Saturday, September 18, 2010

What I think Sony did wrong with the PSP and the PS3

I've been owning a PSP two years long, and I have a PS3 since last year (which I also use as low-maintenance, no-burden, not-expensive media center). These are both marvelous of technology, proving that Apple is not the only company doing good hardware. Actually, back in 2005, the PSP was a fantastic innovation that had so much potential. But unlike Apple with the iPhone, Sony did almost nothing with that. So this is here my opinion on what they did miss.

- They could have killed iTunes. Sony have content - they are music publishers and they own Columbia Pictures, not less. They have the hardware, the providers and, what Apple not even has, the content publishers. Also the PS3 is much better than the iPod Touch or the iPhone when it comes to viewing movies. So since some time, there is finally a small media store, which is not bad at all, but it all came too late when iTunes was already dominating the whole market. Too late, folks, and also too small.

- Where is the App Store? The PSP and PS3 firmwares are so capable, how hard could it be to add functionalities for third-party apps? Would there be a need for an iPod touch if one could install apps on a PS3? The interface of the PS3 has some advantages on the one of the iPod Touch, mostly for playing games.

- They aren't trying to "eat" the other hardware channels. For example, why is Remote Play only working with the PSP? I would like to access it from my iPhone. Instead I buy my content on iTunes then - which I can better expose back to my PS3, at least for the audio content. Now there is also the possibility to view movies on YouTube - but that isn't a competitive advantage because almost every other device also can.

Which is interesting here is to see that Sony have the perfect technology and content to change the game, but they didn't. Why? It seems like it is big corp culture at work: never question your business model, never do actions that could impact other departments. It seems like they are missing executives with a vision and an understanding of the culture of the 2000's. Somehow they seem still stuck in the 90's business model, but it has long disappeared.

All in all, it seems like Sony is pretty resistant to user advices and market pressure. They're already suffering, but they should rather change to survive at all. At least they're not lacking good engineers.

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