Sony Says It’s Really, Really Ready for Next Week’s PS3 Launch In US, Japan

Sony is really ready for this month’s launch of the PS3 — at least that’s what Peter Dille, SVP-marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment told Engadget. Of course, that’s what you’d expect a senior Sony executive to say given that so many things have already gone wrong such as the manufacturing problems with the blue-laser diodes for the Blu-Ray players. Sony also made the U.S. and Japan a priority, but then halved the number of units being shipped to 2 million. The rest of the world was slated for six million and then four million units by March 2007, targets that Sony hadn’t been sure it could meet. Now, the company is trying to put its problems behind it as the actual launch nears. Meanwhile, Microsoft is stepping up the competition with Xbox 360 but Dille insists, “We consider the market our competitor, we consider other forms of entertainment our competitor.”
— The talk wasn’t all about PS3. Dille addressed the failure of the initial UMD retail strategy and how the company is revamping efforts with the technology: “We get asked a lot of times what we could do better, and frankly, I think our approach with Hollywood wasn’t as good as it could have been, because we came out with a platform, and our communication with Hollywood wasn’t terribly effective, and we really didn’t have the resources internally to go knocking on the right doors and talking to Hollywood at the right levels.” Instead, studios wound up trying to sell a lot of titles on UMD that weren’t a good fit. Dille added: “I don’t want to pick on anybody because this was our fault across the board. We’ve since addressed that. … again, so, when we read about Hollywood retrenching or pulling back UMD, I think that makes sense, because it doesn’t make sense to have the entire catalog. And it doesn’t make sense to have all that jamming up retail shelves with product that just isn’t gonna sell. It wasn’t at the right price for them to start with, and you know, it doesn’t really have a place on the platform that it should have. … As a platform, as a technology, we’re behind UMD. We think it’s got a great life for our platform, and we can probably continue it with UMD as we move forward.”
— Back on the PS3 front, Dille said Sony wants to make sure that “there’s a steady flow of hardware in weeks two, three, and four, and consumers don’t have any big draws out of stock. …It’s one of the reasons we’re not encouraging retailers to do reservation lists — because if we did, we’d probably have situations where a consumer couldn’t even get a shot or get in with these things for six or eight months, and that’s something that we’d like to avoid.”