Does Sony have any chance of staying afloat?

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Not even Batman can save Sony

The doom and gloom stories of Sony collapsing have been doing the rounds since before the PS3 was even released and yet one of the biggest names in consumer electronics is still going. But for how much longer?

Yesterday Sony slashed the PlayStation PR team in half leading to some not so subtle rants being posted on twitter by ex-Sony PR man, Will Powers, who appears to have subsequently removed them. I’m guessing because lashing a company publicly isn’t an endearing trait for future employers.

Here is his rant in full

You have to wonder what the hell PlayStation was thinking laying off more than half of their software PR team going into the holiday season

In typical fashion they’re sending titles out to die, because they have no PR support — LBPK, Sports Champions 2, Wonderbook.

Worst part it, the PR department was already under-staffed. I feel sorry for those that remain there, because their workload just doubled.

PR is non-revenue generating, but has a very low operating cost in relative terms to their results. Laying off to cut costs makes no sense.

Already, they outsourced entirely too much work to overpriced agencies, so laying off is only going to exacerbate an existing problem.

The point of having external agencies is so that you can scale back without layoffs, not layoff so you can ramp-up.

Internal PR teams have product loyalty and only serve one master. Neither can be said about agencies, although there are some select people.

That being said, you have to question the priorities of the company as a whole – What the point of AdHoc multiplayer when no one has a Vita?

Sony in general is serving too many masters. Each company should operate autonomously. PlayStation shouldn’t suffer b/c TVs are overpriced.

This is all being said, because I genuinely like and care about the PS product, but they’re being hamstrung from success internally.

Even though it’s an obvious rant Will does pick up on a few good points that Sony really needs to consider. Firstly the PS Vita isn’t a valid second screen option, yes technically it is great but realistically only the Sony fanboys and girls really think this is an even remotely plausible idea for mass market penetration.

The PSP and PS Vita combined sold a measly 1.4 million units worldwide in the last quarter. That’s less than the 3DS did by itself and is 400 000 less than the PSP did by itself in the year previously.

Secondly Sony is losing money on all fronts and while the PlayStation brand is in itself still loved worldwide the rest of Sony including TV’s, radios (do they still make those?) and cameras are being massacred by Samsung, Canon and really if you want top quality sound does Sony really enter your mind anymore?

Moving into the next gen Sony finds itself in a perilous position with the company financially strapped and with their direct gaming competitors looking very strong with Nintendo having more money than god thanks to the Wii and the Xbox about to enter a bumper holiday season with Halo 4 and Call of Duty decimating sales.

Penny Arcade has a great piece on the trouble Sony is in if you want to read a non-biased balanced view

Last Updated: September 25, 2012

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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