Robbie Bach Claims Sony 'Spread Thin'
Robbie Bach, the head of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, has said in a recent interview that Sony is feeling the strain after managing both a console and a portable gaming system.
Claiming that developing the Xbox 360, launching the Zune and trying to make a portable game system would hinder Microsoft, Bach didn't hesitate to take a shot at Sony for doing just that. "I think Sony, frankly, suffers a little bit from this problem, which is they're spread really thin across all these areas. And trying to do PSP, competing with Nintendo, PSP to DS; competing with us, 360 to PS3, I think it does strain - it would naturally strain any organization," he added.
When asked about how Microsoft would break into owning 40 percent of the market rather than encounter a three-way tie between the console companies, Bach said that, "There are a couple of things you have to look at. You do have to look at the content. Where's the best content? Is it cross-platform? Where was it first developed? I think that does matter in the marketplace. The second thing you have to look at is economics. You have to ask the question, over the life cycle, who has the cost advantage? Who can price most effectively? Who can reach the price points quicker? That has a huge impact on what gets driven."
Bach still indicates that Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, where the Xbox 360 resides, should be profitable by fiscal year 2008. In the mean time, the company continues to lose billions of dollars on the combined ventures.
Source: Mercury News Blog
The Escapist called this outcome all the way back in issue 2:
"The mainstream media continues to argue about a coming console war between Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. I can only shrug. What makes them think Sony has a chance?"
"DS will end up as the #1 platform... PSP will have lots of games, but very few will be exclusive, and ultimately the consumer is going to pass on paying $250 to get what he's already got, particularly because Sony's going to get distracted by the coming battle for the living room."
Well, you can't really argue with him on these points. Fighting Nintendo (or, more accurately, losing extremely badly to Nintendo) in the handheld realm has to be taking something of a toll on Sony, on the ego if not the bottom line. There's also little question that the Xbox360 is a far more serious challenger to the PS3 than the Xbox was to the PS2.
It also doesn't hurt that MS can afford to lose a lot more than anyone else can.
Not that it has anything to do with this specific topic, but CBC News posted an article a couple of weeks ago about how Japan doesn't seem to be embracing the PS3 as much as North America...
Some of the 4,000 PlayStation 3 consoles listed on Yahoo Japan's auction site were downright bargains. Even systems with games included were going for about 60,000 yen (about $579 Cdn.) for the most expensive model and 50,000 yen (about $482 Cdn.) for the cheaper one. That's less than Sony's suggested retail prices for the console alone in North America.
In North America, where the PS3 goes on sale Friday, bidders on eBay have pushed up the price of PS3 preorders to $2,025 US as of Wednesday, with some auctioneers offering the premium console for as much as $3,000 U.S.
Sony Computer Entertainment spokesman Daisuke Nakata declined to comment on the auctions, saying the deals were unrelated to Sony's operations.
So... what's going on here?
Bashing Sony is fun... and easy! ;-)