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MMR: Is Sony to Blame for the PlayStation 3 Launch Violence?

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November 20, 2006 3:36:12 PM

After eager gamers and salivating capitalists waited in line for several days, the PlayStation 3 made its long-awaited debut Thursday night in the U.S. But midnight sales across the country turned into chaotic and sometimes violent ordeals. Who's to blame for this mess?
November 20, 2006 4:26:15 PM

It is absolutely absurd to blame Sony for the actions of those who completely lack self-control. We are not talking about a great depression where people are dying if they don't get food. We are talking about a toy, be it for kids or grown ups. If you need to camp out for days to get a toy, you are sad. Wait a few months and there will be more. For once, I'd like to see individuals take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming everyone else for your lack of discipline.

The thieves and thugs are to blame, too. Is that not obvious?

All those parents who were a part of the melee, what does that say about them? No, Sony isn't the problem. We the people are the problem.

Sony and the retailers should not have any responsibility for the doings of the stupid cattle masses. However, that's not to say they couldn't have done more. I think it indicates what they are, big business that doesn't care about much other than profits. As much as we don't like it sometimes, it's not a crime.

The answer is easy. Retailers need to have people sign up in the months in advance for a drawing of who gets to buy the first wave of products. They can figure out the details.

As a gamer, I'm ashamed of the few morons who give others a bad image. Gaming is not an excuse to be irresponsible.
November 20, 2006 4:27:16 PM

Actually the shooting was a robery attempt not an attempt to get a PS3 but peoples cash. The problem/violence has nothing to do with Sony it was just people behaving badly and there was no excuse for it. 8O
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November 20, 2006 4:45:47 PM

I believe the long lines waiting outside the store before system launches are the main problem. They generate the opportunity for young people with cash to be shot at, robbed, to become very cold and sick and to miss work or school. The long lines also provide a place for high emotion and misunderstandings that cause fights and riots.

The way to eliminate long lines with all their attendant issues and dangers is to have all stores generate lists of customers who have expressed their interest to buy a new system at some point after that system is launched. Every store who would be given systems for sale would abide by generally equivalent rules. The general rules would be that everyone would give their name and phone number and pay a nominal service charge to be on the list (say 5 to 10 dollars). The list would start very early in the cycle....say a year before projected system launch...or at least six months. This would keep the craziness and pre-order line issue down to a minimum because only the most far-sighted fanatics would be rushing to get on the list that early. (EB Games approach was to send out very late night emails to those interested telling them that the pre-sale was the next morning....the suddenness of the email kept the numbers for PS3 sale people waiting in line the next day down to a lucky few).

Once the list was "opened", anyone could add their name to the list, but their position would be correspondingly lower in the priority. The list would be allowed to grow, and could even be added to after the launch date by anyone who became interested after the launch. The list would be retired only after a point that the units were plentiful relative to the demand and thus the list was not useful anymore. Stores with websites could provide information on-line about delivery times and instruction by priority number.

The need for a substantial down payment could be decided in terms of timing of the units expected delivery. The rules could require that individuals make their downpayments within so many months (say 3) of the expected delivery time. Anyone failing to make their downpayment timely would be dropped from the list or be pushed back further in the list until payment was made. Or...down payment would be required from first being on the list.

In addition to avoiding long waiting lines and frequent calls to the stores subsequently ("when is the next batch coming in?"), this method has the advantage that it gives the retailers and the manufacturers information about the size of the demand for the systems. Necessarily, there can be issues in such data (are some people putting themselves on multiple lists to see which comes in first?), but just like airline reservations and college applications, the statistics of such sitiuations can be analyzed and understood over time. Beside, retailers and manufacturers could allocate new machines on the basis of the size of the number of pre-orders on hand for any location.

We need more order in this chaos. I have been watching launches since the Sega Genesis and the SNES, it has only gotten worse over time, not better.

By enabling an approach like I have described, people would be going to their retailer to pick up their system according to an organized approach within normal store hours. The only way that a criminal would identify a new system buyer would be to go into the store and watch people going to the customer service desk....a much more difficult endeavor than driving by a long line of people outside at 3am in the morning.
November 20, 2006 4:55:35 PM

Not Sony...
Not the Retailers...
Not the makers of violent games...
Not the lawyers...

Maybe it's the fault of hardware websites that keep telling us what we need to buy to be better gamers... Nope

Maybe it's Society in general for not accepting breast feeding in public as a natural extension of motherhood... Nope


It's the stupid sh!t individuals that think they're above the rest of us.

Acckkk, blaming anyone other than the individuals is just an extension of the 'Twinkie' defense, get real and stop trying to write social comentary articles on a hardware website.
November 20, 2006 4:57:26 PM

Is completely stupid to blame Sony for all of this.

Like it was Sony's best interest of releasing only a small amount of consoles to the US market.

What if Sony would have skipped the whole lauch this year like in Europe?

Then all these fanatics would have caused violence and the blame would have been Sony's.

So no matter what they would have done they would have got the blame!
November 20, 2006 5:27:21 PM

As much as I like my Sony bashing (and I really really do) I can't really blame them for this violence.

I can blame them for trying to rush a console out before Nintendo thus exacerbating an already tight release with insufficient product to come anywhere close to fulfilling demand. But controlling the crowds is the job of the store and protecting the public is the job of the police.

Some stores could have done a MUCH better job of handling the situation but when it comes right down to it, it comes to the responsibility of the individuals committing the crime. The law needs to come down HARD on those people.

I personally think anyone who waits more than a few hours in line for something like this is certifiably insane. More will be released, with less hype, before Christmas if that is even a deadline at all for some of these people. Most of them are just impatient. That doesn't mean I'm going to blame them for the violence done against them even though they created the situation that made it both possible and attractive.

Keep blame where blame is due and try not to spread it around too much lest you get some on you.
November 20, 2006 5:33:44 PM

My advanced apologies, Rob, but you are way off.

I already figured someone was going to try to blame Sony for the PS3 launch frenzy but I'm surprised that a Tom's Hardware writer would waste a single key-stroke on such an absurd notion that Sony is to blame. In an "all-you-can-eat" and "all-you-can-sue" society, this kind of blame game continues our inability as a society to take self-responsibility and move forward positively.

I'm all for taking down a company no matter what the size if they are ripping people off or creating products that are unsafe or do not meet what they claim but to blame a company for not making enough products to satisfy the market OR pass out flyers on how to be a good citizen is absolutely ridiculous.

Should we have sued Sesame Street, Jim Henson's family, and the makers of Tickle Me Elmo when kids were getting trampled on the floor while parents (even some grandparents) were beating up other parents on the eve of Thanksgiving years back? Apparently your history is blind.

This article is disappointing and short of depth - one of the reasons why myself and many others feel that Tom's Hardware has spread itself too thin and the articles are not well written or relevant like they used to be. Come on... you started the article that you were depressed by all of this. You can do much better than this.
November 20, 2006 5:52:34 PM

Quote:
Should we have sued Sesame Street, Jim Henson's family, and the makers of Tickle Me Elmo when kids were getting trampled on the floor while parents (even some grandparents) were beating up other parents on the eve of Thanksgiving years back? Apparently your history is blind.


Actually, I think Sony's history is blind. As I stated in the column, the company had prior experience with the launch of the PlayStation 2. As someone who witnessed the chaos and crowds firsthand for the PS3, I know some of the mess cannot be avoided. There are bad people everywhere and they'll seek to take advantage of a situation like this. I expect nothing from those people. But I do expect more from a company that has the history, knowledge and experience of Sony. They were holding the cards in the game -- if a retail location or city or town was unwilling to put up more police and security for people waiting in the parking lot, then Sony should have denied them their PS3 shipments. The company could have gotten together with each retail to develop a universal system to handle the crowds and manage the order of the lines. It didn't, it was poor planning on Sony's part.

Do I think Sony should be sued by people that got trampled or shot or robbed? Absolutely not. But do I think the company should take a long, hard look in the mirror and learn how it could have done more to prevent this mess? Yes, absolutely.

As for Tickle Me Elmo, I didn't really follow that phenomenon.
November 20, 2006 6:14:00 PM

Quote:
Quote:

As for Tickle Me Elmo, I didn't really follow that phenomenon.


Rob with all due respect to a THG Editor...

I visit THG several times a week and lurk in the forums.

But you are a Hardware site not a social commentator, your quote above tells it all... you are not aware of this particular subject matter, be it:

1. Sony PS3
2. Tickle Me Elmo
3. Nike Basketball Shoes
4. Leather 'Bomber' Jackets
5. "Who" concert tickets in Cleveland
6. Wedding dresses off the rack sales
6. etc...etc...etc...

Consumer driven violence is a fact and it's the responsibility of individuals. No not all of these examples are identical situations but it does show this problem has been around for awhile. Even the old black and white "I Love Lucy" sitcom had a skit about ladies fighting over items on sale.

Please keep to telling me which games are better and which console can be hacked into a linux based network browser, and stop the lectures about how a Japanese corporation is responsible for telling American retailers how to make people outside of their stores behave with a modicum of decorem, it was their parent's job and they failed...
November 20, 2006 6:22:38 PM

In my opinion, the only thing Sony could be blamed for is having 400,000 or less PlayStation 3's for launch. (I say for less because a analyst predicted less than 400,000 consoles for north america)

Blaming Sony for people getting shot, robbed or anything else is just ridiculous. It's kind of like blaming McDonald's for making you fat. Sony didn't make you wait outside, Sony didn't make those people shoot somebody.

If we want to blame people while we're at it, let's blame Ebay or the retail stores for not protecting their customer's. A lot of people wanted one so they could sell it for $2000 - $3000 and make a quick buck off of it. If eBay didn't exist then maybe the violence wouldn't have occurred. Sorry but my personal opinion is, Sony is not to blame here. I could be wrong but I believe I read at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco, they had security at the line, they had bracelets to show you were in line, they gave away food. How dare they? Really.

If Sony forced stores to bring in more security and refused them PlayStation 3 consoles if they didn't do so, then I think it would be seen as a even greater negative towards Sony (which the press and public seem to have a generally negative opinion of them already). It's the stores responsibility to protect their customers on their property. Even if that meant to refuse lines and force people to leave their parking lot.
November 20, 2006 6:51:07 PM

well this is my opinion, I would say that the memory of previous console launches should be as fresh in sony's mind as well as the retail stores. After all both were involved in the craze of the PS2. So using that comparison of history both sony and retail stores fumbled the ball a little, both should have been a little more on the ball.

I think it would have been nice for sony to have given a heads up to stores because they do know better (or I hope they would) than anyone how devoted/crazy their customers are, or can be.

I do feel that more of the responsibility was on the people themselves after all if they don't start a riot, the riot police dont need to be called up. I just hope that at the next big launch I wont walk by my store to see the national guard out in force; keeping the peace, because citizens have lost all ability to behave as an adult and now have to be held by the hand like a 3 year old by the government.
November 20, 2006 7:53:49 PM

It is obserd to blame Sony for this.
Is it marketing to have a short supply? yes
But did Sony want this short of a Supply? no
Sony knows full well they would have been able to sell I would guess 1.5-2 mil units before Christmas. After that the sales will drop since it is such a big ticket item.
I can remember when there used to be near riots at every concert event when the tickets went on sale. What did they do they killed the line by handing out random numbers at a specific time so everyone showed up 30 mins or so before that and things got much better.
The lines are the problems and the crowed it gathers.
Just remember people are like water and will flow to the lowest point. You get a crowd of people together the low point will go to rock bottom pdq.
November 20, 2006 8:29:06 PM

I'm sorry but this article is terribly opinionated and biased. Sony is in no way to be blamed for the violence that has occurred surrounding the PS3 launch. Honestly this opinion is similar to saying McDonalds is to blame for people spilling hot coffee on themselves (stupid lawsuit btw). The principles of supply and demand bring out the worst in humanity, NOT SONY. If I shoot someone for a PS3 should some executive at Sony be thrown in prison? Absolutely absurd...

Sony got what they wanted, a monumental release with enough hype to overshadow the Wii during launch weekend in the press and among the public. Sure more Wii units got sold but with the hype this launch generated, they have their foot in the door for potential buyers to get a hold of the console when shipments come in. Nintendo will best Sony in the short term with their cute little console but in the long term Sony will win in the end.

You can start the season 10-0, but if you end at 10-72, well, that good start didn't mean anything did it?
November 20, 2006 8:47:08 PM

Rob, I think you are getting carried away with the Sony bashing now. EVERY article I have seen you write on PS3 has had a negative slant toward Sony in it. Some Deservedly so, some not. But to say that Sony should be held liable for the actions of a few undisciplined people is just silly.

Thats the same as saying the US Government should be held responsible when an immature college student gets drunk and acts out in a foreign country. Yes, it speaks badly about us, but it is not the gov'ts (nor Sony's) job to watch such things.

Yes, Sony should have had a frame of reference from before, and they could have handled the shortage better (though if they did so, it wouldn't have been a shortage in the first place). Maybe they should have done pre-sales only, or, as I saw someone suggest in another thread, auction them off directly to prevent the "ebay phenomonan" from happening. However, there is no way they should be held liable for any damages incurred, and I for one would be worried about the legal precedent that would set if they were liable.

If I were Sony, and I got a bill from Boston, I'd tell them to STUFF IT. Thats what they pay cops for.
November 20, 2006 8:56:17 PM

I think I will post here in support of Rob's article.

Look, he does not say that Sony is the ONLY one to blame, but Sony is partially to blame for this. Why? Because Sony was in position to make some steps to avoid this (like asking retailers to create lists instead of life lines).

So, if Sony had that choice and chose not to do it, then Sony is responsible (partially, but still responsible). Because this is what responsibility is. Free choice -> responsible.

Imagine a slim woman deciding to go for a walk just for fun along at night in a high crime neighborhood, perfectly knowing about very high chance to become a victim of some kind of crime. And if she did become a victim, whose responsibility is that? Of cause it is responsibility of that criminal who did it, but it is ALSO her responsibility as well. Because she could avoid the situation and she chose not to.

So Sony IS to blame (along with retailers, criminals etc.), because it did nothing to avoid the situation created by its own actions, while it could avoid it.
November 20, 2006 9:07:48 PM

Yeah, it's the woman's fault for being a victim. All those Taliban are right in making sure their women wear burqha's and are properly covered head to toe so as not to cause long lines for a PS3.
November 20, 2006 9:27:57 PM

Quote:
I think I will post here in support of Rob's article.

Look, he does not say that Sony is the ONLY one to blame, but Sony is partially to blame for this. Why? Because Sony was in position to make some steps to avoid this (like asking retailers to create lists instead of life lines).

So, if Sony had that choice and chose not to do it, then Sony is responsible (partially, but still responsible). Because this is what responsibility is. Free choice -> responsible.

Imagine a slim woman deciding to go for a walk just for fun along at night in a high crime neighborhood, perfectly knowing about very high chance to become a victim of some kind of crime. And if she did become a victim, whose responsibility is that? Of cause it is responsibility of that criminal who did it, but it is ALSO her responsibility as well. Because she could avoid the situation and she chose not to.

So Sony IS to blame (along with retailers, criminals etc.), because it did nothing to avoid the situation created by its own actions, while it could avoid it.


MxM,
All sarcasm aside,
THIS IS THE MOST IDIOTIC POST I'VE EVER SEEN!
Makes all the fanboy flames pale in comparison. Rob Wright is problably wincing at the mere thought that this is in his defense (if not he should be). You sound like a convicted rapist trying to do everything to not accept the responsibility of your actions.
WTF are you thinking that a woman is responsible for her own rape?!?!?!?
And why is that germane to this topic; about indirect corporate responsibility for the actions of hoodlums?
November 20, 2006 9:34:39 PM

Sony sure as shit isn't to blame. It's people's responsibility to behave in a civil manner, and to be ready to defend themselves against attacks if the police aren't there. (Like carrying a pistol or pepper spray.) It's the police's job to realize there's huge lines. ANYWHERE there's a crowd there's reason to be concerned about violence. That's why they have police at concerts and protests. Especially after hearing about the shit that happened in Japan, you'd think they police would've been on top of this.

And MxM is a fucking moron.
November 20, 2006 9:50:06 PM

Quote:
I think I will post here in support of Rob's article.

Look, he does not say that Sony is the ONLY one to blame, but Sony is partially to blame for this. Why? Because Sony was in position to make some steps to avoid this (like asking retailers to create lists instead of life lines).

So, if Sony had that choice and chose not to do it, then Sony is responsible (partially, but still responsible). Because this is what responsibility is. Free choice -> responsible.

Imagine a slim woman deciding to go for a walk just for fun along at night in a high crime neighborhood, perfectly knowing about very high chance to become a victim of some kind of crime. And if she did become a victim, whose responsibility is that? Of cause it is responsibility of that criminal who did it, but it is ALSO her responsibility as well. Because she could avoid the situation and she chose not to.

So Sony IS to blame (along with retailers, criminals etc.), because it did nothing to avoid the situation created by its own actions, while it could avoid it.


So... according to your argument, the people in line are to blame for waiting in line in the first place.

Pure Genius. Not attacking you, but you should really think something like that out to its logical conclusion before you post it, otherwise you are going to get flamed big time. And this time, you deserve it.
November 20, 2006 9:57:32 PM

Blaming a company that their product created chaos because the consumer cannot behave themself? Is this what we have become? That is absolutely insane.

A company makes a product, as long as the product works as it was designed and does what it advertises, then the company has no responsibility for the product after if leaves the factory. Sony did the best that they could to try to meet the demand they knew their product would cause. Trust me, I am sure they wish they could have had LOTS more units to sell. (Especially, since they are taking a hit on every one they sell, the sooner more units are in people's hands, the sooner they can turn a profit on software sales.) When they knew the total product count would be limited, they let us and the retailers know. The retailers could have set up their sales better, Sony could have warned the retailers, but ultimately it is you the individual that is responsible for being a dumb@ss and deciding to do stupid things for a quick profit (thefts), or for just being malicious (BB Drive By.)

Besides, I learned my lessons as a consumer with Playstation. NEVER buy a 1st generation playstation console. I did with the PS1 and PS2, and I am now on my 3rd PS1, and my 2nd PS2, from harware failures. (Lasers out of focus, over heating issues, drive failures, etc.)

In 3 months, everyone that was so excited to get a PS3 at launch, will be turning them upside-down and aiming boxfans at them to make the work. :p 
November 20, 2006 10:06:15 PM

Thats one reason why I haven't even thought of buying one yet. They do seem to suffer from heat issues in some cases. I think one thing that will help there is when they take the PS2 out of it and just use software emulation for backwards compatibility.
November 20, 2006 10:22:03 PM

Jeez, why am I not surprised? You are Sony-hater after all. I remember you wrote a specific article about why we should not buy a PS3. If you take the point that PC is better PS3, then probably it is easier to accept. However, you compare between Xbox 360 and PS3 and the games. Now you blame Sony for the violence that occurs? Like they want to have shortage? People have been telling over and over again that Sony is not able to produce enough Blu Ray players for PS3, it's not some conspiracy theory. If they are able to make 2 millions consoles as planned, it would still be sold out on the first day. Taking Mayor Menino's stand proves nothing. It's his responsibility to provide security around Boston, not Sony's job.
November 21, 2006 1:19:36 AM

This is total bs... in no way does the fault lie with sony.. i actually couldnt bare reading that article and it was hard to even think about how sony could be to blame for any of that... thats just about as dumb as getting pissed off at construction workers for not building enough homes.. when it is completely up to them as to how many get built..

the rioting.. well its the us for god sakes.. you dont see S**t like that happening in canada or anywhere else around the world.. and the only thing which could stop that would be police.. as for who gets a ps3, again not sony's fault since they sold them to the stores and their job is done.. it is now up to the store to deal with it. (except for technical difficulties of course).

finally as i stated earlier, there is nothing sony could have done or should have done. and commenting on what someone said earlier 'sony should make more ps3 consoles' that is just silly...
November 21, 2006 1:27:07 AM

It's EBAY's fault!!! :lol: 

If people couldn't make a profit reselling them, you'd probably see half the people sitting outside. I heard of someone here in Houston paying day laborers to sit in line with him so he could buy 6 systems.

But really I think there is just a criminal element out there that saw this as easy pickings and hopefully retailers will think of better ways to handle this in the future.
November 21, 2006 2:42:05 AM

Quote:
I think I will post here in support of Rob's article.

Look, he does not say that Sony is the ONLY one to blame, but Sony is partially to blame for this. Why? Because Sony was in position to make some steps to avoid this (like asking retailers to create lists instead of life lines).

So, if Sony had that choice and chose not to do it, then Sony is responsible (partially, but still responsible). Because this is what responsibility is. Free choice -> responsible.

Imagine a slim woman deciding to go for a walk just for fun along at night in a high crime neighborhood, perfectly knowing about very high chance to become a victim of some kind of crime. And if she did become a victim, whose responsibility is that? Of cause it is responsibility of that criminal who did it, but it is ALSO her responsibility as well. Because she could avoid the situation and she chose not to.

So Sony IS to blame (along with retailers, criminals etc.), because it did nothing to avoid the situation created by its own actions, while it could avoid it.


MxM,
All sarcasm aside,
THIS IS THE MOST IDIOTIC POST I'VE EVER SEEN!
Makes all the fanboy flames pale in comparison. Rob Wright is problably wincing at the mere thought that this is in his defense (if not he should be). You sound like a convicted rapist trying to do everything to not accept the responsibility of your actions.
WTF are you thinking that a woman is responsible for her own rape?!?!?!?
And why is that germane to this topic; about indirect corporate responsibility for the actions of hoodlums?

Please re-read my post carefully. If do not say that she is the only one who is responsible, but she does shares some responsibility, for perfectly knowing that she may end up this way with high probability and still deciding to go walking without any need of doing so except for fun.

I also not saying that in most cases woman have any responsibility for the rape, but in that particular example she does share some level. Plus, actually I did not talk specifically about rape (I know it is vary painful topic and I did not want to touch it). I was talking about crime being done upon a person who obviously can not himself defend, yet she still goes into dangerous place. I probably should have used a man in the example, rather than woman to avoid rape reference. I do apologies to anyone who thought about rape in this example, it was not my intend. Just a crime.

I can give you another example. If you give somebody your gun, who you know is not trained to handle the gun and then that somebody shoots himself, you do share responsibility.

Another example, if you see your guest drunk and leaving your house and wanting to drive his car, it is again your responsibility to try to prevent that.

I can give you gasilion other examples, where you also share responsibility for being able to predict catastrophic actions of other people yet make some decision of acting in a particular way that did not prevent the catastrophic event, when you could have easily acted in another way to prevent it.

If you disagree with this, then please define WHAT IS BEING RESPONSIBLE and whom we hold responsible for which actions.
November 21, 2006 2:59:14 AM

Quote:


So... according to your argument, the people in line are to blame for waiting in line in the first place.

Pure Genius. Not attacking you, but you should really think something like that out to its logical conclusion before you post it, otherwise you are going to get flamed big time. And this time, you deserve it.


Here is the post above you:

Quote:
Sony sure as **** isn't to blame. It's people's responsibility to behave in a civil manner, and to be ready to defend themselves against attacks if the police aren't there. (Like carrying a pistol or pepper spray.)

And MxM is a ****** moron.


And omitting such niceties as calling me a ****** moron, he does confirm my point: if you see that it is dangerous place and there is no police, it also your responsibility to protect yourself, or at least do not carry cash at night there.

I think many people miss a very simple point. It is not black and white. There is no a single entity which caries whole responsibility. Sure the majority of responsibility is carried by criminals themselves, but other parties are partially responsible as well. And that includes Sony.

I will give one more example. If you put your money into a bank, and that bank decides to transfer money from one location to another using just a single man without any protection, and that man would carry money in transparent bag and as a result of that some criminals would take your money from him whom would you blame? Of cause the bank!!! Meanwhile criminals are also responsible, you would not even think to blame them.

Situation with Sony is not very dissimilar from this. Sony does share some level of responsibility.
November 21, 2006 3:03:05 AM

I agree with reaper, Mayor Menino's stance is just plain retarded. He obviously isn't doing his job and is pointing the blame at some corporation for his lack of ability.

This article clearly has alot of negative feedback, maybe someone should remove it *hint hint.* What's with the string of Sony hatin, I think out of all the Tom's Hardware divisions, this one seems the most opinionated and biased as ever. I always come to THG to look for (for the most part) unbiased reviews and tech news but damn, TwitchGuru blows in that department. It's like watching a Korean Drama, too much unecessary drama whoring. The 10 reasons why not to buy a PS3 was bad but this recent one takes the cake.

Sheesh, this is Wiitarded, Wiik fanboys are relentless at bashing Sony. Sony is to blame for the launch violence and failure to prevent it? Maybe it should be blamed for terrorism, George Bush in office, and also for me eating tasty babies.
November 21, 2006 3:06:23 AM

Quote:
Sony did the best that they could to try to meet the demand they knew their product would cause. Trust me, I am sure they wish they could have had LOTS more units to sell.

I disagree with you here. Oh! I understand that the wish they could have had lots more units, but they did not. However they could have if they had delayed the launch. So they did not "do the best". They have decided to delay launch, and did zilch in preventing all those situation crated by their decision to launch PS3 with such limited supply.
November 21, 2006 3:49:09 AM

I do understand exactly where you were coming from, and the gray area you were describing in shared responsibility for certain events.

However, as you admitted, you chose a very poor and inflammatory way to gt your point across.

As for the people in line, yeah, carrying cash was dumb, but if anyone should be responsible, it would be the stores and local authorities for not providing adequate security for something you could see coming a mile away (At least you could if you grew up in an area anything like where I did).

Sony did the best it could to provide what units were available at launch. Believe me, they wish there were two million more that they could sell. This whole situation sucks for them. They couldn't delay it again, as that would be suicide, plus have major stock and consumer confidence ramifications if they missed the Christmas rush, and on top of that, they sell the things at a $250 loss while some guy goes out and buys it, then resells it at 500%+ markup.

I think what would have made the most sense economically for Sony (and this will get me crucified here), was to not sell the PS3 at a loss once they realized there was a shortage. Selling at a loss hoping to recoup on consumables only works when you have enough supply to both meet demand AND create demand for said consumables at the same time. Sony could not do that here, and for obvious reasons, they could not increase the price either. (Though that is funny, since the same people buying them for 3K on ebay would have screamed bloody murder if they PS3 listed at 1K.)
November 21, 2006 5:34:43 AM

Quote:

I think what would have made the most sense economically for Sony (and this will get me crucified here), was to not sell the PS3 at a loss once they realized there was a shortage.


I am with you on this here. This would reduce demand and would reduce those lines, at the same time would make more money for Sony in a short run.

However, I think Sony was afraid that people would remember that PS3 is way way to expensive, and would not think about buying console even when the price goes down. Sony got more advisement from those lines, by showing that people really want PS3.
November 21, 2006 5:37:08 AM

I'm confused. How can the same people who traded in their SUV's for cars because the couldn't afford the gas, afford 5 or 600 dollars and 60-70 dollars per game?

I'm thinking of buying one and selling it on E-Bay for a million dollars. :p 
November 21, 2006 5:37:38 AM

Very true, Like I said, they got themselves stuck in a corner. Personally, I don't think $600 is too much for what you get, depending on how well the system actually runs Linux.

I like the Idea that I saw about Sony auctioning them off directly starting at $500 a piece a la Ebay. They would have made a killing, and it would have solved the line problems.

Of course, then they would alienate the retail stores and still be screwed.
November 21, 2006 5:40:46 AM

Quote:
I'm confused. How can the same people who traded in their SUV's for cars because the couldn't afford the gas, afford 5 or 600 dollars and 60-70 dollars per game?

I'm thinking of buying one and selling it on E-Bay for a million dollars. :p 


Someone already tried that.

And they aren't affording it for 5 or 600, its in many cases nearly 10 times that. Cause junior is a spoiled little rich brat.

On the other hand, your first point is a matter of economic choice, and you could say that about almost any one product versus another.
November 21, 2006 12:59:46 PM

Quote:
Sony did the best that they could to try to meet the demand they knew their product would cause. Trust me, I am sure they wish they could have had LOTS more units to sell.

I disagree with you here. Oh! I understand that the wish they could have had lots more units, but they did not. However they could have if they had delayed the launch. So they did not "do the best". They have decided to delay launch, and did zilch in preventing all those situation crated by their decision to launch PS3 with such limited supply.

Ah, there lies a bit of argument that I think holds a lot of weight... I was browsing hoping someone would bring it up.

Seriously, if my company invents a cure for cancer but says that it can't manufacture more than 100 per month, I'd be seriously to blame and responsible if rioting happens out the factory's door. Obviously, I should contact the police and warn them that I may have some safety issues for customers AND employees. This would totally be my responsibility and I would feel ashamed if I came out with a breakthrough cancer remedy and couldn't meet anywhere near demand without taking steps to help solve potential violent acts. Still, PS3's are not a cure for cancer and the comparison pales in importance.

So where was Sony's fault heh? In not warning local police stations or having line policies. I don't think this is within Sony's *jurisdiction* to do this. They could've stepped up and contacted regional police bodies and warned them, it would have been a good step yes... But I think Sony's greed is where the problem is. Akin to Microsoft last year, Sony wanted to be out of the market. They WANTED folks to know, by means of TV commercials, by means of magazine ads, by means of online advertising, that the PS3 was available for Christmas launch. They wanted people's money (Don't argue that they're losing money... They're pushing products for their entire lineup with the PS3, they'll be making fortunes in no time.)
EDIT : Think LCD 1080p Bravias, Blu-Ray Movies, game royalties, extra controllers, proprietary memory cards... it goes on and on...

There lies Sony's fault. Advertising a product in such demand without backing it up with available units. Increasing anticipation on an already highly anticipated product. Coming back to my initial comparison, if I had a cure for cancer, I would still roll it out my products if it could save people's lives. But this is not cure for cancer and IMHO, Sony should have waited and launched its product when they knew they could meet the demand, at least partially. As the author pointed out, they knew how many PS2 units they had sold... But thy wanted to be out before Christmas, like the 360 and the Wii. So they pulled a smokescreen and fooled us all. Shame on us I say for being fooled as such! But shame on Sony too (and any other company that does the same) for their greed.
November 21, 2006 1:18:44 PM

No company in their right mind would wait until they have "enough" units (and how exactly can "enough" be defined, anyways?) to start selling something. The quicker they get a product to market, the quicker they make money. When demand is that high, they'd be idiots to hold off, knowing they could make even more money since people will pay higher prices. It just doesn't make good business sense to do such a thing.

Sony, or any other company for that matter, have no responsibility to provide or even suggest greater security for a product launch. That's what law enforcement is for. It's the retailer's responsibility to manage their own store's security. If they find it lacking they'd better beef it up themselves or call the police to ask for assistance.

Of course, if some human beings weren't such idiots, we wouldn't have to worry about this kind of stuff. Ultimately, the ONLY ones you can truly blame are those who committed the crimes, not even the stores, because most of that stuff happened outside their doors.

The store, and in fact, the police, have no responsibility to escort PS3 buyers home to make sure they don't get robbed. Hence my advocation of self-defense.
November 21, 2006 1:35:07 PM

you cant blame Sony for the chaos, they cant predict how many to make or sell if they did then mabe they would potentially know there sales or mabe they would not. Why would u invest in a lemonade stade in the desert where they is not ppl, that would just be a loss. Sony if they wanted could of just sold 1 unit to the highest bidder if they wanted to. There was like 200,000 unit in America to what 300,000000 people. China has like 2 billion people and they got 2 unit and a bag of chips is there chaos there. No report from Canada, Uk, China Australia etc, It is just petty thiefs wanting to make money fast since the 360 was lauched and ppl realized there is a market for this. Bungie release halo 2 that you had to pre order and had so many for release date, no one was hurt for that release because there was not alot of money to be made from a single game.


manufacturers make products, not chaos.
November 21, 2006 1:35:47 PM

Quote:
No company in their right mind would wait until they have "enough" units (and how exactly can "enough" be defined, anyways?) to start selling something. The quicker they get a product to market, the quicker they make money. When demand is that high, they'd be idiots to hold off, knowing they could make even more money since people will pay higher prices. It just doesn't make good business sense to do such a thing.


Yes you're right. it does not make "good business sense", but creating a massive worldwide hype over an unavailable products does not make much moral sense either. Depends what kind of companies you like to support I guess. It was a greedy move and none can argue that. They didn't want to lose Christmas 2006 money and such they wanted their product out there, regardless the implication of their acts (I'm not saying they are alone doing this!)

Quote:
Sony, or any other company for that matter, have no responsibility to provide or even suggest greater security for a product launch. That's what law enforcement is for. It's the retailer's responsibility to manage their own store's security. If they find it lacking they'd better beef it up themselves or call the police to ask for assistance.


In this I think we partially agree. It was more of a retailer / local police issue. Sony could've stepped up, be pro-active and find a solution. They did not and they deserve a tiny bit of responsibility for this. Still was mostly a police/retailer fault in this I agree.

Quote:
Of course, if some human beings weren't such idiots, we wouldn't have to worry about this kind of stuff. Ultimately, the ONLY ones you can truly blame are those who committed the crimes, not even the stores, because most of that stuff happened outside their doors.

The store, and in fact, the police, have no responsibility to escort PS3 buyers home to make sure they don't get robbed. Hence my advocation of self-defense.


Well, in the country I live in, carrying a hand gun will only help me get in jail faster than rioting outside my retailer's doors. Plus I fail to see how carrying a gun will help relieve the violence factor but then again, it might be because I've never even thought of carrying a personal firearm. I personally don't believe justice should be served by the people... You are right though in stating that the human tendency to lose all sense of morality when confronted with strong desires. We are the ones to blame most of all! But I think that Sony, in some fashion, deserved to be partially blamed.
November 21, 2006 2:15:12 PM

The fans and media create the hype i dont think Sony makes up alot of it. Also Sony does not need an action plan for stores and retailers. the stores themselves do, they are selling it, they dont want problems dont sell the item.
November 21, 2006 2:27:41 PM

You can't blame Sony for having a successful product line. They made a great product with PS1, you can't blame them for making and advertising subsequent products. I disagree that it's immoral to do so. Every company does, and without advertising, they don't make as much money. I'm not saying I like advertising, at times it is extremely annoying, especially nowadays with how pervasive it is. Every corporation is out there to make money, and Sony really didn't NEED to hype up PS3, the demand was there before they even started development.

Since I don't want to get way off topic, all I'll say is that it's every person's responsibility to defend themselves when there are no police around. (That is, unless they like getting threatened, beaten up or killed.) How you do it is up to you and is limited by laws, but there is always a way. Even if I had nothing but my fists, you can be damn sure I'm not gonna let some two-bit crook take my $600 PS3 that I waited in line for 18 hours to get without a fight. But I'm just one of those people who believes in fighting for what is right, regardless of the danger in doing so.

Simply being prepared for these things (by carrying a gun, or pepper spray, or what have you) doesn't prevent violence in itself, but it can help stop crimes if employed properly and lawfully.
November 21, 2006 3:18:12 PM

Quote:
You can't blame Sony for having a successful product line. They made a great product with PS1, you can't blame them for making and advertising subsequent products. I disagree that it's immoral to do so. Every company does, and without advertising, they don't make as much money. I'm not saying I like advertising, at times it is extremely annoying, especially nowadays with how pervasive it is. Every corporation is out there to make money, and Sony really didn't NEED to hype up PS3, the demand was there before they even started development.


First of all I commend you on not jumping on my previous statement that, when I reread afterwards, could've been interpreted as negative toward one's values or one's country's laws/ideology.

I do understand your position and it is right in a legal point of view. I don't think Sony will/would be found guilty in a court of law. And no it's no immoral to roll out a product in low volume and then find out its increasingly popular and not meeting demands. I guess the author's comment were, and mine as well, that SONY was well aware that they would not be anywhere near close to demand. Anyone with half a brain would've predicted that it would cause issues (and yes it has caused issues up here in Canada also, although I think to a lesser degree). I would find it hard to believe Sony didn't know they were causing worldwide albeit very minor chaos. My point is they were doing it only to keep a few of our hard-earned bucks going to their rivals. I fully understand that certain business models will tell you to sell whatever to anyone at anytime. I personally like business models that will cater to the customer even to the extent of delaying a product until it is ready for release (and availability is part of that) even if that means losing a few bucks... I personally know of at least two very big fans of the PS2/Sony that were very disappointed with this tactic and one of them even bought a 360... This does not make for a good business model in the long run if you ask me...

Cheers!
November 21, 2006 3:39:39 PM

does that mean a gun manufacturer is a fault for gun related crime, what a thing to say hey!! :roll:
November 21, 2006 3:58:57 PM

All I can say in response to this thread is wow. Firstly, one big difference that I see people mistaking is responsibility and liability. Legally, Sony is in NO way to blame for what happened. What happened though was in direct result to something Sony did, therefore IMO that they are responsible (just slightly though).

There are many different degrees of responsibility. In this case, my opinion is that Sony should have TRIED to set something up with retailers knowing from the past what would most likely happen. Legally though, they don't have to.

It all comes down to what you as a person feel about this statement:
It is man's responsibility to watch out for their fellow man, to an extent.

If you disagree then you think that people are only responsible for themselves. You see the world in black and white. Your basically alone.
OR
You think that everyone is responsible for everyone, period. You'd probably love communism. Everyone is equal and its my responsibility that little Joey is failing math some town across the country.

If you agree then responsiblity and blame could be placed anywhere in any situation. The "to an extent" part provides gray area everywhere. This is me, and I hope MOST other people. Lets just say I would much rather buy from a business that would keep my welfare, and not just their pockets, in mind.

Lastly, someone said it wasn't the cops responsibility to provide protection for the people that were standing in line (I know thats not exactly what was said, but this is what was implied). This is absolutely absurd. Thats a police officers job. It is his/her DUTY to maintain order and deter criminals. Not just arrest people who have already commited crimes.
November 21, 2006 4:27:41 PM

Who said anything about police not having the responsibility to protect the people in line?

I said they didn't have the responsibility to escort them home. It would be absurd for police to be expected to provide VIP-like escort service between the store and home. First of all, that's not their job, and second of all, there's no way any police force can handle such a thing.

Had I been a PS3 buyer, I would've locked my car doors and driven around for a while before going home to make sure nobody followed me. And I would've brought my pistol.

I still think manufacturers have absolutely NO responsibility to do anything once the product is shipped from their warehouses, except provide support for their product. Blaming Sony for people being stupid is, well, stupid, much like blaming gun makers for gun violence is stupid. They're not liable nor responsible for what PEOPLE do with their products. But that's just an example, and I don't want to start a debate on THAT topic. The same can be said about cigarette manufacturers, car companies, alcohol brewers etc.
November 21, 2006 4:38:27 PM

I apologize if I didn't get my point across about the police thing. I did not mean they should have to escort every person home. But if they knew or had a very good idea one of those people would get robbed, or suspected someone else was going to try to rob them, it would then be their duty to try to stop that.

I myself would have done the same as you. Not just drove home really fast but gone out of my way to go in circles to make sure noone was following me.

In all the examples you gave manufacturers ARE responsible for the safety of their product. Cigarettes have warning labels on them, guns have warnings and safety's, alochol has warning labels, ect.... Like I said I think that manufacturers have a limited amount of responsibility. Even a bare minimum would have been better than nothing in this case.

A good example would be a company selling a liquid in a bottle but not telling anyone what it is. Obviously not many people would buy it. But you only need one person that buys it and then drinks it down just to see what'll happen. Well the liquid was poison and that person died. Who's responsible?
November 21, 2006 5:02:45 PM

Although I certainly understand your logic, I have to disagree.

I think it's sad how everyone wants to shrug their personal responsibilities nowadays. Let's blame someone else. Only an idiot would drink from an unlabeled bottle. Cigarette companies shouldn't have to put warning labels on cigarettes, hotels shouldn't have to put warning signs up when they mop the floor. Any idiot can see the floor is wet, and if they don't, that's their own damn fault. Shit happens. EVERYONE knows cigarettes are bad for you, this is common knowledge. Besides, anyone with half a brain can be an informed consumer, it's not the companies' fault their customers don't do their homework. Idiocy is not an excuse.

Companies are only responsible for harmful or dangerous DEFECTS in their products. That's it. Misuse by consumers isn't their fault.

There should be a common sense clause in the law with regards to liability. Oh, what's that? You forgot to put the safety on when carrying your gun and you shot yourself in the leg by accident? Your holster didn't have a trigger guard on it? Man, that sucks, but you should've known better. Learn how to use a gun before handling one. It's like learning how to drive before buying a car. The only reason we have to get licenses to drive is because idiots bought cars without knowing how to drive them, and the government can make a quick buck charging us for them.

I mean, should a pencil maker be responsible for a customer who snaps the pencil in half and a shard hits their eye and blinds it? Sadly, someone COULD sue and COULD win for something like that, because there's no warning label on the pencil's packaging, and common sense is completely unaccounted for in the law.

But this is getting off topic... :p 
November 21, 2006 5:02:57 PM

Quote:
Like I said, I don't think they are responsible. But in all the examples you gave manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their product. Cigarettes have warning labels on them, guns have warnings and safety's and such. Like I said I think that manufacturers have a limited amount of responsibility. Even a bare minimum would have been better than nothing.
An good example would be a company selling a liquid in a bottle but not telling anyone what it is. Obviously not many people would buy it. But you only need one person that buys it and then drinks it down just to see what'll happen. Well the liquid was poison and that person died. Who's responsible?


I guess we all kinda think that Sony does not have legal issues with what they did. Their equipment is definitely approved for safety hazards (I'm guessing CE and CSA) and how you use the equipment is then out of the regulations and thus you are usually not liable unless you lied about some issue or knew there was an issue and failed ot mention it, even if it is outside the Safety agency regulations.

I guess the point I (and the Author and you also, I think), is that they did not behave in a proper fashion in this. They knew this was going to happen, they knew what to expect from such a highly anticipated product, they knew that their supply was 3% at best what worldwide demand was, they even inflated demand by running commercials that left the viewer under impression they could get one and yet they rolled the product out. I'm probably naive thinking a company would delay a product until they can supply at least a fraction of the market but if so, then yeah I am. I think this is unfair to customers (I'm not one btw, I'm plenty satisfied with my original XBOX) and to retailers.
November 21, 2006 5:21:35 PM

just clicked reply on the last post, this is not directed to anyone in particular.

I just wanted to point out that probably a big reason THG has been doing a lot of Sony bashing lately (not just for consoles), is due to Sony's strong push for DRM (which editors and many readers seem to hate), and also their recent spyware/rootkit on their music cds.

I would have to agree with that standpoint, as do several of my professional IT co-workers, that we now always avoid considering Sony products whenever possible. In recent years they have made many business decisions we do not like, and it makes me feel like I'm being manhandled into restricting DRM security on items which I actually pay for. I was truly shocked to learn about the Sony rootkit, and that also makes me feel mistrust and disinterest in Sony in general.

I hope this post does not change the direction of the discussion, I just thought it might be helpful to add perspective on my personal (and maybe others) position in appreciating any Sony bashing conceptually.

With that said, my appreciation for Sony bashing aside, I do NOT feel they share any responsibility for consumer behaviour at all. However, their decision to release such a dramatically short supply of product just gives me another reason to dislike this company in general.
November 21, 2006 5:23:27 PM

I agree people do try to shrug off their own personal responsibility. The consumer is where MOST responsibility lies. I understand that what you say about how its not Sony's fault that someone drove by and shot bb's at people standing in line. That much is true. Sony isn't to blame that people got robbed on their way home either. However I feel Sony does SHARE some responsiblity in making their product rollout resonably safe. Its certainly not theirs and theirs alone.
I agree with Flash1. Sony had a pretty good idea what was going to happen and did NOTHING to try to stop it. I think the Author went a little overboard on Sony's share of the responsibilty. And I certainly think Mayor Menino went WAY overboard.
Conslerb, how would you like to be in a world where everywhere you go you have to be super careful on where you put your feet. What your saying is something like, the government built roads, but they shouldn't have to put up stop signs. Its human nature to act stupid. THAT is common knowledge. Pushing the limits is another human nature. We all want to see how much we can get away with (that includes seeing how much blame we can push on someone else).

Flash1, I totally understand why Sony would roll out a product while only have 3% of the units that are demanded. You cannot expect a company to hold onto $240 million worth of product (thats 400k units at $600 a piece) just because there will be a lot of consumers unhappy about not being able to get it. In their eyes, the sooner they lose the money on the PS3 console, the sooner they can recoupe said money by selling games.
November 21, 2006 5:52:25 PM

Sony's DRM is another example of where a company should draw the line toward making profit.

Taz : While I understand the financial burden of shelving units and waiting for a proper launch. 400k unit at 600 squid, with 10% interest over three months, that's 8M. It's a bunch of money, especially for a company that had financial troubles in the past years. While this is not by any means a first, I don't think it's a good business practice to do soft-launches of such highly anticipated products. We'd probably be surprised at how many people walked out the store with a 360 or bought a Wii after being tickled by Sony's campaign...

I still think as you do they bear a small portion of the blame. It's too easy to say the human nature is to be stupid. While true, they knew what they were doing. The Mayor went overboard for sure as you pointed out although if he doesn't, we're not having this discussion here today. Extremists do serve some purposes at times I guess...
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