Ten years ago Sony was at the top of the totem pole. The PlayStation brand almost single-handedly killed off Sega's hardware division, and Nintendo was in a struggle to keep up with Sony's streak of homeruns. Fast forward a decade and Sony has flipped upside-down. The PlayStation 3 has been trailing competing consoles for years now, and it seems like every step Sony takes is one behind the competition. So what happened?
Hiroki Tabuchi from The Times wrote an article that brings up several key points about Sony's mistakes, including lack of direction and missing several big opportunities. She states:
It is also the story of a proud company that was unwilling or unable to adapt to realities of the global marketplace.
Sony’s gravest mistake was that it failed to ride some of the biggest waves of technological innovation in recent decades: digitalization, a shift toward software and the importance of the Internet.
It seems that Sony has overextended itself and is now paying dearly for not playing to its strengths. The fact that the PlayStation 3 was able to move millions of units from shelves at a price tag of $599 says a lot about how strong the brand can be.
Sony was the first to release a console with a disc-format allowing for massive games with cut-scenes. It was the first to include DVD playback allowing consumers to game and watch movies from a single device. Lastly, it was the first to have 3D games, breaking away from the pixilated visuals seen in classic titles. Sony has plenty of ability to be innovative and groundbreaking, but much of that has disappeared in recent years. Heck, just point to how long it took for PlayStation Network to build up after Microsoft revolutionized the industry with Xbox Live.
Will Sony be able to turn things around and be the icon that it was earlier in the century? I have no idea, but if they can, then it'll make one hell of a story.