Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

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Tagged Sony

Console Wars (the book) might be better than the very games that fueled the fire

consolewars-coverFor any male readers born from the mid ’70s to early ’80s, listen up—Console Wars by Blake Harris has it all: your childhood, the answer to your next marketing challenge, cultural divides, innocence, under bellies, triumph, and loss.

It’s also the only book I’ve ever read that made me feel as young as I am old. Take these gems, for example:

  • “There was no such thing as a magic touch, and it wouldn’t have mattered if there were, because the only thing it takes to sell toys, vitamins, magazines (or anything) is the power of story. That was the secret. That was the whole trick: to recognize that the world is nothing but chaos, and the only thing holding it (and us) together are stories… When you tell memorable, universal, intricate, and heartbreaking stories, anything is possible.”
  • “Tony Harman was prepared to leave with his tail between his legs (smiling, though, as his thesis that western cultures can make great games too had made it all the way to the top), but he decided to try one more approach. “Let me just ask one more question,” he said, taking a step toward [Nintendo President] Yamauchi. “How many bad television commercials do we make each year?” Continue reading…

Proof that lack of focus kills a company (or how to save Sony)

sony-tv

The New York times ran an insightful piece this weekend on the decline of Sony, which is valued at just a quarter of where it was a decade ago, and just one thirtieth the size of Apple:

“Sony makes too many models, and for none of them can they say, ‘This contains our best, most cutting-edge technology,’ ” Mr. Sakito said. “Apple, on the other hand, makes one amazing phone in just two colors and says, ‘This is the best.’ ”

In addition to department infighting, that really sums up Sony’s troubles: too much product, none of them hits. Continue reading…

Gamasutra: Sony’s Home – The Launch Aftermath

My latest: “PlayStation Home for the PlayStation 3 launched on Dec. 11, more than a year after the virtual world was first promised. The general online reaction to the free PS3 service? To put it lightly, boring, as shown by a scathing Penny Arcade cartoon on the service.

“So why would gamers, the overwhelming group of people buying the console, want to use it? “For the average gamer, it’s hard to meet other players,” says Jack Buser, who joined Sony eight months ago to become director of the new social community. “Home is a place where you can meet new friends, share interests, and play games. There are so many super cool people who own a PS3.”

Continue reading at Gamasutra…

GamePro: Interview, Jaffe to play on Sony team ‘for a long-time’

We sit down with famed God of War creator David Jaffe and Twisted Metal mastermind Scott Campbell at their new Salt Lake City studios to discuss the PS3 (not to mention PS4, and PS5), review scores, God of War sequels, casual games, and the current state of the industry. While Jaffe is now independent, his loyalties still remain with Sony.

Continue reading at GamePro…

GamePro: The Toughest Job in Video Games

However justified, Sony has been fiercely criticized for both its approach and management of the PlayStation 3 to this point. The company just posted its biggest quarterly loss in four years shortly after dealing with several public relation mishaps related to the PS3. Just listen to these colorful quotes by former PlayStation boss Ken Kutaragi when describing the PS3: “It’s probably too cheap,” “It’s 4D,” and “[We want] consumers to think… ‘I will work more hours to buy one.'”

Not very endearing, huh? So who’s in charge of helping gamers see beyond such rogue statements? None other than Sony’s senior director of corporate communications, Dave Karraker. Karraker, who is just eight months on the job, has perhaps the toughest job in video games; helping consumers regard the PS3 with as much esteem as the record-setting PS2 despite the former’s high price and somewhat slower start. We sit down with the man to ask how he’s coping with being the public face of Sony.

Continue reading at GamePro…