Sony: Lost in transformation (Fortune article)

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by obonicus, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. obonicus

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    Starting a new threadon this; been looking for the thread on the Sony reorg but can't find it. Please move if there's a better thread to append to.

    Fortune has an article on Stringer and the Sony reorganization. Nothing new, but it is a nice summary, I don't think except maybe a bit more detail as to what's Sony's long-term strategy when it comes to Kaz Hirai's new division.

     
  2. patsu

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    Yes, please focus on only one "umbrella" network service.

    If they can distill Playstation Home, Life with Playstation, Internet Search, the PS3 web browser and Playstation Store to get rid of the "fat", then throw in user generated content, they'd have a reasonable start.

    EDIT:
    Just finished reading the article...

    Ha ha, hell yeah. Working alone in remote assignment is a great learning experience.

    ... which was why I thought they should put the digital book reader on-hold until they extend the PSN (in the Charlie Rose thread). They need the network first, then revitalize the device. :(



    And about the unnamed product mentioned above, Kaz Hirai has some more details:

    ... sounds like the Playstation Cloud rumor that popped up earlier.
     
  3. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    It's not just that. They also announced I think a bit before E3, can't remember, that they were changing the PSN store to support a different, open DRM standard so that third parties (which I'm sure includes different parts of Sony) could hook into the DRM system much easier.

    I reckon their goal is to make their network something that can be accessed from any device including probably non-Sony devices and offers at least the same kind of services that Apple does, including easily publishing applications for various devices (including PSP, phones and PS3), distributing music, video and books, I'll wager.
     
  4. patsu

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    Ha, I just found this Sony insider site:
    http://www.sonyinsider.com/2009/05/20/marlin-the-open-drm-scheme-sony-uses-for-content-distribution/

    The DRM you're talking about should be "Marlin". archie4oz was working on it before they roll out the video service. So it should be already based on the open DRM standard. May be the gaming side needs to change (e.g., including the sharing scheme).

    That's why I'm very eager to see LittleBigPlanet's Internet publishing capability. MM mentioned that it's one of the things they are working on.
     
  5. patsu

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    More shuffling continues...
    http://www.joystiq.com/2009/06/26/sony-computer-entertainment-names-new-deputy-president/

     
  6. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
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    Plenty to say I guess, but perhaps would feel like re-hashing old ground. It's good that there is a unified vision beyond profitability that they're now working towards, but I do feel that some of the specifics are still in the form of mandate rather than blueprint. When you consider the importance that speed, execution, and competition will all play in the success of the vision... well I'm wishing them luck!
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    For speed, we should see rll-out next spring.
    Well, that's a glimpse as listed there. If limited to $5000 top-end TVs and mainstream rollout isn't for another 5 years, they may as well give up now!

    I do hope for Sony's sake they pull this off though. The idea is potentially good one for consumers as well as Sony. A simple system of devices that connect and work and provide a simple interface to get the content we want when we want, is a big plus.
     
  8. patsu

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    Yeah, they were never lacking in vision. Except for isolated cases (e.g., PS Store), they can't seem to pull their act together to deliver a coherent, broad-base and easy to use service. The CE mindset always kicks in (delivering piecemeal, one-time app and then forget about it quickly).

    I am very happy they brought in someone to help Kaz oversee this effort. Have been b*tching that he's too far in the backroom since he took over. There may be tricky accounting, finance, logistics and legal issues that require someone to parry or take the bullets for. But there are also important marketing and execution decisions to make everyday. Other than (much) tigher exec oversight, I think the middle management is also extremely important. They play a critical role to translate high level visions into technical details. Many middle management I met are mere traffic controllers (with little value add). If they have good intuition about end user needs, and are quick on the brain. They should be able to come up with a myraid of tactics to push things forward while staying on course.

    I also wonder if the tech guys get reassigned from small projects to projects (like a closed CE project). They may need to increase the headcount here, and retain people on the same piece until it's "perfect".


    EDIT: Meanwhile a familiar rumor surfaces again:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/tech...20090627?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews

    They should focus on just one thing first (like the Obama team. Tackle difficult issues one at a time).
     
  9. DudeMiester

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    One might argue that the current Sony networked products (Home, PS Store, Browser, etc...) are isolated applications, because they are a way of testing of networked application ideas and building internal expertise. The real umbrella application will be a fusion of the best ideas, and eventually eclipse what we see now.
     
  10. patsu

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    ... then they can't blame anyone else when other companies proceeded to take their share by delivering rather than experimenting.
     
  11. wco81

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    I don't think any of these initiatives will affect their share.

    This morning, the Best Buy flier shows an X360 SKU for $300. I don't know what other SKUs they have but the bottom line is, almost 3 years after the PS3 launch, the PS3 is $100 more than its nearest competitor.

    How much better would the demand curve for the PS3 be if it had reached price parity with the X360 1 or 2 years ago?

    That's got to be the lesson the Sony brass takes, the price gap, not the thing about some networked service lacking.

    Of course, the higher BOM was due partly to Blu-Ray but they did win the format war because PS3 subsidized it. Maybe the royalties will eventually make a difference.
     
  12. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Better network services means more content sales means more effective platform subsidising. The Sony Media Network would lead to a cheaper PS3.
     
  13. patsu

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    Yap, the strategy is not mutually exclusive from price drop.
     
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