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Sony says it's sorry and it's listening

Sony says it's sorry and it's listening

Interoperability was the theme of the Sony conference, such as the new additions to the Bravia LCD TV lineup.

Sony is a company that many of us in the industry - journalists and consumers alike - love to hate. The indisputable arrogance flaunted in 2006 as the PS3 was in its final development put a lot of us off, but that was only part of it. Rootkits, proprietary standards and the ever-marching beat of corporate fluffy spam in an effort to hide dismal sales reports and stagnant market share certainly made up another good portion.

That, and everyone loves to laugh at a falling giant.

Well, at the press event to start off CES, the proud goliath did what nobody expected - out walked Stan Glasgow, COO of Sony Electronics America, and with a clear voice he addressed the communication problems that the company has had with its consumers. He acknowledged that in 2006, their approach alienated a lot of people - and he apologized.

No corporate backpedaling, no fluff. Allow us to paraphrase below.

"Our approach wasn't good. It failed and alienated many of you. We're sorry for that, and we spent most of 2007 taking a new approach - listening. We hope our 2008 product line shows that, but we aren't going to stop, either. If we didn't get it right, keep telling us. And if we did, tell us how we can make it even better."

Product launches for Sony this year are largely updates to the Sony Bravia line of TVs, the Walkman line of music phones, and the cameras - including the Sony Alpha dSLR.

There was also a very interesting announcement about the Sony Milo, which is targeted at the mobile market in much the same way as the popular Asus Eee PC. We'll get back to you with more details on this when we stop at the Sony booth on Tuesday, but the basic idea includes Intel processors and a lineup of screens 3.5" and up.

Overall, the releases were largely standard upgrades, but well-thought out across the line. Bravia updates include a new modularity feature to cut down on the requirement for separate devices connecting to the TV. The current options will include modules for more HDMI ports and a built-in DVD player (but not Blu-ray, at least as mentioned in the press conference. Also brought out are new control features, where the TV can control other devices via the HDMI link.

But one thing is for sure - nothing is quite so interesting as the apology and the promise to make a better 2008. With talk of dumping DRM, an effort for wireless communication and a product line that clearly shows the company is seeing its previous faults and no longer resting on his laurels, it seems that this time Sony just might not be spinning this one.

Do you have a thought on the news? Drop into the forums and voice your ideas.

39 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
DriftCarl 7th January 2008, 16:23 Quote
Is that another TFT with a bit of glass bolted onto the front?
DXR_13KE 7th January 2008, 16:28 Quote
it takes character to say you were wrong to thousands of people.... maybe sony will start playing nice...... maybe hell will freeze again..... only time will tell
Veles 7th January 2008, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
Is that another TFT with a bit of glass bolted onto the front?

Stops people using polish on the panel at least XD

It's quite interesting what effect not knowing the culture of other countries can have. In Japan, companies and businesses are usually very respectful to their customers. Being arrogant like Sony was with the PS3 is a mark of a dominant giant, it's a way of showing you're the best company around. Sony obviously thought that because the dominated the market so much with the PS2 they could act that way, but we westerners didn't really like that.
mrb_no1 7th January 2008, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles

It's quite interesting what effect not knowing the culture of other countries can have. In Japan, companies and businesses are usually very respectful to their customers. Being arrogant like Sony was with the PS3 is a mark of a dominant giant, it's a way of showing you're the best company around. Sony obviously thought that because the dominated the market so much with the PS2 they could act that way, but we westerners didn't really like that.

I dont think that it would have mattered if the console was more affordable, came with bundles of games and were gauranteed the backwards compatibility....as it was we got none of these things and all Sony's arrogance did was p£$£s us off and reach for a cheaper solution....the 360's and Wii's. I'm not disputing the differences in cultures but maybe the explanation lies in its absolute dominance and religious like followers in Japan that warrant its arrogance over there, we here are fans on the most part with what i imagine are only a few religious die hards. Anyhooooo thats all speculation around actions....the reality is that Sony was big enough to put its hands up and say ooopsy, we've been really stupid (and now its hurting all the executives bonus's and our r and d budget) and we are going to listen to our consumer.

I know its cliche and not exactly true here but an old business management tutor used to quote things about a difference between the old and new/ succeeding or failing business'....those who try sell what they can make will never succeed, those who make what they can sell will. Simple but it appears with the ps3 sony got caught selling what they could make, pushing their blue ray technology at the expense of a console not selling as well as it should of. Anyways, they are business' and they make mistakes, just look at microsoft and their 360=33% failure and $1 billion set aside for extended warranties.

peace
_DTM2000_ 7th January 2008, 17:10 Quote
Wow, I'm amazed. I never thought I'd hear Sony say that. It seems all the petitions etc did some good and made Sony realise consumers won't put up with being ripped off with over priced products, proprietary standards and all the other rubbish. I haven't bought any sony electrical products for many years but they may find their way back onto my wish list soon if they really do change their ways.
Dreaming 7th January 2008, 18:20 Quote
I hope Sony don't start being nice, I love to hate them :)

But honestly it's a good a big company can put their hands up and say they were wrong. It's good they're showing commitment to being driven towards what their customers actually want, not what they want to give their customers. It's very good for the industry if they keep the competition up - afterall would you want the xbox 361? That could do everything the previous could but looked a bit different and had slightly better internals (in line with tech developments) for the same games re-made. It's good to have company's continuing to battle it out to keep innovation and keep finding the 'edge' over the competition, in that way the biggest winners are us, the customers, who get the most awesome products.

Having said all that, I still wouldn't buy Sony, they're prohibitively expensive.
Tyinsar 7th January 2008, 19:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
it takes character to say you were wrong to thousands of people.... maybe sony will start playing nice...... maybe hell will freeze again..... only time will tell
My thoughts exactly. At least this admission is a start towards better things. I await follow-through.
talladega 7th January 2008, 22:37 Quote
i like that TV :D

me...want...tv!

maybe next year when i can afford it :(
sotu1 8th January 2008, 03:43 Quote
hmmm....apology accepted. the PS3 is still crap IMO. not a single worthy game exclusive. and everything sony is still overpriced. and i dont like the way the ericson phones work. hehe. anyways, competition is always healthy and keeping the competitors like Ninty and Microsoft making better games is only good for us. actually, scrap that, i hate console ports to my PC. i want PC pure games. :D
salesman 8th January 2008, 06:44 Quote
i want that email i sent sony 3 weeks ago answered not a apology. Bought a sony receiver with a hdmi input that doesn't process audio WTF sony?!! Answer my email NOW!!!
cjoyce1980 8th January 2008, 08:31 Quote
sony are evil, crappy products and very poor standards
[USRF]Obiwan 8th January 2008, 09:39 Quote
I have one for them: DITCH THE AWEFUL AND EXPENSIVE MEMORYSTICK.
I hope they listening...
Tetsugaku-San 8th January 2008, 09:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
hmmm....apology accepted. the PS3 is still crap IMO. not a single worthy game exclusive. and everything sony is still overpriced. and i dont like the way the ericson phones work. hehe. anyways, competition is always healthy and keeping the competitors like Ninty and Microsoft making better games is only good for us. actually, scrap that, i hate console ports to my PC. i want PC pure games. :D

Not played Resistance:Fall of Man or Uncharted: Drakes Fortune then? Both exclusive and both fantastic (Drake's especially)
Tetsugaku-San 8th January 2008, 09:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by salesman
i want that email i sent sony 3 weeks ago answered not a apology. Bought a sony receiver with a hdmi input that doesn't process audio WTF sony?!! Answer my email NOW!!!

If you'd done any research you'd have realised that both the SDA1200 ( that your prolly talking about) and lots of other bottom to middle range , 1st generation AV receivers from many companies do not. The 2nd gen ones do. And do upscaling. Deal with it, all you have to do is run an extra audio cable from the 2 HDML devices you can have connected, not the end of the world.
steveo_mcg 8th January 2008, 09:48 Quote
RFOM (nearly rolf) is standard shooter, its a good game, but not exaclty different from Quake or others of the type. Its hardly fantastic. I've not played drakes, but to be fair £500 (ish) for a console with 2 games... bargin.
Tetsugaku-San 8th January 2008, 09:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]I have one for them: DITCH THE AWFUL AND EXPENSIVE MEMORY STICK.
I hope they listening...

It's *not* more expensive - not really, not by anything more than 10% anyway, why worry about something so small? All universal memory card readers will read them, Sony's high end Cameras support other types of card, so does the PS3, SOny are also teaming up with Nokia, Motorola etc to make a universal phone memory card. Just chill man ;)
Tetsugaku-San 8th January 2008, 09:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
RFOM (nearly rolf) is standard shooter, its a good game, but not exaclty different from Quake or others of the type. Its hardly fantastic. I've not played drakes, but to be fair £500 (ish) for a console with 2 games... bargin.

Hmm, dunno where you shop but Game are selling the PS3 with 2 chart games for £299.99 right now :)
kenco_uk 8th January 2008, 12:37 Quote
Aye, £500 is way off the mark! I bought one of the last 60gb models for £349 at Argos in December. Games are £40 new (usually).
steveo_mcg 8th January 2008, 14:14 Quote
Fairly nuff, you think £350 is a good investment for two "decent" games?

I agree with [USRF]Obiwan, once you've bought a sony camera your stuck with either another sony camera or a useless card when you upgrade, at least sd is near universal. Ditch Memory stick.
themax 8th January 2008, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
RFOM (nearly rolf) is standard shooter, its a good game, but not exaclty different from Quake or others of the type. Its hardly fantastic. I've not played drakes, but to be fair £500 (ish) for a console with 2 games... bargin.

That "standard" shooter called Resistance: Fall of Man is a 2.2 million sold new IP under the PS3's belt from a company who had been making Platformer's prior to that.
steveo_mcg 8th January 2008, 14:22 Quote
so? It was free with a new console, Vista is 5 million sold massively improved IP thats been running the world for the last 15 years... does that also make it great?

A though occurs to me... Your boast about RFOM sound to me like sony wants its own Halo.
Drexial 8th January 2008, 15:57 Quote
there were a couple comments up top about the PS3 being turned away in wester countries. it was rejected in japan as well and replaced with the Wii. I mean ever the 360s market share started cutting into the PS3. if sony needs to say sorry to anyone its japan.
kenco_uk 8th January 2008, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Fairly nuff, you think £350 is a good investment for two "decent" games?

I agree with [USRF]Obiwan, once you've bought a sony camera your stuck with either another sony camera or a useless card when you upgrade, at least sd is near universal. Ditch Memory stick.

No, I think it's an excellent investment for a Blu-Ray drive, as well as High-Def gaming and a media streamer. Bit of a hit to the wallet, but at least it's a darn site quieter than the x360 I had a short while ago.
[USRF]Obiwan 9th January 2008, 09:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
No, I think it's an excellent investment for a Blu-Ray drive, as well as High-Def gaming and a media streamer. Bit of a hit to the wallet, but at least it's a darn site quieter than the x360 I had a short while ago.

Hmmmzz. Can the ps3 stream/access content from my pc harddrive/shared folders and play divx/xvid/h264/flv1/wmv/mpg1/mpg2/mpg4/video_ts/.iso ?

If so, then it would be a good investment
kenco_uk 9th January 2008, 09:48 Quote
I'm pretty sure it can manage most of those formats. I know it recently received the ability to play divx and wmv through a firmware update. If it doesn't play the format of your choice, there's always the ability to install an operating system on it that does - simply done via an option on the xmb menu.
talladega 10th January 2008, 02:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Hmmmzz. Can the ps3 stream/access content from my pc harddrive/shared folders and play divx/xvid/h264/flv1/wmv/mpg1/mpg2/mpg4/video_ts/.iso ?

If so, then it would be a good investment

of those i think it can do divx, xvid, h264, wmv (if its vc-1), mpg1, mpg2, mpg4
[USRF]Obiwan 10th January 2008, 09:47 Quote
But can it stream from my shared folders on the fileserver? I was looking at some options to invest in a network br player see. If i get a gameconsole anex htp3 alongside with it for the same price the better.
dognosh 10th January 2008, 10:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
But can it stream from my shared folders on the fileserver? I was looking at some options to invest in a network br player see. If i get a gameconsole anex htp3 alongside with it for the same price the better.
You decided to trash the PS3 in previous post(regarding Codecs it can't support) and were told it handles most of them, so instead of apologising you move the goalposts ?
It is ok for you to hate the PS3, so stop sounding like a broken record:D

My PS3 has saved me £££ , because it has been a brilliant Blu-Ray player
When decent games come out for it I might buy some, though I prefer PCs;)
My PS3 looks abosolutely gorgeous compared to the Wii or Xbox360B)
As a media server I can't fault it, it has access to 1 TB of data

Long live Sony's over priced devices and thank god we live in a free society,meaning we do NOT have to buy Sony if we don't want to;)
DXR_13KE 10th January 2008, 11:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dognosh
You decided to trash the PS3 in previous post(regarding Codecs it can't support) and were told it handles most of them, so instead of apologising you move the goalposts ?
It is ok for you to hate the PS3, so stop sounding like a broken record:D

My PS3 has saved me £££ , because it has been a brilliant Blu-Ray player
When decent games come out for it I might buy some, though I prefer PCs;)
My PS3 looks abosolutely gorgeous compared to the Wii or Xbox360B)
As a media server I can't fault it, it has access to 1 TB of data

Long live Sony's over priced devices and thank god we live in a free society,meaning we do NOT have to buy Sony if we don't want to;)

and use smilies as full stops.
steveo_mcg 10th January 2008, 11:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dognosh
snip

TBH its a valid question, can it stream from samba shares? If it can they yeah it's starting to look like a valid replacement for basic htpc. By basic i mean playback only no time shifting etc. Unless Sony gives linux more access to the guts of the machine its never going to replace a WMC or mythtv box. Personally i'd go with a Athlon xp machine for £60 and a decent gfx card and run geexbox but hey i'm a tech head i like to tinker.
dognosh 10th January 2008, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
and use smilies as full stops.

"and" at the start of a sentence is not a good idea or correct
If you want to use "and" at the start of the sentence then at least have the decency to capitalise it

English is not my first language but it seems I have a better grasp of it:D
DXR_13KE 10th January 2008, 16:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dognosh
"and" at the start of a sentence is not a good idea or correct
If you want to use "and" at the start of the sentence then at least have the decency to capitalise it

English is not my first language but it seems I have a better grasp of it:D

If you look under my avatar you will also notice that English is also not my native language, and not starting the sentence with a capital letter is mostly because i was attempting to continue your phrase...... and "capitalise" is written with a z, as in "capitalize". ;)
(Note that i am not trying to be a grammar nazi, in my original post i was trying to say that you are free to end your phrases with a smiley as you are free to chose whatever product you want)
mike_beef 10th January 2008, 16:26 Quote
In my experience Sony have been a great company for customer service in the past as I have had to have both a PSX and a PS2 replaced under warranty and I got new ones sent out without question and straight away. This was a while ago however, i guess it must be 5 years or so. I agree with the whole pricing and pushing new technology matter tho. I dont think Blu Ray will catch on, especially since DVD's are getting alot cheaper these days. And the price of PS3 is ridiculous in comparison to other consoles. Thinking back tho weren't the original PSX's something like £350?
Paradigm Shifter 10th January 2008, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
...and "capitalise" is written with a z, as in "capitalize". ;)
Depends on whether you're using American or British spelling. ;)

...

I'm undecided whether Sony will actually listen or not. The chances of them listening in the short-term are high, but arrogance (or over-zealousness) will quickly erode that I imagine.
talladega 10th January 2008, 17:11 Quote
i use Windows Media Player to share media files to my PS3. i just enable sharing in media player.

but there are a number of diffrent programs made for streaming to ps3 or other ones not specifically made for it but work too.

ive heard that there may be a DVR addon sometime for PS3 too which would be awesome.

ive never had to do anything with customer service as ive never had problems. i did get a demo disc that caused many people problems (not me) and i got to send it in for a free game. :)
themax 10th January 2008, 17:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
so? It was free with a new console, Vista is 5 million sold massively improved IP thats been running the world for the last 15 years... does that also make it great?

A though occurs to me... Your boast about RFOM sound to me like sony wants its own Halo.

Resistance was not free with every new console. And Operating Systems =/= Console Games. 2.2 million copies of any game sold on a CONSOLE (again not an operating system) is a solid success story. And especially when it is a new IP. So yes, apparently it was good enough to land in over 2 million homes. I made no mention of Halo. I was merely responding comments saying Resisntance wasn't that good of a game when the reviews, and units sold say otherwise.
steveo_mcg 10th January 2008, 19:07 Quote
Resistance is a mediocre game on a console with little choice, my point of obviously lost on you so we'll try again... If you only have a few games to choose from the number sales for even a mediocre title is going to sell great. Its neither original or innovative in fact if you've played any fps in the last 10 years you've played this. TBH i'd rather play Doom3 (and i really didn't think much of it either.)
DXR_13KE 10th January 2008, 20:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Depends on whether you're using American or British spelling. ;)

I consider UK English to be the real English..... but that is up to personal taste.....
themax 10th January 2008, 21:00 Quote
You must not like very many FPS these days if every game needs to be innovative for you. As far as originality I disagree. But those are difference of opinions and I'm not here to change that.
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