Sony

Over at the New Yorker Nicholas Thompson has written a short article to preface the announcement of the new Sony PlayStation later on this evening:

Sony’s Moment of Truth (Nicholas Thompson)

[reading time: 2 minutes]

It’s short and makes all the right points:

[…] The company also kept putting its money on crippled horses. “3-D will sweep the world,” Howard Stringer, its previous C.E.O., said less than three years ago. And Sony holds onto products, and proprietary systems, for too long. The Walkman was awesome. And it should have been the iPod. Instead, it became the MiniDisc. By the time Sony won its fight to make Blu-ray a standard, physical discs were becoming obsolete.

Now, gaming consoles are in trouble, too. A million Angry Birds have crashed into them; Farmville Farmers have dug up the grass around them.

When I was growing up (I was born in 1991) Sony seem like the company. Everything electronic and worth more than £50 seemed to be made by Sony in my household. They were considered reliable and it was just what you naturally bought. Your old Sony TV would die, (ours died after in 2002 after 20 years of loyal service) and you’d buy a new one. Now however Sony is just one of dozens of companies making televisions that all look the same as each other. So you just go for the cheapest one which is considered reliable. (Which is either Samsung or LG in our house these days.)
However despite its demise elsewhere, one Sony product has remained with me throughout my life: the PlayStation. I use to love them. But for me each one has got worse and worse. And this new PlayStation will be Sony’s last chance. I have the standard complaint about the PS3: the software updates! They are endless and never get anywhere near maxing out my internet connection.

This is my usual routine when I want to play a game:

  • Put in disc
  • Software update is required to play game
  • Play a game on my iPhone until it’s ready
  • Software is finally updated
  • Cannot be bothered now
  • Turn off PlayStation

The only reason I haven’t switched to Xbox is simply because of the controller. The PlayStation one has stayed roughly the same for years and I find it perfect. The Xbox controller is horrible to use. That’s all that’s stopping me from switching sides. The new PlayStation had better be bloody good!

February 21, 2013: Well, the PlayStation has been what seems like 22% announced. We’ve got some of the details, but not all. I watched the event and it was dull, dull, dull. Plus, there’s a whole new controller that looks pretty terrible: