But punters meandering away from the E3 games fest this week can’t help but think that somehow, somewhere, a burst of insanity has seized the company.
The only likely scenario can be one like this: Imagine a Sony boardroom last June. Welsh wizard, Howard Stringer, is in the chair for the first time.
The Sony boardroom. SONY EXECS seated. STRINGER pacing.
STRINGER. OK, moving onto the PS3… what is the easiest way for us to lose the ball on this one?
SONY EXEC ONE. Price, if we make it too expensive then Nintendo and Microsoft will screw us to the wall. Most people will not pay more than what the XBOX 360 costs.
STRINGER. Great, anything else?
SONY EXEC TWO. We could delay it for ages until Microsoft has established itself in the market. That would make it harder for us to claw back our lucrative European and American base.
STRINGER. Not bad, need a few more here.
Well, truth once again imitated fiction and the wish was granted – Sony’s Kutaragi Says That PS3 Should Cost Consumers More:
Adding more fuel to the PlayStation 3 fire, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) president Ken Kutaragi is not only defending the PS3′s high price of entry, but he says that it’s not expensive enough.
Kutaragi goes on to explain his position concerning the price of the PS3, “For instance, is it not nonsense to compare the charge for dinner at the company cafeteria with dinner at a fine restaurant? It’s a question of what you can do with that game machine. If you can have an amazing experience, we believe price is not a problem.”
The opportunities for amusement with this are boundless, but the commenters on the above post have done an ample job, so I’ll just stick with the mundane. As I observed the other day, Microsoft’s prospects in the game console business keep looking better and better, primarily due to the incompetence of the competition. All Sony really had to do to play credibly was show up with a “good enough” offering, but it appears they are fundamentally incapable of doing so. It reminds me of various storied episodes in the history of the personal computer when Microsoft’s competitors seemed to be doing all they could to hand market share to Microsoft.