March 6th, 2008, 20:30 Posted By: Shrygue
via Next Generation
The three ages of Sony are as follows; in no particular order.
Firstly, there is Imperious Sony. It’s a majestic, arrogant, successful company with a 50 percent-plus hardware share. It expects absolute fealty from third parties and from the media. Criticism is dealt with harshly and severely. This is not-terribly-nice Sony and we lived with it from about 1997 until 2005. (Hey fellow suffering industry brothers and sisters, we should all get together and write an upsetting biographical account of those terrible years.)
Then there is Pathetic Sony. This is the company we have been working with this past 18 months. It’s doing a crappy job but doesn’t really know how to behave in an appropriately humble manner. It is suffering from a debilitating loss of power and is full of self-doubt, manifest in slightly absurd proclamations of calm.
Finally, there is the Sony that we like and need. It has good products. It generates demand for those products. It has a smart sense of the market in terms of pricing. It makes great games. Its people are accessible and believable. It deals with the rest of us in a way that makes us all feel pally. That was Sony from 1994 to 1997 and, I’m very happy to say, it’s returned to us; as of January 2008 when HD-DVD obligingly ****ed itself out of existence.
I am in San Francisco to reaquaint with former Sega man Scott Steinberg; now VP of product marketing at SCEA. He’s been in the biz forever; right there in the filthy trenches of 1990s Sega. Man, he must have some stories to tell.
Alas, we only have 30 minutes so brandy-by-the-fire reminiscing of those old battles must wait another day. We’re here to look forward to PlayStation 3’s shiny future.
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