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Sony Entertainment Head Steps Down

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-data-breaches dept.

Sony 65

New submitter Mephistophocles writes "Japan Times reports today that Sony Entertainment Chief Tim Schaaf has stepped down. Schaaf's division has recently drawn the ire of users and governments alike after multiple hacks which resulted in the theft of millions of users' personal information. Schaaf joined Sony after a stint at Apple, and had ambitious plans for unifying the end-user's entertainment experience on Sony products, as well as having some big words for how to help out Sony's music division. Tim will be replaced by Andrew House, currently of Sony's Game Division. One wonders — is this a continued sign of deterioration in Sony's Entertainment house?"

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First thought... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41934929)

Has their leading hooker stepped down? :)

It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1, Informative)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41934961)

They didn't take information security seriously. They allowed our data to be compromised when they had plenty of money and expertise and could have hired anyone they needed to do the most basic level of security they missed.

Sony was in the cockpit and the plane was taking a nosedive straight to the ground. I'm glad the plane wasn't headed into any building or anything, and maybe now there is a chance to actually steer the plane back in the proper direction and avoid a much bigger disaster.

I haven't liked Sony for years but with this move I might give Sony a second chance.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (4, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935011)

I haven't liked Sony for years but with this move I might give Sony a second chance.

Why give them a second chance? Has the board and entire executive arm been replaced? If not, what makes you think that those DRM hugging, root kit installing, standards breaking overcharging swine have changed their ways? They just found a scapegoat for their shrinking market share. Someone had to take the fall, and considering it's been a 5+ year dive, I guess he ran out of flunkies to blame.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (4, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935635)

The guy is being replaced by someone from the Games Division. Surely the tinkerer suing, DRM purveying, Linux removing and just general customer fucking guys that brought us the overly expensive PS3 will do very differently at the helm of the company.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#41937015)

The PS3 allowed you to install linux when it first came out. People obvious abused it in bucket loads to play pirated games. When the PS3 came out, compared to the cost of a blu-ray it wasn't sooo bad. Sony doesn't publish PC games, so I can't speak on that... Overall,... I'm indifferent, these guys (Sony) have almost unlimited IT spending budgets typically, I'd blame the CIO before the CEO on what happened. There's probably some Sr. Sys Admin under there who thought s/he knew security better than they did. A NOC never killed anyone either as far as I know.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41938569)

Actually the PS3 got hacked some time AFTER they dropped support for Linux. Any abuse came after the fact.

Nothing to do with Piracy...It was Tax (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | more than 2 years ago | (#41938739)

Maybe my memory of history is a little thin but the reason for the inclusion of Linux was like the PS2 before it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_for_PlayStation_2 [wikipedia.org] clasifying the PS2 as a computer to achieve tax exempt status from certain EU taxes that apply to game consoles and not computers.

The reality is though I cannot help but think that Sony as an OEM missed a massive opportunity, to release a gaming [for educational reason of course] computer, to compete with Microsoft. The irony is Sonys "Mobile Products and Communications" section is suffering due to poor PC sales [somewhat alleviated by Android phones]. Now we see Microsoft trying to take their business away with Surface.

The world has moved to mobile again, but its saturated, Their is an opportunity to *reinvent* the Desktop, as everyone else deserts my main electronic gadget. for smartphones. Sony used to know how to get all that early adopter money, its sad seeing the follow Apple with similar products failing without the Apple distortion field.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#41939859)

" People obvious abused it in bucket loads to play pirated games."

Actually, no. Because the hypervisor restricted RSX access so you couldn't get gaming graphic functionality except CPU-directed 2D stuff. No 3d at all.

I don't think you have a clue what you're saying.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41944265)

As I understand it, people abused Other OS to learn what the hypervisor actually did, and then they abused that to retrieve certain keys allowing circumvention of the hypervisor. Sony pulled Other OS once the public knew too much about the hypervisor.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#41940677)

The PS3 allowed you to install linux when it first came out. People obvious abused it in bucket loads to play pirated games. .

Where is "-1 Painfully wrong" ?

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#41951881)

The only reason the PS3 Blu-Ray wasn't pricey was because Sony was using it as a loss-leading pile-driver to attempt to save Blu-Ray from extinction. Yes, BD has some better features - higher capacity and the scratch resistant finish - but the capacity isn't really needed and the scratch resistant finish could easily have been used on HD-DVDs, DVDs, and CDs, making them all better. Unfortunately for us, Sony "won" the BD war, giving us scratch resistant HD discs with more elaborate (read expensive but still useless) DRM, complete with Region capabilities. The only thing I can say is "Hooray" that their gamble failed. BD has not taken off, the prices are far too high, and Sony's mortgaging of the company has led to steady decline in their fortunes ever since. While it may not be the root cause, the BD "win" they bought didn't help their finances in the least. We can only wish them a rapid journey to their current destination - bankruptcy. It'll be interesting to see who goes first, MS or Sony. I'd bet on Sony for now.

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (0)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935413)

They allowed our data to be compromised

Yes, but more importantly, anyone who gave Sony their information allowed it to be compromised. Why would you willingly give even the most trivial of data to a company with no ethical or moral qualm towards installing rootkits on your computer as a reward for purchasing their products?

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935663)

Because all the know about Sony is that they make big screens and that game system their kids wanted for Christmas?

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (2)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936337)

How long has it been and people are still posting BS about the hack? The passwords were hashed, the CC info wasn't compromised and the server was up to date at the time of the hack (there's a google cache somewhere proving the version numbers). The personal details weren't encrypted but that's the same with most sites (besides which, if your server is compromised, so is the decryption key)

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#41937025)

GPU cracking gets at most things nowadays...

Re:It's about time. This is a good day for Sony. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41939367)

How long has it been and people are still posting BS about the hack? The passwords were hashed, the CC info wasn't compromised and the server was up to date at the time of the hack (there's a google cache somewhere proving the version numbers). The personal details weren't encrypted but that's the same with most sites (besides which, if your server is compromised, so is the decryption key)

The passwords were hashed but not salted. That makes all the difference!

What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41934963)

What about the rest of his body?

Good ... (1)

Script Cat (832717) | more than 2 years ago | (#41934979)

Now they just need to sell off their "Entertainment division" and become an electronics company again.

Re:Good ... (4, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936951)

I'm a Sony employee. Note that Tim Schaaf was head of Sony Network Entertainment, which is a distinct entity from the movie and music groups. Sony Pictures*, Sony Music**, and Sony Computer Entertainment (the videogames) are all direct reports to the parent. Sony Network Ent. is strictly the Playstation Network and some other stuff, mainly services that compete with iTunes/Roku/Unbox.

The entertainment divisions are all distinct with regard to Sony Corp. There is no all-encompassing "Entertainment division."

* (incl. Columbia Pictures, Sony Classics, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Imageworks, the distribution network, the studio, Crackle.com)

** (incl. Arista, RCA, Columbia, Gracenote)

Re:Good ... (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#41937339)

The entertainment divisions are all distinct with regard to Sony Corp. There is no all-encompassing "Entertainment division."

which touches on another one of sony's problems: it's like 100 different companies. there should be some collaborative advantage for Sony Division A and Sony Division B both being part of Sony, but there isn't. they might as well be completely different companies.

Re:Good ... (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#41937629)

which touches on another one of sony's problems: it's like 100 different companies.

Country music albums, life insurance, Adam Sandler movies, flow cytometry machines, Wheel of Fortune, and virtual swag for your online avatar. All of these things are Sony. (Oh yeah and they make consumer electronics too.)

You can only integrate these businesses so much -- collaboration between units has the effect of multiplying the number of managers you need, because pooling resources inevitably creates more contention and need for arbitration, and makes it more difficult to analyze who's making profitable decisions and who isn't. Think of it like the Unix principle: each businesses does one thing well, and they're connected to each other with clean interfaces. If you have two programs that parse JSON, it doesn't necessarily follow that they should share the same address space or kernel resources to do that, or even that they should use the same libraries. Similarly, a recording engineer at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, doesn't necessarily make an engineer at Arista in Nashville redundant.

Re:Good ... (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#41938165)

the power of having multiple areas of competence comes in being able to use them together to build something better. look at apple. they have a digital media store, and they have iOS devices. those two divisions sell each other. look at google. they have search and online services, and they have android. you bet that google services integrate well on android devices.

if you just treat that other division as any other company, there's no advantage to being big. actually it probably hurts, because while those divisions have some high level mandate to work together , their differing visions just make it a half-assed or completely failed effort. i'm not saying it's easy, but it's required to be successful.

without sony entertainment, sony electronics (or whatever they are called) is just another company that builds TVs, phones, etc. i own a sony google tv. it has a sony movies app on it. the movies are a dollar more than i can rent them in multiple other places. i mean, why the heck even bother making the app if you aren't going to compete? how about this? offer me a free movie rental a month to get me hooked into using their movie rental service, and offer an incentive to pick a sony TV over samsung. that's me, joe nobody, coming up with a way where two sony divisions can help sell each other. it wasn't hard.

i've used a sony android tablet. it came installed with an app for renting movies from sony, and an app for purchasing music from sony. when you went to access them, you got redirected to a crappy non-mobile optimized browser page that made you fill out a massive web form to register. after you registered by painfully filling out that form on a touchscreen, you had to sign in again. you had to do that for each sony app on the device because they didn't share auth. what kind of a company ships a solution like that?

Re:Good ... (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#41938583)

If Google or Apple started acquiring locomotive manufacturers, medical device companies, stock brokerages and frozen yogurt chains, this would begin to be a comparison. Sony's a conglomerate, Apple and Google are quite specialized. Also you're passing judgement on Sony's entire divisional structure based on their inability to execute a GoogleTV STB and an Android tablet, both classes of devices that every manufacturer has managed to screw up. Your complaints about the tablet could just as easily be applied to ASUS or any old KIRF.

I'm not saying that Sony's organization actually works, but integrating Google Docs with Android is an utterly different class of problem from integrating a musical act with a movie studio, video game developer and distribution infrastructure. The one just involves some code, while the other involves people, lots and lots of people.

If I were you I'd hold off on singing the praises of Google's synergy until we saw how the Motorola merger shook out. As it is, it looks like they simply don't know how to run the company that actually makes things, and are letting it wither, loosing billions of dollars in the process.

Re:Good ... (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#41938753)

If Google or Apple started acquiring locomotive manufacturers, medical device companies, stock brokerages and frozen yogurt chains, this would begin to be a comparison. Sony's a conglomerate, Apple and Google are quite specialized.

you don't have to look at every sony division. obviously the dog food division and the anal probe division don't need to collaborate. but i gave two perfectly good examples where the entertainment division and the divisions that make google TV and android tablets should have collaborated and failed epically for not doing so.

Your complaints about the tablet could just as easily be applied to ASUS or any old KIRF.

huh? obviously not, because asus doesn't own a massive music and movie and TV catalog.

and anyway, who cares? just because some other company fails epically in the same way as sony doesn't mean sony isn't failing.

As it is, it looks like they simply don't know how to run the company that actually makes things, and are letting it wither, loosing billions of dollars in the process.

it's common knowledge that they bought motorola for the patents. motorola was (and is) a commodity android device manufacturer in a sea of commodity android device manufacturers. unlike sony, they don't have an entertainment division to synergize with. and then there's the thinking that google doesn't want motorola to be successful anyway because they don't want scare every other android device manufacturer away.

Re:Good ... (1)

sd4f (1891894) | more than 2 years ago | (#41937047)

Yea i agree, i think that the publishing arm of sony is sort of like the tail wagging the dog. They still can make brilliant hardware, but just from my observers point of view, it really ruined the hardware by demanding DRM and just making the devices unfriendly to users, i've time and time again just skipped sony, because i know that i'm going to get the shits with it not letting me do what i want to do.

Is anything at Sony working right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41934983)

Answer: No.

Good luck at fixing things when you're just replacing one corporate idiot for another.

Re:Is anything at Sony working right? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935531)

Pretty much. Besides, they are in transition to the PS4 now and online movie distribution rather than blu ray. It's a good time for a shakeup, especially if the replacement has more expertise in one or both of the upcoming products than the current guy.

It may also be that the corporate idiot at the top is being replaced because he hasn't managed the transition to PS4 and online distribution well, and they want someone who will, and since those problems would be internal rather than external they wouldn't talk about it.

HD video at 5 GB/mo? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41944479)

and online movie distribution rather than blu ray

That'll work for urban dwellers. So what do you recommend that Sony do to surve its rural customers, whose Internet access tends to be capped at one-fifth of a 1-layer BD per month, other than continued support for BD-Video releases?

The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (4, Interesting)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935013)

...from stealth DRM spyware on your Music CDs, to shitty closed-ecosystem type policies for PS3 is that SONY - once a "Superbrand" - is crumbling in the eyes of consumers. No big loss, really. Samsung does everything Sony once did better, and at lower prices. Maybe Samsung could be persuaded to create an Android or Linux powered game console that frees people from the inevitable "horror" that will be Playstation 4? Go on Samsung; Take that "final leap" to challenging Sony in "all things consumer electronics"...

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935287)

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (1)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935433)

The Ouya is kind of cool, and I may even purchase one when it comes up, but it looks severely under-powered and my main interest in it is as a hackable device. Do you really care about playing cell-phone games on your TV?

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935553)

Sure, if you look at generally how powerful cell phones are a lot of that stuff might translate ok to TV. I always wanted the PSP family to be exactly that, a portable version of the playstation, let me take my games with me from the main machine and let me play the same stuff on the Playstation that i play on the portable version. I might play with a console or phone on my commute home, but I'm not going to sit at on my couch playing a PSP game when there's a great big TV there.

I agree on the 'ouya being underpowered' complaint, it might not be the right product for the market, but clearly a lot of people like the idea.

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936473)

The Ouya is kind of cool, and I may even purchase one when it comes up, but it looks severely under-powered and my main interest in it is as a hackable device. Do you really care about playing cell-phone games on your TV?

Not only that, but there's a console [wikipedia.org] that is more powerful than the Ouya that launches in... 9 days. Created by an extremely well known video game company and backed by a number of major developers of the non-cell-phone game persuasion.

Yes, it's more expensive than the Ouya, but it's also quite a bit more powerful and comes with its own touchscreen tablet that supposedly runs for 30 hours before needing a recharge.

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | more than 2 years ago | (#41939505)

And the OS is completely open and anybody can publish games for it. Oh wait, no it's not.

I'd like to see Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 on the Wii U. :p

Indie games using input other than touch screen (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41944605)

there's a console [Nintendo's Wii U] that is more powerful than the Ouya that launches in... 9 days.

So for what platform should a company develop video games if the games are in a genre that doesn't work well with a flat sheet of glass as the only input device, but the company isn't big enough to attract the attention of Nintendo? (Before you say 2D Boy, Nintendo has since reworded its developer qualifications to rule out 2D Boy's loophole of using a coffee shop as its "secure office.")

Re:Indie games using input other than touch screen (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#41945081)

So for what platform should a company develop video games if the games are in a genre that doesn't work well with a flat sheet of glass as the only input device

The touchpad isn't the only input device for the WiiU... it's just the only one that comes with it. Incidentally, the WiiU's tablet controller also has an analog stick on it, it's just a pain to hold to use it. The WiiU also supports the WiiU Pro Controller (the one that looks like an Xbox 360 controller) and and Wii-compatible controller including the Wiimote and its addons.

So for what platform should a company develop video games if... the company isn't big enough to attract the attention of Nintendo? (Before you say 2D Boy, Nintendo has since reworded its developer qualifications to rule out 2D Boy's loophole of using a coffee shop as its "secure office.")

Yes, that's a legit problem here. I could answer that with "the Xbox 360" but their Indie games aren't that well promoted, plus they require that you use XNA [wikipedia.org] and C#.

The best platform for Indie games at the current point is still PC to a greater extent, and to a lesser extent, Steam [steampowered.com] specifically.

Re:Indie games using input other than touch screen (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41945241)

major developers of the non-cell-phone game persuasion

So for what platform should a company develop video games if the games are in a genre that doesn't work well with a flat sheet of glass as the only input device

The touchpad isn't the only input device for the WiiU

It is for a smartphone or tablet. I imagine some developers target smartphones because those are the only handheld devices that developers not "tall enough" for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita are allowed to target.

I could answer that with "the Xbox 360" but their Indie games aren't that well promoted

And not even available for sale in most countries outside the USA, I'm told.

plus they require that you use XNA and C#.

And requiring a specific language breaks the advantages of model-view separation, unless there's some way to translate game logic written in some other language to C#.

The best platform for Indie games at the current point is still PC to a greater extent

Could a PC-exclusive fighting game sell? Could a PC-exclusive cooperative platformer (like a PC counterpart to New Super Mario Bros. Wii) sell? These genres tend to be more satisfying when played in person with friends than when played online with strangers. I've been told by other Slashdot users that PC gamers are by and large unwilling to connect multiple gamepads to a PC despite the fact that the Xbox 360 Controller works well on a PC, that desktop PC monitors are at least as big [slashdot.org] as bedroom TVs used to be back in the days of Street Fighter and split-screen Mario Kart, and that it has become easy to connect a PC with VGA+audio or HDMI out to an HDTV with VGA+audio or HDMI in [pineight.com] . Or do indie games absolutely have to focus on single-player or online play with strangers?

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935437)

Maybe Samsung could be persuaded to create an Android or Linux powered game console that frees people from the inevitable "horror" that will be Playstation 4?

An "Android/Linux powered game console" is pure fantasy.

First, you have no viable games. No, Angry Birds is not a viable game. Not when we're discussing distribution of hardware. Nobody has bought a smart phone because of Angry Birds.

Valve, of course, is working at changing that - and given the proposed Android/Linux bit, could be a nice fit. But Valve, despite the indy appeal, does not cater to casual gamers. Beefy hardware is going to be a necessity - kicking our imaginary project up from cheap smart phone to actual world-class console.

So the question is why. Linux-powered Steam box. That isn't upgradeable? (No - swapping out a hard drive isn't upgradeable, any more than my Dreamcast was upgradeable by virtue of plugging in a BBA.) They could, of course, make it upgradeable, but...

If it's an 'upgradeable' console, running Linux (or even Android-flavored Linux), it isn't a console. It's a PC.

Netcraft confirms it, consoles are dying.

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935679)

In Japan, Sony is notorious for breaking right after the warranty ends. My friends there called it the "Sony timer". That's why I don't buy Sony anymore.

If Sony is like other large Japanese corporations, I bet this guy is merely the scapegoat. Chances are the people above him are extraordinarily conservative and backwards-thinking, and that his hands were tied when it came to "protecting IP" and other silly strategies they employed. Until there is a shift in thinking from the very top, Sony is sunk.

Re:The Cost of Anti-Consumer Policies... (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | more than 2 years ago | (#41938783)

In Japan, Sony is notorious for breaking right after the warranty ends. My friends there called it the "Sony timer".

There is lots wrong with Sony...Lots but quality of their hardware is not one of them. In fact very little hardware I own breaks even the dirt cheap stuff. Its all naturally obsolete, and filling my drawers.

Party is over! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935031)

Companies need to focus on doing one or two -- maybe even three things very well, and then do those things. Sony is like every other huge company who tries to be all things to all people: it never works. Whenever a company strays from its core competences, it never ends well.

Nimble, scalable, and ever vigilant are the words to live by now.

Re:Party is over! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41937111)

Well, the core competence of Samsung was "selling groceries and producing noodles":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung#1938_to_1970

Sign of Successful Change of Direction (3, Insightful)

knapper_tech (813569) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935039)

After Howard Stringer, the Sony-BGM DRM stooge got replaced, this is another sign that Sony is continuing to move back to nice electronics and away from the walled-garden approaches (DRM, mini-disc/beta-max?) that made Sony products acquire so much grossness brand-wise.

Re:Sign of Successful Change of Direction (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936533)

this is another sign that Sony is continuing to move back to nice electronics

I missed the part where Sony announced that they're going back to producing hardware that isn't complete shit.

Re:Sign of Successful Change of Direction (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#41940413)

After Howard Stringer, the Sony-BGM DRM stooge got replaced, this is another sign that Sony is continuing to move back to nice electronics and away from the walled-garden approaches (DRM, mini-disc/beta-max?) that made Sony products acquire so much grossness brand-wise.

Except the only division making money is Sony's entertainment division. The division that sells walled garden hardware and software, and actively promotes it to be installed on open platforms as well (Playstation for Android).

And nevermind that the Vita is the most closed piece of hardware ever - including proprietary memory cards that make the Sony Memory Stick look open.

Sony's deathly scared of piracy - the mere though that maybe Linux for PS3 could be used for piracy caused them to remove it. Ditto with a bunch of Vita digital download games. Of course, a bunch of people hacking the PS3 cracked it wide open a year later to get their Linux fix, which also resulted in them getting pirated games.

Ouya looks interesting, but it's going to suffer the same problem as other more open platforms (and yes, Apple's iOS is "more open" compared to the consoles) - it'll be filled with crap quickly as anyone and everyone makes apps hoping to get a quick buck. It'll get to the point where it'll just be easier to pirate the apps (the good ones will be posted online for free, and you can sideload them), rather than try to browse and buy them from the store.

Re:Sign of Successful Change of Direction (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41944997)

Ouya looks interesting, but it's going to suffer the same problem as other more open platforms (and yes, Apple's iOS is "more open" compared to the consoles) - it'll be filled with crap quickly as anyone and everyone makes apps hoping to get a quick buck.

Why didn't the availability of such low-effort software destroy PC gaming?

Not just that, stock is failing hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935227)

They were doing fine, but then a few stupid mistakes and this whole PS Vita nonsense has wrecked them.

They refused to budge, like Nintendo done with 3DS price-drop. And that has caused them to suffer greatly for that.
Sadly, Sony are all too in the "large numbers short term profit" mentality, which is retarded as absolute fuck.
While I won't want Sony to fail at all because them failing would be terrible for gaming overall, I don't want to see them continue as one of these types of companies.

If only one of the major gaming companies would get a grip and think long-term with pricing.
Seriously, half the prices and more than double the NEW sales of a product, shit ain't rocket surgery.
It has been proven time and again by countless smaller groups and a larger-ish one (Valve with Steam prices)
Hell, Humble Indie Bundle is more promising than the damn current console market.
Games from $10-30 are the sweet spot. The reason the Used market is soaring is because a considerable number of people simply cannot afford the new sale price. If companies don't start treating the Used market as competition, it will kill them.
Console prices, likewise. Most times they are sold at a loss anyway, but the sales from these lower prices alone would get back considerable lost profits.

I wish them, Sharp and other companies tanking the best of luck.
Adapt or Die. Simple as that.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (1)

dsvick (987919) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935471)

Console prices, likewise. Most times they are sold at a loss anyway, but the sales from these lower prices alone would get back considerable lost profits.

Wait ... what? Selling more for even less gets back lost profits? No, that might increase revenue, but it would make profits worse.

I agree that prices need to come down but until they stop trying to shove everything into the consoles that they can think of it will never happen. And to a certain extent there is still demand for the absolute best possible console, eventually they'll find the point at which wont want to pay more and the console prices will drop, or at least stop rising, but we haven't hit it yet.

I agree that game prices are too high, my limit was the $40 to $50 range, the $60 ones are not worth it, I'll wait 6 month for them to come down in price, or rent them for a fraction of the price. Again, the problem is that people are willing to fork over $60 for a game so where is the incentive to make them cheaper? Sure, they might sell more, but they seem to be pretty happy with the money their making now.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935909)

Again, the problem is that people are willing to fork over $60 for a game so where is the incentive to make them cheaper?

That, if 10 people are willing to buy the game at $60, 20 would be willing to buy it at $50, 30 at $40, etc.

Sure, they might sell more, but they seem to be pretty happy with the money their making now.

If I were a shareholder, I sure as hell wouldn't be happy knowing that my shares could be worth so much more, but aren't because Sony's board are a bunch of short-sighted, greedy bastards.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (2)

dsvick (987919) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936191)

That, if 10 people are willing to buy the game at $60, 20 would be willing to buy it at $50, 30 at $40, etc.

That's all well and good if they are out to maximize sales, but what they really want is to max out their profit and to get profit you need to take into account the cost to produce the games (and a bunch of other stuff as well). So if the cost to create them is $40 and they sell 10 of them for $60, they've made $200 profit on revenue of $600. If they sell 20 at $50, they made $200 profit on revenue of $1000. If they sell the 30 at $40 then they break even, and it goes down hill from there.

It's easy to say they'll sell more if they lower the price, but without knowing what it costs to create the game you can't know where the optimum price point is. They know what it costs to create and they, and all the other game manufacturers out there, spend boat loads of money figuring out the exact price point to maximize their profits.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936705)

That's all well and good if they are out to maximize sales, but what they really want is to max out their profit

Short term. Looking at the long game, alienating a good portion of your potential sales base by pricing yourself out of the market is not profitable.

...and to get profit you need to take into account the cost to produce the games (and a bunch of other stuff as well).

I started to try and find a general estimate of how much it costs these companies to make the games, but apparently it's a difficult number to pin down; either because the industry doesn't publish their costs (would, IMO, only make sense if they were making these games for an obscenely low amount), or because the firewall here is a bitch and kicks out anything with the word "game" in it... Guessing the latter.

So if the cost to create them is $40 and they sell 10 of them for $60, they've made $200 profit on revenue of $600. If they sell 20 at $50, they made $200we profit on revenue of $1000. If they sell the 30 at $40 then they break even, and it goes down hill from there.

Well sure, but without knowing exactly what it costs to make these games, that's all idle speculation. Also, keep in mind that the price you pay at a retailer isn't the price the retailer paid for the disc... which brings up a new question, what do you suppose the markup is on these games?

It's easy to say they'll sell more if they lower the price, but without knowing what it costs to create the game you can't know where the optimum price point is.

Agreed, obviously.

They know what it costs to create and they, and all the other game manufacturers out there, spend boat loads of money figuring out the exact price point to maximize their profits.

Considering, as an American, I've spent the better part of the last 2 decades watching corporations fiscally rape my country and my countrymen all in the name of short-term profit, some of said corporations eventually collapsing under their own weight, I find that hard to believe.

Besides, all the market research in the world means precisely shit to greedy investors obsessed with short-term gains.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (1)

sd4f (1891894) | more than 2 years ago | (#41937181)

I think that's the general problem with game prices, here in Australia, for a while, RRP has been $120 for new console games, that has dropped somewhat now, because of consumer backlash, but our dollar is more or less in parity with the US dollar. Bottom line is, if they say dropped the price from $120 to $60, would sales increase to the point where they would make the same amount of profit, i seriously doubt it. It's demand based pricing, they charge what the market will bear, and as a result, charging the higher price means they'll shift less stock, but make more money, and you can always lower the price later.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 2 years ago | (#41938267)

Again, the problem is that people are willing to fork over $60 for a game so where is the incentive to make them cheaper?

are they?

demand is driving incredible improvements in mobile devices. when people can get pretty good games on mobile devices, consoles will be relegated to selling into the niche market of hard core gamers that don't game on PCs. there's probably always going to be some $ to be had there, but they are leaving the larger casual gamer market cash on the table.

Genres thought not to work well on PC/mobile (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41945041)

demand is driving incredible improvements in mobile devices. when people can get pretty good games on mobile devices

That'll take a while. There are plenty of genres that work much better with a physical gamepad than with a flat sheet of glass, for reasons I've explained [pineight.com] . Nor have I seen any indication that smartphone owners are buying external gamepads such as the iControlPad.

consoles will be relegated to selling into the niche market of hard core gamers that don't game on PCs

There are certain genres thought not to work well on PCs. Fighting games are one example; the only series I can think of that gets PC ports is Street Fighter. Another is party games intended to be a centerpiece of in-person social interaction, such as Mario Party. Or cooperative platformers such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935473)

If companies don't start treating the Used market as competition, it will kill them

They are competing by moving to digital sales and by dis-incentivising used game purchases by requiring one-use activation codes to gain access to online features. In other words, they're either too stubborn or too lacking in creativity to develop a real model of competition, so they're just trying to use their weight to crush used sales.

Re:Not just that, stock is failing hard. (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936267)

While there is some basis for your argument your maths fails horrible. You don't just need to more than double sales if you halve prices, you would need to triple, quadruple or even much more. Each game has a cost to produce, to sell, to market, combine that with a very large number of games will never even cover the development cost in revenue as they are very much like the movie market and they make the majority of the money from a few big titles. If you reduce prices by half many of your base costs remain the same plus it eats away at the very big selling titles profits.

secondly I am sure many of them would love to know how to compete with the used market? I personally haven't seen a workable model beyond what they are doing with the online tokens and activations. If they reduce prices then so does the used market. if games become $20 new then people will buy $10 used games instead. This isn't to say games shouldn't be cheaper, but you can't compete on price with an item that has all the price advantages.

Fall of the machines (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935311)

Did anyone check him for a rootkit?

Re:Fall of the machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935845)

"Did anyone check him for a rootkit?"

Apparently.

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7522392/NEW_2012_Sony_Rootkit_Exploit

Explains the focus on the gaming head moving up the foodchain if there is any truth in that document--perhaps data farming is the new Sony?

Continued deterioration? Yes. (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935321)

The glacial pace of the effect of Sony's silo-ed management style marches on. This company has been on the decline for years. Does anyone else recall Wired magazine's prediction that if Playstation 3 failed to achieve market dominance, Sony was done for? It was an article published around 2007 or so. Personally, I think Wired was correct. However, when the effects are happening so slowly, many people don't seem to see it. I disagree strongly about this being a good day for Sony.

Hmm, so did General Petreaus, head of the CIA. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935419)

I wonder if there's a link.

Is the CIA responsible for the Sony Rootkits?

Fishing from a Sewer (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41935507)

Schaaf joined Sony after a stint at Apple... Tim will be replaced by Andrew House, currently of Sony's Game Division...

Words of wisdom: When you refuse to fish anywhere but a sewer, all you'll ever catch are turds.

is this a continued sign of deterioration in Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41935641)

Yes. Yes, it is.

Sony can die for all I care. (1)

Nexion (1064) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936257)

The customer service of their games division isn't very helpful. They owed me some SC in EQ2 and demanded a credit card to return it. I refused to hand a company with unreliable security my credit card. After MANY attempts to get them to just return the SC to my account I gave up and closed my EQ2 account. I just wont do business with them anymore. I decided not to buy a Playstation 3 over issues I've had with them and don't buy Sony electronics anymore either. They've just had too much bad press to not have outstanding customer service and expect to survive.

Funny how, IMHO, they are replacing CEO incompetence with another poor excuse for an executive.

What's the message here? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41936495)

I can tell you first-hand that the Japanese companies I have had exposure to do not value "up-to-date" equipment, software, policies or practices. They spend less money and maintain far older infrastructure. And let me tell you that just because it has "America" in the title doesn't make it an American company run to American standards.

And Sony is definitely a Japanese company... it all comes from the top. After the top US defense companies were compomised, they tightened security and became a lot more proactive. When the top Japanese defense companies were compromised [at about the same time] they did "something" but were compromised several times after the initial series of events. I see the pattern as a refusal to take information security seriously.

But some things are simply cultural. For example, the times I have visited Japan, I could always tell when a shop was run by Japanese people or by foreigners. Those run by Japanese people I always felt comfortable in. Those run by others generally sent a vibe that said "I am being watched and not trusted."

I think no singular explanation could describe the whole problem, but the most significant symptom here is that they are not responsive to information security needs. That needs to change... and by change I mean, "Die! Sony, Die!" or "Sony straightens up and invests in good infrastructure and practices."

That a leader within Sony left doesn't mean he was responsible. I have seen many non-Japanese people leave Japanese companies purely out of frustration. There comes a time when doing things right is more important than the money and continued employment. This guy just may have left because no one has been listening to him.

Re:What's the message here? (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | more than 2 years ago | (#41940031)

As a foreign who lives in Japan I totally agree with you. One of the reasons I'm founding my own venture while I finish my PhD is exactly what you say. Either that or I join a brand new Venture. I refuse to work for a Japanese company that older than 5 years. They have some excellent qualities such as proper manners, attention to detail, etc, but they have a huge problem which is their mental inertia and lack of flexibility. Once they found a successful business model they stick to it no matter what. Even when this business model is outdated and is the major reason for failure. That is exactly what is happen with Sony, which thinks it's still the 80's and 90's.
Recently I think Japanese companies are starting to wake up to this problem, albeit very slowly. In the past few months, Kazu Hirai has been doing a relatively good job unifying the company and reducing the losses as well as adopting more modern practices. But there are still tons of problems with their products and I wonder if he will be able to pull a Steve Jobs in time and save Sony like Jobs saved Apple in the 90s.
In my experience younger Japanese companies seems to be more conscious of the modern needs. The need to synchronize software and hardware development. The need to constantly support and market your products. The need to choose wisely your target markets and do your best to satisfy them. Maybe the death of old companies like Sony and sharp will open the doors for this new generation of flexible and intelligent business.
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