Friday, November 17, 2006

PS3 ships - Let the eating of crow commence!

OK, so Mark was the first, but not the last, to point out to me that PS3 finally shipped, and did so 50 days before the end of calendar year, thus rendering #1 of my 2006 predictions to be incorrect. In doing so, they've cost me two wagers I took on the subject. Ah, the perils of being opinionated and pigheaded.

On the PS3 launch, amid the stories of drive-by bb-gun shootings, robberies, retail line fisticuffs and shenanigans, there's also been a ton of news about the negative side of the Japanese launch. Lines in Japan have long come to represent a sign of commercial success (similar to big-line-for-tickle-me-elmo over here, but to a whole new level). To that end, it seems to have bred two things: Vendors (Sony in this case) trying to ratchet up the frenzy, and nefarious elements looking to exploit it. Below is what I've heard from some friends in Japan and on the web, so take with grain of salt, throw pinch of salt over left shoulder, do other things with salt, etc.

- Sony, rather than doing a lottery system for their 80 units, chose to encourage lines and only supplied retailers who agreed to force consumers to wait in line.

- Lines at the main retailers in places like Akihabara were made up of a majority of Chinese immigrants and homeless people. Rumor has it that these migrant workers and homeless were paid ~$100 to wait in line on behalf of Yakuza mobsters aiming to later scalp the systems.

- Most of this first wave of customers bought PS3's and no software. If true, relective of the point above, and of data I saw somewhere of an initial attach rate of 0.98.

- The interview with the first customer didn't go well as he didn't speak Japanese.

Various posts on the issue: 1, 2, 3,

Crazy if it's true.


Anonymous said...

You could always say that Sony originally claimed that they would launch in the UK & Europe before Christmas as well, but they've missed that date!

Anonymous said...

Davet, Kim needs to be wrong, it helps with the inflated ego.

Note to Kim: no lines for Zunes.

I am not sure what the DRM for content on the Zune and Music Zervice will be like, but if it is anything like previous RIAA teat-suckling offerings (Sony, for example), I have no interest in getting one... the iTunes model works well and is flexible, at least for me. Plus, if I understand it correctly, the service will use the same "points" system as Xbox Live... yuk. Unless I can buy in increments of 1 point, then I don't care.

Now don't get me wrong, I love the Xbox Live service (and easy access to casual games :-), it is what makes the Xbox 360 rock. Of course, I hate having 200 points continuously left over in my account... it is a cynical ploy on MS's part to extract more money from me, or to buy XBL crap I don't want or need.

Kim, fix that!

Anonymous said...

Too bad about the PS3 shipping this year. After all that talk about it, I think you have blown just about all of your industry savviness cred with me...

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