QUOTE said:[All brands face distressing episodes at one time or another. Some work their way through the crisis with smart PR and social outreach. Others aggravate the situation with secrecy and tired deflective tricks. Which one is Sony? Gamasutra business editor Colin Campbell investigates.]
There was a time -- let's say, for argument's sake, from 1996 to 2004 -- when the PlayStation brand was awe-inspiring. PlayStation represented all the shining possibilities of the future. Brilliantly, PlayStation ran with the goodwill Sony built up in the 1980s with the Walkman, and super-boosted this reputation for design and technical excellence as well as a natural empathy for what people wanted.
But things do tend towards entropy. Today, the PlayStation brand is in gentle decline. And the events of the past week could accelerate that decline into something more serious. Especially if Sony continues to handle the crisis with the incompetence it has thus far demonstrated.
Brands are weird. They are both robust and delicate. On the one hand, the mythos of Sony's excellence doesn't just go away, any more than Toyota's formidable reputation did after its troubles last year.
On the other, the brand has already slipped from pre-eminence to also-ran, and this debacle can't do it any good. The PlayStation brand has been in decline for the entire life-cycle of PlayStation 3, while the Xbox and Nintendo brands have been steadily rising even through their own turmoils, like RROD and Wii's general faddishness. Unarguably, PlayStation is no longer a byword for next generation entertainment.
Mature opinion piece on the decline of Sony and the Playstation brand.