 superjumbo because of continued delays to production. The delays don’t help when the company is struggling to sell enough of the machines to break even.

Well a similar – and potentially more expensive – situation is going on at Sony, where the Playstation 3 has been delayed in Europe and its production volumes to the U.S. and Japan have been cut to a paltry 500,000 each. They were supposed to sell 4,000,000 consoles by the end of 2006 and will now only manage 2,000,000 tops. It’s causing major problems for Sony as it gives Microsoft yet another Christmas season to dominate as the #1 console.

The production of the PS3 has been delayed because of the Blu-Ray disc players that go inside them. Blu-Ray is one of two competing formats (the other being HD-DVD) hoping to replace the humble DVD as the disc of choice for film and video-game consumers. Both formats have been beset by problems such as a shortage of blue-coloured lasers, discs that just don’t work, and the new version of Windows not supporting either.

But there’s been no chopping of heads as seen at Airbus.

It might because there’s nothing Sony can do about it, so it’s no-one’s fault (hardly likely), or more probably, it could be because of a different management style (Airbus’s boss got into trouble because he didn’t warn the Board of Directors that the plane was going to be delayed by turbulence).

Sony have got a lot to lose from having the PS3 delayed: not just poor figures for 2006, but also a loss in market share as parents buy their kids XBoxes for Christmas, and a boost for HD-DVD which looks set to get to market far quicker than its arch-rival.

Ken Kutaragi (boss of Sony’s Computer Entertainment division) might have kept his job for now, but in the second round of Format Wars, HD-DVD has been dealt another card in its favour.

July 06, 2006

Is this racist?

Sony's new ad campaign for the White PSP uses an interesting method of showing the difference between the two available models…

But is it racist? It seems slightly provocative, especially considering the recent history of racial tension in Holland, where the advert's being displayed.

Personally, it's evocative, maybe deliberately controversial, but would it have caused the same furore if it was the other way round??? Probably not. Especially in Holland, it seems like a bit of a daft idea to me. But then, as they say, all news is good news.

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