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Sony's Ken Kutaragi responds to PS3 manufacturing difficulties

While many have pointed to Ken Kutaragi's arrogance (and Sony in general) in regards to the build up leading to the launch of the PlayStation 3, Sony's president has shown some signs of humility due to recent events. Last week, Sony announced that it was delaying its European launch of the PS3 until March of 2007 and that the US and Japan launch would be limited to 400,000 and 100,000 units respectively.

In response to investors and the PlayStation faithful around the world looking forward to the PS3's launch, Kutaragi had this to say, “If you asked me if Sony’s strength in hardware was in decline, right now I guess I would have to say that might be true.”

There's no way to sugar coat the manufacturing problems associated with producing the blue laser diodes and the low yields of the Cell processor that have plagued the PS3's early production. And one can't overlook Sony's part in the nearly 5 million notebook batteries recalled by both Dell and Apple -- each battery was manufactured by Sony.

The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. We now just have to sit back and see what Sony does to improve its current situation.

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PS3 issues
By SLEEPER5555 on 9/11/2006 12:56:09 PM , Rating: 1
i dont think at this point they can do anything to fix this, it seems like its a ms and nintendo battle this time out. maybe the ps4 will have a chance?


RE: PS3 issues
By Crusader on 9/11/2006 1:01:32 PM , Rating: 5
You dinks need the forced preview. Before the posts were littered with "give me an edit function!"

This isnt a forum. This is commentary.


RE: PS3 issues
By matthias on 9/11/2006 2:42:49 PM , Rating: 5
If anybody needs a forced preview its the Daily Tech writers!

error after error after error!

RE: PS3 issues
By SunAngel on 9/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: PS3 issues
By CheesePoofs on 9/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: PS3 issues
By Samus on 9/11/2006 11:04:20 PM , Rating: 2

RE: PS3 issues
By mindless1 on 9/11/2006 9:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
The obvious is not obvious?
We wanted an edit, not preview, feature.

RE: PS3 issues
By slunkius on 9/12/2006 2:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
speak for yourself, i dont want it :D

Nice, but is that really where the problem lies?
By MonkeyPaw on 9/11/2006 3:11:57 PM , Rating: 5
While it's nice to see Sony admit some fault, I think it's a bit misguided. In the case of the PS3, I think the real problem is that Sony is attempting to produce a far too complex product before it can be easily manufactured. Cell is so big that 65nm is probably needed for better yeilds. BluRay is far too new for Sony to produce enough working drives. Sony can take the blame for not making good hardware, but I think the real problem is that they made the specs far too complex for current production capabilities. The mistake Sony made was that they were too arrogant to think that production problems would slow them down.

If Sony wants to own up, that's great, but I don't think they are admitting to the right mistakes. I don't think it's a problem with manufacturing, as early yeilds are generally poor in the electronics industry (hence the rediculous prices). The PS3 is not the place to launch DRM tools, especially when the rest of the market isn't even there yet (and the standards aren't finalized). If Sony wanted PS3 to sell this Christmas, they should have trimmed the specs to something realistic. If they didn't want to sacrifice design, then PS3 should have been targeted for Q407. Now we get a product that is both delayed and cut down. Go Sony!

By FITCamaro on 9/12/2006 12:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
But remember. You're buying Sony because....well....its Sony.....and they're the best at everything....yeah... >.>

I'll eventually get a PS3. But looks like the Revolution and the Xbox 360 will be coming first.

By Sanctusx2 on 9/12/2006 12:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
You have a great point there. I think Sony was too ambitious with the PS3. They had such a great product with the PS2 that I think shareholders, consumers, and engineers alike wanted the next product to bear the Playstation name to be revolutionary. As a result they dumped every upcoming technology they could into thing and because of the immaturity of the production and design of said technologies the entire system is being held back. They don't have just one problem--they're juggling multiple ones and it's proving to be disastrous.

Kutaragi and company's arrogance just worsens the situation. Seems like he got caught up in the dream like everyone else and refused to accept the reality until now.

I think it's too early to count them out given the massive resources Sony has. However I don't think they'll be a serious contender this year. Just like the 360 wasn't really until this year. My bet is the Wii is going to dominate '06 and most of '07 with the PS3 struggling to match then eventually overtaking the 360.

Still more PS3 than 360's at Launch
By hstewarth on 9/11/2006 1:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
With all these rumors going arround Sony still states there will be more PS3 at launch time then when 360's were launch.

RE: Still more PS3 than 360's at Launch
By dome1234 on 9/11/2006 1:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
apparently they're going to "air-freight" the console after the initial launch! That'll be bloody expensive!

By Kuroyama on 9/11/2006 7:43:44 PM , Rating: 3
My Toshiba laptop was shipped by air from Shanghai. This sort of thing is common for high value items such as computers. Don't see why it would be a big deal relative to the price of a PS3. Of course, every PS3 is the same (well, perhaps there are a few models), so there shouldn't be this need to rush things if Sony weren't so far behind.

European delay
By aeleneski on 9/11/2006 12:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the delay for the PS3 in Europe was until March '07 not May.

RE: European delay
By kristof007 on 9/11/2006 1:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
It does say March now. Maybe they fixed it.

I think people might be right with this being a battle between Nintendo and Microsoft. If they could figure out how to get higher yields on the cell processor their manufacturing would be at least more cost efficent but I am sure it's not that easy. Good luck to Sony for the next few years.

RE: European delay
By creathir on 9/11/2006 2:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Microsoft did the same thing. They shipped to the US on several 747s...
It is done this way because of how little time they have between launch day and the end of the first "shipment".

Shipping via sea would add about two weeks to get them across the Pacific ocean.

- Creathir

Time to ditch the polyester and...
By oneils on 9/11/2006 1:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
don the flame retardant suit.

RE: Time to ditch the polyester and...
By Burning Bridges on 9/11/2006 1:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
omg wtf bbq joo noob lawl lawl hax.

Nah, there aren't many flames around here at all tbh. I think people generally behave themselves in a away that would make their mothers proud =)

By oneils on 9/11/2006 4:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm surprised by how well everyone is behaving - I spend too much time at /.org

The Sony blah blah.......
By crystal clear on 9/12/2006 3:14:50 AM , Rating: 1
“If you asked me if Sony’s strength in hardware was in decline, right now I guess I would have to say that might be true.”

Good morning Sir this is your Wake Up call-
People in the industry were saying this & lot more ,long ago
about Sony.
Too late you realized this,now you got to delete "that might be true " & insert this-"it is FACT"

Keep on making such announcements-It keeps you in the news
headlines from time to time,least people might forget that there is something called PS3.People have short memories.

If I was a Sony shareholder or director-you would be spending a lot of sleepless night & have your bonuses chopped off or maybe Fired.

RE: The Sony blah blah.......
By EclipsedAurora on 9/12/2006 8:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
I have to say sorry to u that

According to US patent center, in 2005 Sony is the toppest 4 in terms of patent she owned. Even more than Intel!

RE: The Sony blah blah.......
By SocrPlyr on 9/12/2006 10:59:01 AM , Rating: 2
I am not arguing either way in this case, but just as a side note # of patents means absolutely nothing. Often, it just means they company patents everything on the sun in order that they might get lucky with something that someone else might want to use. I would also make the statement that a large proportion of patents should be revoked. Many do not meet the "novelty" criterion and any drone doing the same work would have implemented. Now the quality of Sony's patent portfolio should be analyzed before it could be applied to their innovation as a company.
As a side note, was that total patents filed or recent patents? (makes a difference as well)

By Sharky974 on 9/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: Sony
By arswihart on 9/12/2006 8:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
I would definitely disagree, as with the PS2, the PS3 is going to be a beast to program, but when people figure it out, the games are going to look consistently better than the 360, that's my prediction anyways. The specs on the PS3 don't lie, even if they are losing money on it, the consumer wins in the end, this could be the "Dreamcast" for Sony this round, and that means they lose tons of money, but we get a ton of great games with killer graphics. That would be ok, but really I hope Sony doesn't totally bomb this round.

RE: Sony
By 9nails on 9/12/2006 11:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
You really hit the nail on the head there. *When* people learn how to program on it, the PS3 should look amazing. Lets just hope that it lasts long enough to see that.

After hearing about the less than stellar initial drops of HD and Blu-Ray DVD movies, lack of content of OTA programming and battles between standards, I'm in the holding pattern for HD. But it remains on my 5 year plan. (I'm also waiting for 60" HD Ready TV's with all the inputs to fall below $900.) And by the time the market drops their HD sets price for the general public, I do hope the PS3 is still around.

Waiting for it....
By cscpianoman on 9/11/2006 2:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
I was partially waiting for Sony to come around and say we screwed up. The consumers could see they screwed up, the investors could see they screwed up, sadly it took Sony way to. long to see they screwed up and they will be the benificiaries of their arrogance. The thing I most appreciate out of this comment is there is the implied promise things will get better. It's just a shame they waited this long.

It's a long way to the 9th Step...
By jskirwin on 9/11/2006 2:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.

And the 9th step is:
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

That's a long journey for anyone. By the time Sony reaches it, it could be too late (e.g. lost market share to MS, Nintendo).

how to turn it around....
By L1NUXownz1fUR1337 on 9/12/2006 1:51:50 AM , Rating: 2

KISS - keep it simple stupid.

I would put an athlon x2 with aegis physics processor and nvidia dual sli on a asus mobo with opengl and linux add usb2ps2 converters and ps2 controllers plus sugar and water - shake it put it in the oven and call it day.
Using known cots parts build a ps3 - no manufacturing issues. They could ship tomorrow.

What would happen if...
By CASTIGAR on 9/12/2006 2:29:59 AM , Rating: 2
The ps3's are getting air shipped right? how badly done over would sony be if the plane crashes? id bet they be annoyed somewhat aswell as the consumers and fans who have been waiting delay after delay. quite alot of people thought they were getting in over their heads they have managed to hold them off but are getting to the point now where if they do suffer a loss it may well cripple.

Can they afford to screw this up?
By protosv on 9/12/2006 8:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
If Sony were to blow the PS3 launch and it does become their "Dreamcast", I'm curious to know if they can afford to even think about making a PS4, considering the $$$ they're already losing on the PS3 before it's even out?

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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