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Old 01-25-07, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default Sony's self-induced FUD

"FUD", standing for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, is an acronym first coined to describe IBM's heavy-handed attempts to warn its customers away from competing products. More commonly, it has been used to describe Microsoft's approach to competitors, a careful PR move which the firm has used to undermine confidence in other products since the eighties. Although it exists outside the technology markets, it's no surprise that FUD was coined in this sector; it thrives in an area where many customers have only a vague grasp of the workings of the product they buy, and are easily swayed by an appeal to fear.

In general, companies use FUD tactics against the products of their competitors - and there's no doubt that in the videogames industry, Microsoft has applied FUD very successfully against Sony's PS3 in a few significant instances. However, the pall which currently lies over the PS3's launch may be full of fear, uncertainty and doubt, but it's not of Microsoft's making. Rather, it's a cloud of Sony's own creation - a rare and unfortunate instance of a corporation managing to FUD its own product rather spectacularly, albeit with willing (and certainly unwanted) help from the media along the way.

With the launch of the PS3 still a work in progress, Sony has battled to keep anyone convinced that a March date is really on the cards for Europe - including, seemingly, its own executives, with corporate boss Howard Stringer managing to peg the European launch for April in a recent interview. This added to a stream of speculation over the launch date which kicked off last year when Sony's worldwide studios boss Phil Harrison declined to comment on the March date - an innocent enough thing to do, since he runs the firm's software efforts and presumably has little involvement with the details of hardware launch schedules, but one which was pounced upon by the media as evidence that the firm was wavering in its commitment.

From tiny acorns, great oaks grow - and by the time Christmas rolled around, senior publishing figures around the UK were happy to openly (albeit off the record) speculate that the PS3 simply couldn't launch in the March timescale, with some going so far as to peg September as the date. It's unlikely that any of this was actually based on insider information, of course - the industry itself is as prone to baseless speculation as the media which surrounds it - but these comments, and the breathless reporting on them in the media, can't have helped the perception of Sony as a company whose plans for PS3 were up in a heap.

Over Christmas and New Year, though, a seemingly more serious problem emerged - with anecdotal reports from North America suggesting that the PS3 is languishing unsold on shelves across the continent. This, at least, should extinguish some of the doubts about the European launch date - after all, those reports were largely based on the assumption that Sony wouldn't be able to divert enough stock from the USA to satisfy a decent European launch by March - but this medicine is more bitter than the ailment it cures, and uncertainty over the prospects for PS3 is unsurprisingly high as a result.

As to the truth of the matter - who can say? The closest thing to a proper study into the question of Sony's stock levels is a check of the channel carried out by American Technology Research pundit PJ McNealy, who found that 28 out of 52 stores polled had units of the PS3 in stock, while none had Wii units. SCEA claims that this has more to do with good management of the supply chain for PS3 than actual demand; online speculation, of course, points to underwhelming demand for Sony's expensive console. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle, but the truth isn't really important - what's important is the FUD, and there's nothing that will spread FUD over a product as effectively as a seemingly undersubscribed launch.

And so to Europe, where the console will - apparently - finally roll out in March. Already the murmurs are there; today brought with it discontent over the price point of the system, which is pegged somewhat higher in the UK than on the Continent. UK retailers demanding higher margins is the reason being bandied about in some quarters; either way, it's deeply unfortunate that Sony has decided to price the system above the psychologically important 400 pound level, not least since the company has its work cut out for it undoing the horrendous FUD spread by PlayStation boss Ken Kutaragi when he went off on one several months ago about how people were going to have to work overtime to afford the new system. The lack of a 20GB model in this market will only serve to exacerbate price comparisons.

FUD is all about having question marks in places where there should be no questions, and the PlayStation 3 undoubtedly still suffers from this to a huge extent. People - both consumers and industry workers - are uncertain about the prospects for a machine priced at this level, and question whether Sony will be forced to implement a price cut early in its lifespan to invigorate demand. There is a huge question mark over the Blu-Ray format, which is usually cited by Sony as the reason why the PS3's price point is reasonable - we don't doubt (as many do) that the format has the possibility of improving PS3 games greatly, but from a consumer standpoint, hardly anyone actually wants a Blu-Ray movie player right now and few will be happy with the idea that they should be okay with the PS3's price point because it nets them a Blu-Ray player for free. After all, neither HD-DVD nor Blu-Ray seem to be making the headway their proponents wanted from them - and there's an increasingly strong feeling that neither format may be appealing enough to consumers to take off. Of course, there's the question of online services; many feel that Sony isn't moving fast or far enough to catch up with the headstart Microsoft has with Xbox Live, and they may well have a point.

Questions, questions, questions; fear, uncertainty, doubt. Whether any of this will actually matter when games like Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo and the likes are on shelves is a question in itself - but for now, there's a cloud over PS3 whose presence has nothing to do with the system's rivals. Only time will answer these questions, of course, but for now one thing is clear - the launch of PlayStation 3 is only the start of the race, and it's going to be a tough race for Sony. The continuing dominance of PS2 is a positive point for the firm, but by no means a guarantee of future success - and with both Nintendo and Microsoft snapping at its heels, the pressure is on Sony to deliver, to silence its critics, and to clear the air of the FUD which has gathered over the most important product in the Japanese firm's history.

http://gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=22334
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Old 01-25-07, 12:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

You could have just posted the link....this is all just speculation and different sites trying to look important by giving analytical explanations for something they have no clue about. Is Sony doing badly? Only Sony can tell. Do you say their market value going down? Do you see a Chapter 11 from Sony? Do you see wide scale rioting in Japan? No, so how the F*** can you or any ******* idiot say anything and claim it to be the truth.
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Old 01-25-07, 12:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

O.o did you even read the article before you started the Sony Fanboyism? What is actually going on or not is not the matter of the article. If you had read it, you have noticed that it only focuses on public perception of the situation, and not hardcore numbers.

If you would open up your eyes, you would see that the public as a whole is not impressed with the PS3, and there is a lot of "FUD" surrounding its launch. Learn to read.
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Old 01-25-07, 12:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

Ah I have been redeemed...somebody actually called me a Sony fanboy...Thank you, thank you

I dont care about the article, because like you said it talks of public perception, and did they do a national survey, opinion poll, telesurvey or anything to substantiate their claims. No sir, they went to their local best buy and saw 4 PS3s sitting there and then went online and browsed some forums and lo, they know all about public perception.

Heres a quote from the article:

"As to the truth of the matter - who can say? The closest thing to a proper study into the question of Sony's stock levels is a check of the channel carried out by American Technology Research pundit PJ McNealy, who found that 28 out of 52 stores polled had units of the PS3 in stock, while none had Wii units."

This is the real "FUD". Make 10 sites say the same thing but in different words and people will begin to believe its indeed true.
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Old 01-25-07, 01:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moo
I think that tells the story of public perception quite nicely.
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Old 01-25-07, 01:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

believe what you want about it
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Old 01-25-07, 01:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

Quote:
Originally Posted by tornadog
This is the real "FUD". Make 10 sites say the same thing but in different words and people will begin to believe its indeed true.
Like this one?

http://www.alliwantforxmasisapsp.com/

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Old 01-25-07, 06:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

Sony FUDs. Some are more "serious" than others.

Nov. 10th, 2005 - Sony is caught hiding a rootkit inside music CD's that place a virus on users computer. Sony's Tom Hesse defends the decision by stating that people don't know what it is, so they shouldn't care

Now that we know Sony cares about us, lets move on to the PS3...

Feb 27th, 2006 - Sony misses it's Spring launch date
May 8th, 2006 - Sony holds it's E3 conference announcing the pricing of the PS3 at $600/$500
May 8th, 2006 - New PS3 controller will have six degrees of motion, but no rumble feature. Sony's Phil Harrison states that rumble was last gen and no longer needed.
May 31st, 2006 - Sony's Phil Harrison denies copying the Wiimote and states that the PS3 will replace the PC
Sep 5th, 2006 - Gamers looking to get the best picture out of Sony's premium PlayStation 3 package will need to shell out extra for proper hookups.
Sept 6th, 2006 - PS3 is delayed in Europe until March 2007
Sept 6th, 2006 - PS3 launch shipment is cut from 2 million to 400,000 in the US (100,000 to Japan)
Sept 8th, 2006 - Sony's President admits that the company's hardware is in a current state of decline
Sept 26th, 2006 - PS3 first-party titles announced to be the same price as third party titles, at $59.99
Sept 26th, 2006 - Square Enix will not exclusively support Sony's PS3 as much as they did with the PS2.
Sept 29th, 2006 - Sony's President Ken Kutaragi states that his company does not care about the Xbox 360 and Wii competition.
October 12th, 2006 - Sony Exec calls the 360 and Wii "too expensive"
October 19th, 2006 - The infamous spec sheet comparison and how Sony claims the Xbox 360 requires HD-DVD to play games
October 20th, 2006 - Announced that Sony may have to replace your PS3 controller for you after it no longer holds charge
October 24th, 2006 - Sony sinks Lik-Sang
October 26th, 2006 - Sony's Q2 profits decrease by 94%
October 28th, 2006 - Sony president Ken Kutaragi said he expects the PS3 to be capable of running games at a stunning 120fps
October 30th, 2006 - PS3 will push Sony $1.71 billion into the red
October 31st, 2006 - Japan launch of the PS3 is cut to 80,000 units
Nov 8th, 2006 - Sony ships without update. You must update your PS3 out of the box in order to use PlayStation Network
Nov 9th, 2006 - NBA Live 2007 is cancelled on the PS3
Nov 9th, 2006 - Oblivion is pushed back from launch title to Jan 2007
Nov 10th, 2006 - Sony's Phil Harrison states that he can no longer confirm a March 2007 launch for Europe
Nov 11th, 2006 - PS3 launches in Japan and rewards few
Nov 11th, 2006 - Sony unprepared for Japan launch
Nov 14th, 2006 - Sony will miss 400,000 unit target for the US. Approx 150k to 200k will be shipped for launch
Nov 14th, 2006 - PS3 has backwards compatibility problems
Nov 16th, 2006 - PS3 downscales 720p games instead of upscaling to 1080i
Nov 16th, 2006 - Sony's Jack Tretton comments on the PS3 BC problems and states that the Wii has 0 backwards compatibility
Nov 20, 2006 - NYT not impressed with PS3
Nov 20, 2006 - Game Devs Prefer 360
Nov 20, 2006 - PS3 annoys Joystiq
Nov 21, 2006 - PS3, PSP Rainbow Six held till '07
Nov 23, 2006 - Saving Sony, one console at a time
Nov 25, 2006 - Sony retracts 1080i fix statement, leaving customers in lurch.
Nov 26, 2006 - More PS3 exclusives head to 360
Nov 26, 2006 - Bloomberg: Sony missed PS3 ship targets
Nov 30, 2006 - Sony shuffles senior execs
Nov 30, 2006 - Analyst: "I cannot imagine a PlayStation 4"
Dec 4, 2006 - Sony Australia: Wii "More Fun" than PS3
Dec 8, 2006 - Court rules for Immersion; Sony to pay up
Dec 11, 2006 - Industry watchers weigh in on "record-low tie ratios" for Wii and PS3 and other results from the month of the new systems' debut.
Dec 19, 2006 - Time says PS3 was a bust
Dec 20, 2006 - PC World Calls PS3 a top tech mistake of 2006
Dec 20, 2006 - Forced bundles and high retail price put consumers off, claims tracking firm.
Dec 21, 2006 - Virtua Fighter 5 dukes it out on Xbox 360
Dec 21, 2006 - Sony files patent for wiimote style hand-held controler
Dec 27, 2006 - PS3 Greymarket Watch: Scalpers Returning PS3s Back To Stores.
Dec 27, 2006 - Gamers who queued for days to buy Sony's PS3 are frantically trying to trade them for the much cheaper Wii.
Dec 28, 2006 - Sony's PS3: High-Scorer No More
Jan 4, 2007 - Sony spokesman David Karraker: "Everything that we put on store shelves sold out,"
Jan 4, 2007 - SCEA confirmed that there would be no supported force feedback technology with its PlayStation 3
Jan 8, 2007 - PS3 demand slows, stores stocked aplenty
Jan 9, 2007 - Sony Misses Worldwide PS3 Shipment Targets. They shiped a million in the US, but not in Japan.
Jan 10, 2007 - Motorstorm isn't going to be running in 1080p at 60FPS, despite Sony VP of Marketing David Dille saying this week that it would.
Jan 10, 2007 - Senior VP of Marketing Peter Dille: Every Sunday in the paper, there's a new deal with a free controller or a free game or $100 off all discounting the 360. I don't think you take those measures if you're selling as expected. (see Jan 13, 2007 entry)
Jan 11, 2007 - Analyst: Lagging PS3 Sales 'Troubling'
Jan 11, 2007 - ArsTechnica slams "misleading" Sony
Jan 13, 2007 - EB offers a deal, trade in your PS2, cables, a second controller and a memory card, to get $100 off a PS3, in what people assume is an attempt to actually move PS3 units.
Jan 15, 2007 - Analyst: Sony missing sales goals by 25%?
Jan 15, 2007 - Valve Software's chief Gabe Newell says PS3 a "total disaster on so many levels"
Jan 15, 2007 - PS3 sales figures 'not good' - IDC "Sony needs more must-have first-party titles to sell consoles"

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums...5247543&page=0

edit: made links live for your viewing pleasure

Last edited by Moo; 01-27-07 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 01-25-07, 06:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

Moo... your post will definitely be considered flame bait by PS3 owners.
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Old 01-25-07, 07:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

lol
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Old 01-25-07, 07:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

It's a little too long for me. My mind started to wander after the first paragraph.
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Old 01-26-07, 04:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sony's self-induced FUD

Errr, and you think that when I get MGS4, GT5, FF13, RE5, VF5, HS and others (not all exclusive), I'll care?

lol @ at yous.

Edit:
And let me change that to IF we get these games. lol.

Last edited by H3avyM3tal; 01-26-07 at 05:24 AM.
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