Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Console Post Part 2: The "D" Stands For Denial

It was announced last week that sales of the new 3DS were falling below Nintendo's expectations.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata had this to say:
While Iwata did not give specific reasons why the console hasn't done as well as Nintendo had predicted, he voiced a few hypotheses. One is that consumers have yet to fully understand the console's capabilities, even when trying it out.

"The value of 3D images without the need for special glasses is hard to be understood through the existing media. However, we have found that people cannot feel it just by trying out a device, rather, some might even misestimate it when experiencing the images in an improper fashion," Iwata said.

No no no no no no no.

Do not blame the consumer. Do not become Sony, endlessly talking about how consumers just didn't "understand the value proposition" of a PS3 at $599.

Why, the unwashed masses just can't handle this miracle device beamed from the future, can they?

Look, Nintendo. If people cannot "feel" the experience when they're trying out the device, if they can't even try it out properly, that's a "you" problem, not an "us" problem.

The absolute last thing a company should ever do is blame their problems on the consumer's lack of sophistication or ability. No, this wasn't Jack Tretton swinging his Gigantic Schlong Of Arrogance, but it wasn't good, either.

It's not the consumer's fault that the 3DS launched with a weak software lineup. That's what needs to get fixed.

Okay, let's move on to Outageddon, and as an opener, here's an e-mail from "Mean On Sunday":
A correction to one of the comments you posted from "a professional source". Sony said the passwords were not encrypted, but they were hashed. This is an important difference. Without going into details, while you might be able to crack an individual hashed password there is no practical way to crack a large number of them. This might be useful to a hacker that wanted to make a point by accessing a particular account (why does Jack Tretton's name come to mind?). But someone looking to make money by selling accounts would not waste their time on a database full of hashed passwords--flipping burgers would be more profitable.


What I think we all need, at this point, are some Photoshops of Communist worker propaganda posters altered to refer to their unending efforts to restore PSN service. I know some of you are bored out there--probably as you're reading this post--so gentlemen (and ladies), start your Photoshop engines.

Sony did announce a set of free gifts for giving them your personal data and having them fumble it away. Free credit reporting services are a reasonable start, but it sours after that. I don't know what I was expecting from Sony in terms of recompense, so maybe it would have been impossible to satisfy me, but one free month of Playstation Plus and two free games (out of a selection of five) feels awfully shitty to me.

Hey, in response to losing control of your personal data and quite possibly your credit card information, and our network being down for a month, we're going to make it up to you by giving you a one month free demo of a pay service!


Instead of seeming like any kind of apology for being clueless, incompetent hacks, Sony instead tries to get us to sign up for a premium subscription service on their network. That seems pretty crappy, really.

What they should do is have a gigantic sale on downloadable titles, with the price discount being eaten by Sony. That would help developers who depend on PSN recoup some of their losses. That would help the consumer as well as the developers. Instead, they create this ridiculously obvious attempt to gain subscribers to their premium service. Good grief.

I will say, though, that Sony hasn't used the "victim" word yet, and their executives, in contrast to their regular style, haven't been dicks in interviews. Credit for that.

Of course, that means nothing until the man himself, Jack Tretton, weighs in. It's an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Will anyone or anything survive?

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