Consumer Electronics

Sony Says They Made the PS3 Too Expensive

From William Trent, CFA of Stock Market Beat

We have commented before on how Sony’s (SNE) tried to bite off more than they could chew with the PS3 gaming system. Now, a bizarre statement from one of their executives leads us to wonder what, exactly, they are thinking. According to ArsTechnica:

In an interview with MTV, Sony executive Phil Harrison talked about the PlayStation 3 and where his company was planning on taking their latest game console.Harrison saved his most interesting comment for last. In discussing the future of the PS3, he stressed that developers are not currently using the machine to its full capacity. In fact, he stated that the current crop of games are using “less than half” of the machine’s power, and that “nobody will ever use 100 percent of its capability.” Of course, it is common at the beginning of a new console’s life for games to not make full use of the power of the hardware: it takes some time for developers to learn the best tricks and techniques for squeezing every last bit of calculating power from any new platform. But to claim that nobody could ever make full use of the system’s power, ever, seems a bit hyperbolic. Some developers, at least, will be wanting to tap the full power of the Cell, such as IBM’s high-end customers in the HPC market. Some of this knowledge is bound to leak over to the game development world.

If Sony doesn’t think developers will use the machine’s capability, then why on earth did they put all of the capability in the machine? All they have done, apparently, is make it later to arrive and more expensive.

The author may hold a position in the securities discussed. The author’s current holdings are as follows: Long: Union Pacific (UNP) put options; Air Products (APD) put options; Nasdaq 100 (QQQQ) put options; FedEx (FDX) put options; Intuit (INTU) put options; Bookham (BKHM; Ballard Power (BLDP); Syntax Brillian (BRLC); CMGI (CMGI); Genentech (DNA); Ion Media Networks (ION); Three Five Systems (TFS); IShares Japan (EWJ); StreetTracks Gold (GLD); Starbucks (SBUX); U.S. Oil Fund (USO); Plantronics (PLT) call options; Short: Landstar (LSTR) put options; Ceradyne (CRDN) put options; Dell (DELL) put options; Plantronics (PLT) put options;

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