Share of Sony stock took a 2.75 percent tumble yesterday on
account of dim expectations from analysts as well as a nasty report of
overheating machine(s) at the Tokyo Game Show. Goldman Sachs downgraded
Sony’s stock from “buy” to “neutral” because of PlayStation 3 release confusion
as well as the poor sales performance of the PSP, according to the Associated Press.
Things got even more interesting after Macquarie Equities
analyst David Gibson reported that PS3 units on display at TGS operated
erratically and had to be repeatedly reset. "While the reason for
this is unknown, we suspect it may be due to overheating as a result of
enclosing the units and the high temperatures at the venue," Gibson wrote.
"We are concerned that such a problem has occurred so close to full
production and is clearly negative news for the company."
Sony spokeswoman Nanako Kato made several good points to
defend the PlayStation 3’s behavior. Anyone who has seen what sort of
environments consoles must endure during trade shows will know that ventilation
is always in short supply – especially in a crowded area of sweaty, eager
"It's not a problem with the PlayStation 3 unit
itself," Kato said. "For a normal player at home, there shouldn't be
any problem." With 200 PS3 retail demo units housed in see-through
kiosks, one shouldn’t be surprised to see heat issues. Still, this demonstrates
under what strict conditions the PS3 must operate.
Another possible explanation for this supposed glitch is
software related. Given that nearly all the software on display at the Tokyo
Game Show were still in production, a crash-causing bug could very well be
the culprit for the malfunction.
The real test for PlayStation 3 build quality will come this
year as up to two million units will be sold across North America and Japan.