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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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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.

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