Tuesday, January 27, 2009

EXP Podcast #10: The Art of Being Sony

Post-recording note: We chose this story and recorded the podcast before we heard some unfortunate news. It truly speaks to our economy's sad state of affairs when talented people who produce thoughtful, entertaining writing are let go. Ben, we hope to see you on the other side of the tunnel soon!

This week, we flirt with the fires of console fanboyism to talk about the state of the Playstation 3. We were inspired by Ben Fritz's opinion piece in which he contemplated whether the PS3 had an "artsy" image that was hurting its sales. We range from a discussion on the console's physical appearance to its popular perception and corporate philosophy. "Artsy" is a vague term to be sure, so everything we say is definitely open for discussion, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts as well. Check out the show notes for the article that spurred the discussion, along with a bonus link to a window into the weird and wacky world that is Kaz Hirai's mind!

Some discussion starters:

-Do you get some kind of "vibe" from specific gaming platforms? If so, how does this affect your playing habits?
-How big of a role does marketing play when it comes to game sales?
-To what forces do you attribute Sony's reversal of fortune in the console market?

To listen to the podcast:
- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show Notes:

-Run time: 27 min 53 sec
-Ben Fritz's article: "Is Sony too artsy for its own good?"
-Some Kaz Hirai gems
-Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Strange how you perceive Sony's Marketing as flawed. Especially the thing with bundles! I had the opposite impression. I guess it is mainly because we have a Little Big Planet bundle here in Germany (but no Gears of War bundle.. and no replacement for it):

    Of course I decided to buy an Xbox after all but it was because of a combination of the price difference and the on-line features. And my impressions after one month made me re-think the purchase.

    I think Sony will do just fine but the library of games needs to stock up a bit. There are still not enough exclusive system sellers. Just Metal Gear Solid and Little Big Planet won't do. And the price needs to drop. They will reach a tipping point but they will have troubles catching up with the Xbox. The Wii is way out of their league anyway.

    But thinking about how the PSP thing went back then - It was supposed to be the gamer's iPod, but the DS totally pwned it. Again, few games, too expensive and even some technical problems. PS3 might suffer the same fate.

  2. Interesting podcast, most of which I agree with to a lesser or greater extent.

    Especially how everyone harps on the price of the PS3, when as you note, buying an xbox and getting it configured for Live will cost you the same or more in the long run - and you won't have the best blu-ray on the market.

  3. It's weird, because the online features are something that can be tweaked and fixed, but Sony has devoted more time with Home. /shrug

  4. Krystian: I see what you mean about the Xbox bundles. Microsoft has gone way to far with the number of different SKUs.

    I like the PSP/DS analogy. I also laughed out loud when I read your Xbox 360 Impressions post: "While I do enjoy the product, I have that uneasy feeling that Microsoft is constantly fucking me up the ass." Priceless.

    Matt: Yeah, we didn't even hit on the Blu-Ray angle, which could be a major selling point...if DVD upconverters weren't as good as they are and if Blu-Ray movies were cheaper to buy/rent :-(

    Jorge: Home is definitely not where my heart is.