Japan Sony

Chubachi restates the obvious

Sony Corporation president Chubachi says to the Japanese media:

“The company should have investigated the cause of the battery problem more quickly,” Chubachi said in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun daily published on Friday.
“The worries over the batteries spread as a result,” he said.

If I was a stockholder, and unfortunately I am, I would want action not explanations.
Sony president admits slow response to battery defects


PS3 not great

Seth Scheisel’s review of the Sony PS3 in the NY Times has a bunch of wince-inducing quotes.

Howard Stringer, you have a problem. Your company’s new video game system just isn’t that great.

Sony blithely insisted that the PS3 would leapfrog all competition to deliver an unsurpassed level of fun.
Put bluntly, Sony has failed to deliver on that promise.

It falls far short, however, of providing the world’s most engaging overall entertainment experience. There is a big difference, and Sony seems to have confused one for the other.

the whole PlayStation 3 system is surprisingly clunky to use and simply does not provide many basic functions that users have come to expect, especially online.

A Weekend Full of Quality Time With PlayStation 3 – New York Times


Chinese PS3 farmers FTW

Kotaku has an incredible (in terms of the reportage and the video footage) post up about the launch of the Sony PS3 in Tokyo. One of the people in line, a foreigner in Japan, reported that the first 20 people in line were either Japanese homeless paid by the yakuza or Chinese nationals who were paid to stand in line as their PS3s were then taken away to be sold on the grey market overseas. The reporter, a Dirk Benedict, does not fault the people who received money to stand in line, he faults both the retailer, Bic Camera, for not properly preparing for the situation, and Sony for not producing enough units and thus creating this intense demand.

This is the true face of the PlayStation 3 debut in Japan. Hardcore gamers are not here waiting in line overnight, buying a first-run PS3, and running home to play some good old next-gen gaming. Rather, opportunistic Japanese businessmen have the largest presence, hiring poor Chinese men and women to wait in line for a PS3, one which will later be sold on web auctions to wealthy gamers around the world for exorbitant amounts of money.

While this kind of news may not make the mainstream media in Japan, it will get back to Sony as Sony executives certainly read Kotaku.
Foreigners And Fights, PS3 JPN Launch’s Dark Side – Kotaku

Gizmo Japan Sony

Dell battery recall

Ugly, ugly, ugly.

And Sony is financially responsible.

Dell is recalling 4.1 million notebook computer batteries
because they could erupt in flames, the company said yesterday. It will be the largest safety recall in the history of the consumer electronics industry, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

Dell has reported to the safety agency that it documented six instances since December in which notebooks overheated or caught on fire. None of the incidents caused injuries or death. Dell said the problems were a result of a manufacturing defect in batteries made by Sony.

The safety agency said the batteries’ problems were not unique to Dell, meaning that other companies using Sony batteries might also have to issue recalls. Sony has sold its batteries to most of the major computer makers.

The recalled batteries were used in 2.7 million Dell computers sold in the United States and 1.4 million sold overseas. The total is about 18 percent of Dell’s notebook production during the period in question.

Depending on how many of the batteries are still in use, the cost of the recall could exceed $300 million. Dell refused to estimate the cost, but said the recall would not materially affect its profits. Sony, which affirmed yesterday that its batteries were responsible, said it was “financially supporting” Dell in the recall.

Dell Will Recall Batteries in PC’s – New York Times

Not to mention but this is old news…

Sony was the designer and build partner for Apple’s original PowerBook 5300 battery, which would have been the first mass-marketed laptop with an L-Ion battery.

Introduced in the fall of 1995, only about 1500 of the powerBook 5300 units had shipped when the battery – again, designed and built by Sony – caught fire in an Apple lab. A separate overheating incident at Apple later that week caused the company to pull all the stops to recall and destroy the Sony L-Ion cells. Customers all received two NiMH batteries as compensation.

Dell Issues Laptop Battery Recall


Sony copies from Nintendo

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Kaz Hirai claims that Microsoft copies all of Sony’s moves in the game industry, but clearly Sony itself is not the originator of innovative ideas around gaming.

“Every time we go down a path, we look behind and [Microsoft is] right there – we just can’t shake these guys. I wish that they would come up with some strategies of their own, but they seem to be going down the path of everything we do. If you look at their strategy in other business areas as well, they tend to do that.”

Really, Sony? Microsoft follows you around? Wait, didn’t Sony shun Microsoft’s tiered console pricing scheme, only to adopt it in the PS3? And wasn’t the PlayStation originally only a response to their failed partnership with Nintendo? And wasn’t the PSP merely a response to the hegemonic success of the Game Boy? And what about the new motion controller developers told us was a last minute feature creep to counter Nintendo’s Wiimote? And the PS3 online service, slated for introduction long after Xbox Live? Sorry guys, you’re not winning any hearts and minds when you try to pull the hype-woven wool over the everybody’s eyes.

There’s an apropos idiom in English: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

CE-Oh no he didn’t! Part X – Hirai tired of Microsoft copycats – Engadget