×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sony's New CEO To Look Beyond Hardware

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the somewhere-out-there dept.

Sony 178

angry tapir writes "Sony's new CEO says the company needs to move on from its hardware roots. From its inception, the company has defined itself through its gadget lines — Walkman, Vaio, Cyber-shot, PlayStation — but incoming CEO Kazuo Hirai, who will officially lead the company from April, says Sony must now focus more on the software and platforms they access. He said he wants to model the company after its successful PlayStation gaming business, which he helped turn around, where 'hardware drives software, and software drives hardware, and it's all tied in by the network.' Sony is forecasting nearly US$3 billion in losses for the fiscal year through March."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

178 comments

too funny (0)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019855)

Disable Advertising
As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising.
LOL

Why not? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019861)

They have far more success with their software anyway. Look at how well Star Wars: Galaxies is doing!

Re:Why not? (3, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020337)

On the PlayStation, yes. There you have no choice. But on the PC? Especially with all the good press from the Sony software installed on PCs in the past... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal [wikipedia.org] http://techreport.com/discussions/13096 [techreport.com] They will have a hard time overcoming this with a lot of users. It is actually a factor in the hardware losses they have had.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020377)

wooooooooooooosh

Re:Why not? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020777)

Ooops... Since I avoid Sony like the plague, I had not even looked at Star Wars: Galaxies. Why look at something you know you will not use? So I did not know that no one else looked at it either. :)

Re:Why not? (1)

Omegawar (1314051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021019)

It's not so much that no one looked at it. But that they had an enjoyable but flawed game, that they tweaked until it was barely recognizable. And then scrapped it and made a a SW flavoured wow clone.

Re:Why not? (2)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021017)

Forget the rootkit,

Every Vaio laptop I have bought and configured with a windows env (yikes) needs half a day of scrubbing to remove all the idiotic sony Vaio programs, services or UIs... And then you have the addware that comes pre installed... Plainly it is easier to buy a retail version of windows and slap it on than going through all the pain. In all fairness though Vaio's, as long as I can remember them, seem to be sturdier designs than cheaper alternatives and often have better screens also. But the software is plain criminal.

It's not going to work (5, Insightful)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019865)

Sony is just too conservative and unwilling to invest to be successful in the software business. 90% of their time will be spent locking down systems and adding DRM. They won't build what the customer wants.

Re:It's not going to work (4, Insightful)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019949)

Not to mention that their software is universally shite, relative to competitors. They've seen Apple's successful walled garden model and want in, difference is that Apple are a software company and Sony, most certainly, are not.

PSN Indie Games? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020245)

They've seen Apple's successful walled garden model and want in

Historically, PlayStation has been even less open than iOS. The walled garden model popularized by Apple's App Store actually appeared first in Xbox Live Indie Games, an alternative to Xbox Live Arcade for individuals and small family businesses without the requirement of a secure office and "industry experience". Does SCE plan to introduce anything like XBLIG any time soon?

Re:PSN Indie Games? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020651)

Does SCE plan to introduce anything like XBLIG any time soon?

You mean like this [ign.com]?

Re:PSN Indie Games? (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020823)

I think that's equivalent to XBLA, not XBLIG. As far as I know, Sony doesn't have any equivalent to XBLIG or the App Store.

Re:It's not going to work (3, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020253)

Apple is not a software company. Apple is a Marketing company that has software and hardware tied for second place.

Still, they put more focus on doing those things right than Sony does.

Also, Sony seriously needs to improve their customer service, being on top of the 'worst in the business' pile is NOT the top of the pile you want.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020499)

As a Mac user from the days when Apple nearly bit the bucket... I am happy to see them succeed. That doesn't mean I'm going to buy any of their over-priced products haha.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021193)

That's only true if the people buying Playstations/devices are their customers. Since Sony seems to make most/all of their money on licensing fees from developers, I'm betting end users are *not* the people Sony considers to be their customers.

Re:It's not going to work (4, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021275)

I know it's popular to call Apple "a marketing company" around here, but it's gotten ridiculous. What started as a very sarcastic cheap shot has somehow become an accepted truth. Last time I checked, Apple makes their money by selling computers, phones, and other hardware. They make a little off software, too. I'm pretty sure if Apple somehow lost their iPhone market, they wouldn't be able to offset the loss by selling t-shirts with their logo on it.

But, yes, Sony could learn a lot from Apple's marketing strategies.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020293)

Correction: Apple is a HARDWARE company - and their software is shite as well...

Re:It's not going to work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020445)

Correction Correction: Apple is a HARDWARE company that doesn't even make their own hardware - and their software is shite as well...

Re:It's not going to work (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020465)

Not really, Apple makes money on selling hardware, but part of being able to sell that hardware is the software they develop for it, that will either (a) only run on it or (b) won't run nearly as well on other platforms.

So, yes, their profit comes directly from the hardware, but the software is a huge part of the marketing, which is what gets people to buy it (and thus, is an important indirect factor in getting that profit, easily matching the importance of the hardware)

Re:It's not going to work (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020965)

The same could be said of *every* company. Marketing has a place in every business to enable said business to reach a customer base, and in turn generate revenue, which if sufficient to cover expenses converts to profits.

Re:It's not going to work (3, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020427)

Not to mention that they have zero consumer trust in their software, after two different rootkit fiascos.

Re:It's not going to work (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020589)

Or their online services. I thought about resubscribing to Everquest a while ago, but then I thought do I really want to give my credit card details to crackers? So I didn't.

Re:It's not going to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020923)

Not to mention that they have zero consumer trust in their software

I don't think that the general populace (i.e. the sony target market) know about the problems with their software, I can dare to say that if you ask a typical sony costumer what a rootkit is the most likely answer is that is something related to trees.

Look at their camera line, they sell cameras with insane Mp count, too much for the lens available, so their cameras are a rip off. For what I was told at a camera retailer sony cameras are the most returned due do malfunctions but they continue to sell.

Like it or not is one of the most recognized brands in the planet and people still think that they do things with quality, for most of the people rootkits and security flaws do not mean nothing until their bank accounts are drained (and then the fault is not from the people that created the security flaw but is from the damm hackers)

Re:It's not going to work (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020601)

> They won't build what the customer wants.

Precisely. How the hell is a consumer able to brick their $1,000 [LCD] TV by flashing the wrong firmware??

Sony is a hardware company that doesn't understand software NOR user experience. Microsoft is software company that doesn't understand hardware. Apple is a hardware + software + user experience company.

Sony doesn't have a clue how to build beautiful UI's - they are "engineer's UI's."

Re:It's not going to work (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021389)

Microsoft is software company that doesn't understand hardware.

I dunno. If their peripherals (like their optical mice) had been created by any smaller company, we would have considered that company's hardware to be pretty damn good. It's only because Microsoft is so enormous that accomplishments like the IntelliEye disappear in comparison.

Re:It's not going to work (2)

sirroc (1157745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021207)

Except that for the most part; they did give the customer a ton of options with the PS3. If I so wanted I can use any bluetooth headset or keyboard I want, any 2.5" SATA HDD. any USB keyboard, any USB external HDD. Perhaps that is why Ken Kutaragi was given the boot; as they saw the line on accessory margins and died a little inside.

Is it tied in by the network? (2)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019881)

I've had a PS3 since 2007 and have never created a playstation network account (which I'm quite glad about now given recent events). Its purely a gaming machine and thats all it'll ever be. If I want some sort of lifestyle/media server I've got my PC which is a lot better at it.

Re:Is it tied in by the network? (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020019)

Been my experience (as an unfortunate PS3 owner) that most games are built assuming network connectivity. Most can be played fine without it, but in a lot of cases you miss out on features, (important) updates, and downloadable content (which I actually have no problem with.. if they wern't using piss-poor security when dealing with the customer data).

I do totally agree on the whole "I just want a game console" thing though. Luckily most of that cruft is easy to ignore.

Re:Is it tied in by the network? (1)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020579)

Yeah. First things that come to mind are Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. You can play both without an online presence, but the games are much more interesting when you're playing in a persistent online state; being invaded at any time, watching other players silhouettes struggle just like you, seeing helpful messages written on the ground by other players, and being able to summon help when necessary are all beautiful additions to the games. But, to get them, guess who needs a PSN account? Everyone playing the game.

I think the old days of playing games by your lonesome aren't gone, but they are modified. I still feel like I'm struggling alone against a horde of demons, but the small touches that random real people bring to the game enhance it rather than detract from it (unlike, say, WoW where the fools make total immersion all but impossible). It would be nice if things like online human interaction weren't seen as a commodity for Sony, and instead relied on nothing more than a connection to the internet and good programming from the developer, like the old days.

Re:Is it tied in by the network? (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020719)

if they wern't using piss-poor security when dealing with the customer data

Piss poor security? That implies they'd try to protect it.

The latest version of their online network "SEN", that replaces PSN, has an agreement which states that they can and will give your data to whatever third parties they wish, and if you disagree then you get no service.
I cannot agree to this. I don't know what happens if you update to the new firmware that brings this change and then refuse the T&Cs, but I can't accept them.

Ok (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39019903)

Hardware is becoming generic and software is becoming critical. Software should at least be a big part of the plan. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

I'd rage about Sony evilness ... but that would be offtopic (and I'm sure there will be plenty of that anyway by people much more serious about it than me!).

Re:Ok (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020017)

That argument has been made for decades and has never been proven. Both are interrelated and innovations in either impact the other.

IMHO, Sony should get back to quality comsumer and commercial products again. Format changes have demonstrated that there is always a new market in media players, and people will spend their money if they think the device will do what they expect.

What's the next format? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020317)

Format changes have demonstrated that there is always a new market in media players

But after 1080p Blu-ray and 1080p Internet VOD, both of which a PS3 and several other BD players can already handle easily, what's the next format for noninteractive video? I don't see a great leap in media formats like the leap from VHS to DVD or from discs to Internet VOD in the near future, nor even a minor resolution improvement like DVD to BD or 480p VOD to 1080p VOD. Nor do I see 2160p (aka 4K) displays becoming affordable any time soon, especially given that people just recently upgraded to 1080p compared to the decades-long lifetime of 480i.

Well yea (2, Insightful)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019951)

They need to focus more on developing better and more intrusive rootkits in their devices.

Re:Well yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020251)

And punishing their customers for Anonymous hacking them.

Re:Well yea (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020483)

No, that is fine. They need more time in testing for stability. If the crap was stable, no one would have actually noticed it. And that is the scary part, and why I have no Sony software on anything I own.

overpriced, underspecced. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39019953)

Maybe Sony hardware used to be worth the premium, way back when, but nowadays they are just trading on their reputation.

I had a Sony Viao laptop for years. It was OK, nothing wrong with it, but equally there was nothing so amazingly right with it that it was worth the huge pricetag - the same spec laptop with another brand label on it would have been just as good at 2/3 the price. It's a shame, because there is room in a market for a gadget manufacturer that sets itself apart from the competition by offering superior reliability / build quality / robustness.

I think customers have been catching on to this the last few years, and Sony's hardware sales have dropped as a result.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020097)

Indeed. Seems to be the case in all their products.

Sony used to be a name to be reckoned with. They were like DeWalt or Bose .. you could probably get the same quality for less if you knew what you were doing, but Sony was a safe choice and worth the extra money to know you were getting something decent.

Now, they are just on par with everyone else.. and as you said.. people have noticed.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021031)

ony used to be a name to be reckoned with. They were like DeWalt or Bose ..

Bose is still a name to be reckoned with. Their stuff still sounds good. But it's not a faithful reproduction. DeWalt, on the other hand, is now a mid- to bottom-tier brand. Same with Bosch, and many other names which used to be exalted in tools. Even Craftsman, which was always known for being "pretty good" has compromised quality visibly. Got to compete with that unbranded China stuff.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021081)

That's depressing. I've been looking to replace some of my workshop equiptment. :(

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021341)

Milwaukee is still good, and while Delta has also visibly compromised quality (stuff is smaller and lighter which is NOT a good thing in a workbench tool, especially) they still seem to make stuff OK. I pretty much buy everything used now and just expect to replace brushes and clean comms. Yard sailing FTW. Got a delta 10" miter with rotating table for $10. Got a vintage craftsman molding cutter for $20. Got a newer Model 77 skilsaw for $10 with a broken handle, cord, and switch and swapped the handle and cord and such from my old, banged-up saw to it. Got a used craftman 1 1/4 HP router with a really nice little table for $35. Job-site 10" table saw, $15, and I integrated it into a full-sheet sized workbench that cost maybe $100 to build (router's in there too.) Hundreds of dollars in replacement cost, tens of dollars in cash outlay. Much of it is as nice as or nicer than anything I can find in a local store brand new. Reuse is the best kind of recycling.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (5, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020103)

The brand name meant something when it actually was made in Japan. Once they started outsourcing to China, like everyone else, there's no reason to pay more for them than anyone else.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020449)

The brand name meant something when it actually was made in Japan.

My last camcorder was a Sony made in Japan, because my previous two Sonys had lasted for many years before I replacde them (in fact I'm using the TRV900 I bought in 1999 now because it's still working). That didn't stop it from frying its main board shortly after the warranty ran out due to a design fault in the power circuitry.

My next camcorder will not be Sony.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020967)

The brand name meant something when it actually was made in Japan. Once they started outsourcing to China, like everyone else, there's no reason to pay more for them than anyone else.

This.

My 8-year-old "made in Japan" Sony VAIO A117S laptop still runs fine, with its original 1.7GHz Pentium M, 1GiB memory, Radeon Mobility 9?00 (the label and all the marketing says 9700, but it reports itself as 9600), and gorgeous 1920x1200 17" LCD. We replaced the disk with a larger capacity model[*] about a year ago, because the 80GB original had become just too small (but was still running fine). That laptop has been our "kitchen PC" for 4 years and is used regularly for all sorts of stuff - browsing, email, word processing, image processing, watching videos from our media server, and so forth. With a couple of dance pads, it's used for Stepmania. It runs Xubuntu 10.04 LTS.

[*] Made in Thailand, not in Japan. Backed up regularly to our server, 'nuff said.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (2)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020107)

Samsung is the new Sony. Now Sony's going to try the same thing as everyone else.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (1)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020531)

Samsung is making a gaming console?

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020791)

I presume he's talking about the trustworthiness of the brand. I've never had a Samsung product that had any physical problem, ever.

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021189)

Yes, I was referring to the quality of its products and the trustworthiness of the brand. I think that Sony started losing its way when it started making gaming consoles and then getting even involved with software and media. Quality control is a well known process in hardware manufacturing, including the critical portion of measuring defects; for software it's more time consuming and for media it's impossible. After all, how do you evaluate a movie as a product while it's being made?

Re:overpriced, underspecced. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021003)

Most if not all Vaios are garbage. When everyone else was using ATI or moving to nVidia they were still using Neomagic. They are worse at providing drivers for operating systems you didn't buy the computer with than anyone else, even gateway. Their support is legendarily poor. The computers are made like all the rest of the flimsy shit they make these days. Note also that Sony *still* hasn't figured out how to make a laser mechanism that can handle any abuse whatsoever. Every Vaio I've ever had the displeasure to work with has had problems, from the cheapest (haha "cheap") to the most expensive.

The era when Sony made good hardware has long passed. They do still make some acceptable hardware, like home theater receivers. They have a decent interface, they have a decent remote, and they have decent THD (great for 2ch, mediocre for more, usually.) And hell, they look nice. But they are usually last in features (for what you pay, another brand will give you more) and nothing is actually great.

Rootkits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39019977)

The one thing he forgot

Sony: (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39019983)

Your hardware was always good, but your focus on lock-in with nonstandard things like Memory Stick and user-hating products like the rootkit DRM on audio CDs is what killed you. Geeks everywhere have been telling their family and friends that you suck for the last decade. That tide will not change before you lose a lot more money. Just close up shop and call it a day.

Re:Sony: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020065)

I wonder, do you feel like your disconnection from the real world is some sort of asset?

Re:Sony: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020181)

Resorting to personal attacks in the face of a factual argument is the surest sign the argument is spot-on.
Crawl back under your rock, and take SONY with you. We'd all be better off without SONY.

You should kill us all on sight (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020155)

And now, for a thousand generations, geeks everywhere will be telling their family and friends that Sony sucks; and they won't even know they're doing it.

Re:Sony: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020167)

You know, you must be right. After all, someone with a business intellect like you must have nothing better to do than to waste time on Slashdot and tell a CEO how to run his business. Thank you for all your insight. "Ok boys, shut 'er down. We're done here!"
 
Kazuo Hirai

Re:Sony: (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020177)

If they had used the larger form factor of the memory stick to offer at least a density an order of magnitude higher than standard SD cards, it would have made sense. But seeing them offer far lower densities for higher prices defies logic.

But honestly, nowadays, I see no reason to prefer a Sony to a Sharp, a Samsung or even some new company I may stumble across in Costco.

Re:Sony: (3, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020571)

amen AMEN, I went from all Sony products to no Sony products over the last decade. I did the whole Sony Style thing. Everything was Sony. Now I don't own any more Sony products because of exactly what you mentioned along with their arrogant attitude and litigious behaviour. Sony's entry into the content business was the start of their downfall. Becoming a leading member of the RIAA and MPAA made it worse. I no longer purchase Sony products and actively recommend against their products. They should drop the content business and become a hardware company again this time without trying to populate the marketplace with non-standard hardware and only then will I consider recommending them to anyone.

Re:Sony: (1)

doramjan (766519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020709)

Wow, so I'm *NOT* the only one with a complete Sony boycott in my household! I've even taught my children to regard Sony as one of the cardinal off limits four-letter words.

Re:Sony: (1)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020767)

This.

As long a the tail of Sony's content business continues to wag the dog of their hardware business, they will find it difficult to deliver products people want.

Re:Sony: (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021143)

As long a the tail of Sony's content business continues to wag the dog of their hardware business, they will find it difficult to deliver products people want.

Bingo. Sony's hardware serves their movie/music business, not the customers who actually buy it.

They should get out of the content business and build stuff that people actually want to buy; why would I buy a $200 Sony Blu-Ray player which is region-locked and doesn't let me skip ads when I can buy an $80 Chinese no-name brand with neither of those restrictions?

They want to focus on A.I. (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020023)

Sony is one of the largest Robotics companies in the world (and I don't mean industrial robots). It only makes sense they want to put some brains in those robots.

They need to put brains in their management first (2)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020321)

Or perhaps put brains in the robots but promote them to management. They couldn't do any worse at the moment!

Re:They want to focus on A.I. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020385)

Sony is one of the largest Robotics companies in the world (and I don't mean industrial robots). It only makes sense they want to put some brains in those robots.

That would be nice. The Republican presidential campaign is getting rather boring. Time to upgrade that firmware.

Re:They want to focus on A.I. (1)

oursland (1898514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021347)

What robots do you mean? They canceled their consumer electronics and research robotics product, Aibo, in 2006.

Sony Announces new Consumer RootKit division (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020055)

Sony's New and Improved RootKit offerings from its newly established Consumer RootKit division will be available in two versions -- a free, advertising supported version, as well as a monthly subscription-based model. Subscriptions will require providing your Credit Card information via Sony's latest WebPortal hosted on its bulletproof servers ...

Expect continued decline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020087)

Decline started when they got into owning content.
Too busy building hardware to protect the content whereas the free market builds hardware to satisfy consumers, and the free market wins every time, eventually.

YUO FaIL IQT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020115)

Fil3 Was opened obtain a copy of

Here's an idea (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020149)

Sony could add a feature to its hardware platforms to allow loading/running an alternate OS. Preferably one that would attract lots of developers to their platforms. Perhaps even an open source OS, thereby making the best community developed products easy to distribute.

Nah. It would never work.

Re:Here's an idea (0)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020773)

They tried that. It didn't attract anyone worthwhile. They got hacked, sued, hacked again, and endlessly attacked. I think they've learned their lesson to never, ever try to reach out to these sorts of "developers" ever again. I think lots of people have learned a similar lesson from Sony's experience.

Re:Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020987)

No they didn't. They crippled the Linux OS by lockout out the most important hardware:.the RSX. Therefore the video driver was rubbish rending PS3-Linux are nothing more than a cell processor toy. All hacking attempts were to gain access to the hardware, until they killed otherOS, when many more eyeballs attacked the machine and Sony effectively created PS3 pirate games over night.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021117)

And that's why no one will ever do this again. Because no matter what you do, it's never enough for a group of people with an extreme entitlement mentality and nothing to offer Sony (or any product company) in return.

No one will do this again for the same reason no one lets homeless people use their house when they're on vacation.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021161)

Because no matter what you do, it's never enough for a group of people with an extreme entitlement mentality and nothing to offer Sony (or any product company) in return.

Yes. We have a name for people like that.

They're called 'customers'.

Re:Here's an idea (2)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021033)

Go re-read the background on OtherOS. Or even the PS3 Wikipedia article. PS3 didn't get 'hacked' until after they pulled official support for OtherOS. Until then, the PS3 had been out for four years without a single public method for running unsigned code. All indications are that everyone with the skills to jailbreak the machine to run game backups were perfectly happy playing around with the official third party tools.

Sony had tossed the hacker community a bone and a respectful nod. In return everyone was happy playing nice.

In April 2010, Sony announced they were retroactively pulling support for OtherOS because fuck you, that's why. They were then sued because in much of the civilized word it is illegal to remove advertised features after you sell a product.

By August 2010 the PS3 was broken open like an oyster.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021149)

Sony had tossed the hacker community a bone and a respectful nod.

Obviously, that was a huge mistake.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021255)

Why? It kept their system from being cracked for four years. The Xbox 360 and Wii were both cracked within a year of release. And every indication is that if Sony had not pulled OtherOS support the PS3 would have remained the only current generation console to remain secure.

So why do you consider the initial support a mistake?

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021399)

- Because there's no way to know that the system would have been cracked any sooner without OtherOS.
- Because the attacks on Sony were immensely more expensive and damaging than the cracking.
- Because it's still hard to pirate 20-40 GB console games on a large scale.
- Because a cracked system can be partly re-secured.
- Because the PSN would not have been attacked if OtherOS had never been a feature on the PS3.

Re:Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021191)

The hacks happened after the OtherOS feature was removed, though. And people didn't seriously start attempts at cracking the PS3 until OtherOS was removed.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39021237)

So what? Better to never implement it. If you never provide something, no one will attack you for taking it away. I expect Sony has learned this.

to me... (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020159)

Sony has been defined by overpriced accessories, rootkits, removed features, draconian network DRM, and in recent times, a lack of concern for protection of customer data. The only thing Sony that I've even remotely enjoyed recently has been my Sony monitor headphones, a simple, cheap and good quality hardware device. If this CEO wants to get Sony back on the right track, he'll solve these problems. Looks like he's getting off on the right foot, at least.

Re:to me... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020831)

Sadly I do not have much hope for him/Sony.

This new CEO was the same one who was over the PS3/game division when the PSN security breach happened and every other piece of bad press regarding the PS3.

And he's right... (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020187)

And he's right. In the long term, and that might be another couple of generations, game consoles will be terminals, TV's were dumb terminals and need to be made smart, smartphones can't distinguish themselves from one another if they are all basically the same hardware and software.

Hardware is a bad business to be in. There is becoming less and less of a need for a lot of different foundries, sure there will be some world wide but they are, by and large, astronomically expensive and need to have multiple customers, this is your TSMC, Intel, AMD etc. Given that, Sony, along with everyone else, is buying from them. That means your differentiation comes from what you run on the hardware, not what the hardware is.

Sony *should* own some major portion of the mobile market place. But it doesn't. It has just another android phone basically x10. The PS vita should be *the* premium android phone right now. But it isn't. That's a software and a vision problem, not hardware problem. Because what does a Sony smartphone bring to the table with software?

Sony *should* have a secure, reliable network that people can trust to buy movies music and games on, and that will be up 'all the time' (within reason of course), and, given the PSN outages last year, that isn't the case.

The future for Sony is smart boxes that go with (or inside) dumb boxes, and link up to their smart software services. TV on demand, on your TV, or PS1, 2, 3 or 4 games, all over the net. That may mean running their own cloud backend. But it's still known hardware problems solved with engaging software that's better than the other guy, not shitty software with somehow innovative hardware, because there's not a lot to innovate on the hardware.

In other words, they're largely a consumer facing version of IBM or HP. I'm sure they have, and could do more with the battery/chemicals business and so on, the backend may be boring tech but it can be useful. They can make TV's that use 70% less power for example. But pitching that to consumers requires informed consumers, and most of us, about most of the technology we use, aren't, or at least aren't informed enough for things like a TV that uses 70% less power, but costs 2x as much to even know if that's a worthwhile deal. They could, I suppose, choose to radically reinvest in something else, solar power, that kind of thing, but most of their innovation has been in content distribution (floppy disks, CD's, DVD's, Blu Ray, the whole gaming business etc.) and content delivery at that level is now a networking infrastructure problem.

Re:And he's right... (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020761)

So Sony should deliver the same hardware with the same Android OS as everybody else? Yeah, like that's differentiation. Sony has as far as I know never competed with TSMC, Intel, AMD etc. and why should they start now? They've been into producing consumer products, and there's plenty opportunity to pick components and make solid, well intgrated, price efficient combinations of good build quality and turn a good profit on that. My iPhone4 didn't even come with a flashlight function, though there's a dozen apps for that. Unless Sony really screws up the basic functions, why should people care? There's an app for that. But there's no app that would say give you a better camera, or better battery lifetime, or better resolution/color/contrast on your screen. Your hardware choice is once, your software is replaceable. You probably can't muck too far into the Android internals without too much cost for a fork, and nobody's buying a phone because it has some Sony branded apps.

Re:And he's right... (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020829)

They can make TV's that use 70% less power for example. But pitching that to consumers requires informed consumers, and most of us, about most of the technology we use, aren't, or at least aren't informed enough for things like a TV that uses 70% less power, but costs 2x as much to even know if that's a worthwhile deal.

It isn't. Consider yourself informed.

Samsung is the new Sony (3, Interesting)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020263)

It was evident at CES this year. Samsung is the new Sony. Sure, Samsung is getting into the Apps/Online content thing as well, but as far as hardware goes, Samsung has probably beaten Sony in every arena except for gaming.

Sony's booth at CES was 200 Sq Ft. bigger than Samsung's booth, but it had half as much product. Samsung, by contrast, had a 30,000 Sq.Ft. booth filled to the rim with gadgets and TVs.

Good luck with that "software drives the hardware" strategy Sony. Very few companies have been able to succeed at that model - actually, I can only think of one - a fruit company based out of Cupertino....

-ted

Re:Samsung is the new Sony (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020433)

Samsung, by contrast, had a 30,000 Sq.Ft. booth filled to the rim with gadgets and TVs.

And that's one of the big problems. 1500 different cell phones, monitors, computers, etc. All with exciting names like Sony XV-20039clb (now with tint control!).

It all gets lost in the ozone and long chain monomer haze. We don't need thousands more products, we need better ones.

Re:Samsung is the new Sony (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020491)

>> "All with exciting names like Sony XV-20039clb (now with tint control!)."

What!?! you mean you don't like the name "Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch"?

Shame on you! Go write it on the chalkboard 100 times!

Re:Samsung is the new Sony (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020729)

Did you see this [youtube.com] on SNL last week? Maybe not especially hilarious, but will probably be a staple in marketing seminars for the next 10 years.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020325)

After all their misdeeds, offing themselves the HP way. Honorable.

Re:Finally! (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020631)

I think Sony should go deep into Japanese tradition and kill itself by eating salt, lots and lots of salt.

The Fall of Grace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020371)

When they (Sony) start making a product worth a damn maybe I'll go back to being a customer. Since Sir Singer's reign Sony has only managed to produce overpriced POSs with a Sony brand name slapped across the front. (in my opinion)

Focus on software? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020417)

For one, they should focus first on security. Sony has been hacked recently in so many and obvious ways, it would make win 3.1 blush.

Re:Focus on software? (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020771)

I agree, they should track down the hackers and arrange a nice public execution for them.

FAwesome fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39020497)

FreeBSD at about 80 project faces a set so that yOu don't Be treated +by your

Step Number One (3, Insightful)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39020947)

First thing Sony needs to do is quit dicking their customers over. Be it intentional (root-kits) or accidental (losing PS Network account data), it must stop. Nothing else that you attempt to do will stand a chance of success until you learn to treat your customers with a wee bit of respect.

My boycott is working (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39021183)

I know boycotts are written off quickly but I've been carefully to minimize the number of pennies I hand to Sony. I suppose a few have slipped now and then if I rented a movie from a studio that Sony has ownership in, but in all seriousness, I have made a conscious effort not to spend money on their products.

I know others are doing the same.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...