Episode 13 - The State of Gaming: Sony

In this episode, Aaron and Chris discuss the state of gaming for Sony and its Playstation brand. The gamers explore the ups and downs of Sony's trek into gaming in the mid 90s, their formative gaming years in the early 2000s, and their eventual rise to supremacy. In our gaming assignments segment, Chris assesses Overwatch, and Aaron gives us his opinion on Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction.

Show Notes:

  1. BCG Discussion Topic - The State of Gaming: Sony
    1. -Sony enters the gaming market
      -Originally planned for Sony to develop an SNES CD drive. Nintendo publicly backed out of their agreement, infuriating Sony.
      -Despite significant opposition from within Sony, Ken Kutaragi is transferred to Sony Music to begin development on the new console.
      -Partnership with Phillips is preserved, which may have been one of the most important company decisions, leading to the development of the DVD
    2. -What did the Playstation do different?
      -Radically reduced the price of gaming primarily through the use of discs rather than cartridge - Final Fantasy 6 ($80) vs. Final Fantasy 7 ($50).
      -3D graphics on a home console. Sega continued producing 2D games with the Saturn. This was ironically inspired by the success of Virtual Fighter.
      -Targeting an older audience with marketing campaigns and game design. Crash Bandicoot commercials are a great example.
      -Established "Best-In-Class" new exclusive franchises - Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, every major sports game series. Also had countless "Tier 2" titles in every genre that genre fans loved (Suikoden, Ridge Racer, Spyro).
      -They captured the charm of Nintendo better than Nintendo - Crash Bandicoot, Parappa the Rapper.
    3. Playstation 2 - The Everyman Console
      -Decision to make it a DVD player is the most important decision, ever.
      -Backwards compatibility (somewhat).
      -GTA, Ratchet, Final Fantasy X, Gran Turismo, FIFA/Madden
    4. Playstation 3 - Sony isn't invincible
      -Pricing decision was shocking to people and especially hurt by comparison to the Wii.
      -Launch lineup was very weak and didn't recover through at least the first year of the console.
      -Bluray decision, albeit expensive, was a good way of attracting non-gamers to the platform, as it was about the same price as comparable players *and* it played games.
    5. Playstation 4 - The redemption
      -Sony learns some hard lessons and comes out strong against Microsoft and Nintendo.
    6. The Future - Sony vs. Microsoft: Who is better positioned to lead?
  2. Game Assignments
    -Last Episode's Assignments: Chris - Overwatch (PS4); Aaron - Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction
    -Next Episode's Assignments: Chris - Spyro the Dragon; Aaron - Crash Bandicoot