Thursday, October 08, 2009

Violating The Prime Directive, Again

Sony executives were the primary reason I formulated the Prime Directive For Executives: don't be a dick in interviews.

Perhaps I should just start calling this the "Jack Tretton Directive."

Tretton's violations of the Prime Directive are legendary, but he gave an interview to Forbes this week where he set new standards. First off, he just lobs in a little grenade:
...we like to say that the environment where the PlayStation wins is best for this industry. We have a brand that can play on a worldwide basis, to young and old, male and female, where our competition tends to be relegated to select regions or to select consumer audiences."

First off, does anyone know WTF he's talking about? Is he talking about the worldwide brand that's sold at half the rate of the Wii since it launched? Or is he talking about the PSP, which has less than half the installed base of the DS? Play that brand, playa!

Tretton goes even farther, though, and this is a classic:
We're the star of the gaming aisle.

You sure are, Jack, if it's 2002. Today, not so much.

I love [Microsoft's] money. They can afford to be more patient. We're very profit-driven. I think we're interested in a return on investment in a shorter period of time.

Jack, seriously--if Sony was "very profit driven," you wouldn't have a job. The PS3 has been a financial black hole of epic proportions for almost three years. Has any console ever lost more money in a shorter period of time?

He moves on to Nintendo:
...we don't have unlimited money. We cater to a more mass-market audience. I think we're willing to take a little bit more risk than a competitor like Nintendo is.

I'm not sure what he's talking about, unless launching a console for $200 over a sane price point qualifies as "risk." I thought it was just "stupid."

Tretton always comes off as the king of condescension. He's been getting his ass kicked for three years, but he's as confident as Lenny Dykstra. He's that kid in college who thought he was on top of the world with his 1.5 GPA because he drove a Porsche that Daddy bought for him.

Having said that, I like the PS3 Slim, and I think it's going to do well at the $299 price point. And it's very, very good for consumers, because it's put pressure on both Microsoft and Nintendo. I don't think either company would have reduced the price of their consoles if Sony hadn't gone first.

I just wish they could school their executives on the Prime Directive.

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