Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sony: PS3 Problems 'Unsubstantiated'.

Sony stock fell 2.75 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after several analyst downgrades sent traders scrambling. One of the reports, issued by Macquarie Equities' David Gibson, expressed concern that many of the 200-plus PS3's on the floor of the 2006 Tokyo Game Show "operated erratically and had to be repeatedly reset," according to the AP.

"While the reason for this is unknown, we suspect it may be due to overheating as a result of enclosing the units and the high temperatures at the venue," Gibson said. "We are concerned that such a problem has occurred so close to full production and is clearly negative news for the company".

Today, Sony fired back, blasting Gibson's note. "If you read the report from Macquarie closely, you can see that their reports are unsubstantiated and that comments related to the alleged failure of PS3 units at TGS are also not attributed to a source," countered Dave Karraker, Sony Computer Entertainment America's senior director of corporate communications, in an e-mail to GameSpot.

A statement from Sony seconded Karraker's comments. "Despite the report from Macquarie Securities implying that they had heard of reports of PS3s needing to be rebooted at TGS, SCEI are not aware of any instances of this occurring at TGS, nor have we received any reports from third parties to such effect," it proclaimed.

That said, Sony did concede, "The environmental conditions at TGS conspire to test any electrical item. In the case of PS3, the combination of pre-production software, running on pre-production debug units, enclosed in demonstration units without ventilation, and surrounded by so many eager fans that on Saturday and Sunday it was almost impossible to move, are bound to prove a challenge. If indeed, there was the occasional unit that needed rebooting, it was due solely to the adverse environmental conditions within the Hall and not to any more general problem with PS3".

However, there was no company's bottom line. "On the Press Day on Friday, and throughout the weekend the PlayStation stand was inundated by specialist gaming media, the majority of whom would have noticed if there had been a general problem with console overheating...[The] PS3 does not suffer from an overheating problem".


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