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The Rise and Fall of Sony - Part 1

Industry veteran and former Sony executive Richard Browne delves into Sony's video game history and asks, "Can they rise again?"

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donniebaseball2305d ago

They can do better, but they will never be in a position like they were with PS2 again. That's just not realistic.

decrypt2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

They simply dont have the muscle left in them to compete with giants like MS and Apple. Sure to most of you Apple may not look like a threat at the moment however they easily can become one.

Sony back in 2000 was worth 200billion usd. Today they are worth only 20billion usd.

Compared to that Ms and Apple are worth 200billion usd and 600billion usd. Both these companies have much larger financial muscles than Sony. Hence this stands as a big advantage to them. They can carry out much better marketing campaigns, they have more research money, hell they can burn more money when launching new hardware.

Sony on the other hand has only been getting weaker over the years. There used to be a time when Sony dominated:

Tvs: this was taken away by the likes of samsung etc

DVD players: again Korean makers have this market

Camcorders / Walkmen / cameras: gone are the days when people bought multiple devices these days most people just use cellphones for all the above tasks. Sony just was too slow to react to market changes.

Cell phones: again Androids and Iphone have taken that market.

Imo i think its too late for Sony to turn around. They have lost ground on all fronts, they best release their software on devices like androids, iphones, PC, Smart tvs etc.

@below

Tbh i dont even consider Nintendo as competition any more, i am speaking few years ahead into the future. Apple will be trying to get their smart phones working with controllers, they will be using HDMI on phones to output to TVs. Plus they probably will have services like Onlive etc. Not only will the phones have onlive they will also be rendering games on hardware.

I think it just wont be Apple doing this, Android will be doing the same. This whole market is about to be shaken by its very roots imo.

Hisiru2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

MS and apple?

I believe youre trying to say MS and Nintendo, right? Because Nintendo sold much more hardware (handheld and console) than Sony and Microsoft, so I don't know why you ignore this company. Nintendo even started the blue ocean strategy that Apple is using right now. Nintendo also sold 15+ million copies of various first party titles in this generation only. My question is: Why do you ignore this giant competitor in your post?

The smartphone market isn't a direct competitor for the handheld market and the 3DS is selling even better than the original DS sold at the same period (which is proof enough for me that it's a matter of compelling software, and not just low price + accessibility).

Both markets can live together.

Maybe I will play some games on my Iphone but I will buy a handheld for a more rich and deep experience. I won't be able to see Mario, God of War, Zelda, Little Big Planet and some other games on the Iphone.

But I think it's stupid to think that Apple will kill dedicated gaming devices.

xer02305d ago

Back in 2000, Apple wasn't worth sh*t. They were close to being bought by Microsoft or folding all together.

Sony can turn their fortunes, just like Apple have; with the right vision and strategy.

darthv722305d ago

hate to say it but they are all competing in the same market when it comes to consumer spending.

The boom that is the smartphone market has eclipsed the portable gaming market when it comes to overall sales of units and public awareness. Hand someone an iphone and they know what it is. Hand someone a vita or 3ds and they would likely hand it to their kids.

The core market to which we (seasoned) gamers have been part of for so many years is shrinking and being replaced by the ever increasing casual cheap entertainment segment via the use of these phones and tablets.

Anyone thinking that tablet/phone gaming isnt a serious threat to traditional gaming is fooling themselves.

Hisiru2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

@decrypt
People (true gamers) wont stop playing God of War, Infamous, Mario, Zelda etc just because Iphone is cool.

And why don't you consider Nintendo as a competitor? Care to explain?

Nintendo already sold 17 million 3DSs over the world while the PSV isn't even selling like it deserve (well, I do think it's an wonderful piece of tech). If Nintendo is doing great numbers, why do you think they arent competitors? They have strong first party titles and people won't just say goodbye for Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and some other games. I still think it's about compelling software and people will keep buying Nintendo systems or Sony systems because of first party titles alone.

Also, Onlive is coming for Android and Iphone, but seriously, do you really prefer to play your games without physical buttons instead of your regular console with your giant TV?

I think you're deluded with the technological innovations or Apple.

Captain Tuttle2305d ago

To be fair Nintendo didn't start Blue Ocean Strategy, it's a business management book.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...
Nintendo just had the foresight and courage to embrace it.

Anyway, great article, can't wait to read the second part. Submitter better follow up lol

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2305d ago
GalacticEmpire2305d ago

If their online service comes up to par with XBL next gen, which I believe it will, I could see people dropping the fees for the free service. Without a year headstart the appearance of "being ahead" will dissapear from Msoft and without a lot of first party studios pumping out exclusives the PS4 may end up looking more attractive to new adopters.

Just speculation of course but I don't see why Sony couldn't dominate the industry once more. Would that be a good or bad thing though?

360GamerFG2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

Dominance breeds arrogance. You need only look at their attitudes pre ps3 launch. They believed the sun rose out of their backsides and that everybody would buy their $600 monolith simply because "it's a playstation."
They had a lackluster release line up and didn't seem to be even trying. Once cold hard reality bit them, they realised they had to work hard to stay relevant, the sony/playstation brand alone would not cut it.
And work hard they did, they have produced some of the finest games of the generation and have clawed their way back up. I have no doubt in my mind that the high level of quality games they produce is due to, in no small part, the fact that they realised people don't just buy consoles because of who makes the console, but the games behind the console.
Microsoft's story on the other hand is completely the opposite.
They worked very hard right in the beginning to try and make a name for themselves and get the hardcore market in their corner. They succeeded.
However, much like SONY did after ps2 success, they got arrogant and lazy. They started to care more about getting new casual customers instead of keeping their existing customers happy.
It's nothing but arrogance to look at 20+ exclusives from your competitor and then go out and announce that you're only going to release 2 exclusives for your console.
In all honestly, I actually hope PS3 overtakes Xbox 360 soon, that way maybe Microsoft will take notice and up their game.
/end blog.

CommonSenseGamer2305d ago

I thought you were describing the Vita launch as well there for a while.

GalacticEmpire2305d ago

A lot of people seem to disagree with you, although I'm not one of them. However I'd like to add that a lot of the issues that plagued PS3 near launch were out of Sonys hands i.e being patent trolled by Nintendo over rumble and delays, soaring costs of bluray drive manufacture as well as Msoft pushing HDDVD in the path of Bluray in an attempt to slow down adoption.

Anyway I do agree they came across as arrogant even though it was probably just a vocal minority of people at the company at the time that made it seem that way.

BrutallyBlunt2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

Who says Sony's online service will remain free? I hope it does but they need the revenue and Sony will not disclose the amount of actual Playstation Plus members there are.

As for dominating, no thanks. I like having a competitive market. You really think the PS3 would be this cheap now if it weren't for a competitive market? Sony wasn't forced to charge consumers upwards of $600 for a game console, that was all to do with Sony pushing Bluray. Sony also decided in their own wisdom to create such a complicated game platform and because of that a lot of games ended up having issues. Microsoft was able to create a more powerful machine next to the PS2 and they did it for the same price to the consumer. So no, I don't want to see Sony dominate again, or anybody else for that matter.

***if you disagree that's fine but explain why instead of hiding behind your keyboard like a little schoolgirl

GalacticEmpire2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

"Who says Sony's online service will remain free?"

Nobody knows for sure I guess but Sony (and Nintendo) have managed to keep their basic online service free for this whole generation so I don't see why not. Do you know something we don't that suggests otherwise?

btw I didn't dissagree with you :)

@Darthv72 below
I will start worrying when they start taking features that were free from the beginning and start charging for them, only then.

darthv722305d ago

that the free aspect of the psn would start to dwindle. Meaning that newer features would be offered to the plus members instead of everyone. Similar to how new features are aimed to the gold instead of gold and silver live members.

It only make sense that sony would opt for a free service at first but they would not be able to continue that side completely for the duration. They had to come up with some sort of premium tier to offset the cost of running the backbone of the service.

Plus started out an option but i am seeing more and more psn users saying that they cant live without it. I dont know if it is because of all the incentives you get from being a member where by if you werent a member then those free games and giveaways wouldnt be viable anymore.

Obviously the core portion of online play being free seems to be the one caption people refer to but that isnt to say that sony would just start making an even better and more robust online for the paid members. More dedicated servers and ad free play unlike the free members who would have limited game player sizes and maybe not as many maps to play on. Or worse...subjected to ads before each round.

Sony is in the business to make $$$. They have seen that people are willing to pay a little bit more for something if it means they get more for it. There has to be some feeling of being better than the next guy if you are a paid member to a club and the other one isnt.

BrutallyBlunt2305d ago

I really hope it does remain free, at least the core aspect of it and being able to play online. I think it's a dis-service for Microsoft to not allow online play without a cost associated with it. We pay enough for the games and more and more of them now are online enabled or full blown multiplayer.

I'm afraid going forward it looks rather bleak though as far as assuming things will remain free. EA are starting to follow the Activision approach and have an Elite service for Battlefield 3. These things will grow and the gamer who just wants to play online will be left behind. We are also seeing dedicated servers now being used as a Elite offering so PC gamers who take these things for granted will also be upset.

I just see the industry slowly closing the noose. Diablo III is restrictive to the single player and that is to prevent looters and the trading that goes on within the store and to block cheaters. I don't blame them for protecting their intellectual property but it's come at a huge cost to the legit consumer.

Roper3162305d ago

Sony delivers the most games of the 3 consoles and that is all that I care about. So Sony is it for me until someone releases a more varied array of games ( unlikely ) and has more 1st party studios ( again unlikely). All's that I want are games that aimed to a mature audience and Sony delivers well above MS & Ninty with that.

NastyLeftHook02305d ago

agreed, sony delivers the most and best games.

MadMen2305d ago (Edited 2305d ago )

I said even it for years 3 things hurt SONY the most:

Kutaragi and his proprietary HW - Devs not happy

Cockyness of SONY - "next gen begins when we say it does"

Lack of Online Market - Very late to the game

SONY moved from what they did best innovate, and embrace players - yes they give us great single player IP but I have yet to see a one stop all IP for online, Ken being gone will make the system waaaay better in Devs eyes and with the re structuring you bet SONY will come out at launch priced correctly, and with an attitude of respect for the competition

I am excited about the PS4 because the PS3 and SONY was a mess

BrutallyBlunt2305d ago

Well said. I think Sony is in the best position moving forward. They have the history, the worldwide appeal and game studios. They just need to trim their products down and focus on their key assets and the Playstation brand is one of them.

k-dillinger2305d ago

@MadMen because it did start when sony said it did they had and have the clout and respect of the gaming community to do so

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