Show MorePLC Case Study: Sony Computer Entertaiment Inc.
October 30, 2015
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., is a multinational company that serves as a subsidary of Sony Corporation, with main head quarters in North America. Sony is responsible of delivering some of the most innovative and best selling products in the electronics market. For this case study, the main focus will be on one of Sony´s most successful brand, the Playstation, and how the company have manage the product life cycle of its Playstation products, putting an emphasis on the PLC of its first product, the Playstation 1. The case study will also evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies used to mantain the Playstation brand among the leaders of the market…show more content…
The rapid growth stage of the PS1 lasted from 1995 to 1998, when it had already sold over 5 million units world-wide, and in may of 1996 Sony dropped the retail price from the initial $300 to $200, increasing even more popular its popularity.
As technological advances improved faster every year, and due to the success of the PS1, by the turn of the new millenium Sony had already announce the launch of its Playstation 2, a much more advance console than its predecesor. With all the hype that this breakthrough generated, it was only natural that the PLC of the PS1 was beggining to brace into the decline stage. However, the PS1 was still commercially active and kept on selling untill the company stopped giving customer service in 2007, a year after the PS3 was launch.
Sony has manage their PLC of their Playstations in an exceptional manner, from the PS1 to its newest version the Playstation 4 released in late 2013. With the PS2 becoming a massive success by becoming the best selling home video game console of all time, with over 150 million units sold throughout its PLC. It seems as if Sony have always been on their prime as they strategically renew their product once it starts reaching the decleine stage, which helps to mantain a satisfyed and customer base. In general, the PLC of a Playstation depends on how fast are technological advances
This article is about the PlayStation brand. For the 1994 console, see PlayStation (console). For other uses, see PlayStation (disambiguation).
PlayStation(Japanese: プレイステーション,Hepburn: Pureisutēshon, abbreviated as PS) is a gaming brand that consists of four home video game consoles, as well as a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines. It is created and owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment since December 3, 1994, with the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan.
The original console in the series was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. Its successor, the PlayStation 2, was released in 2000. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console to date, having reached over 155 million units sold as of December 28, 2012. Sony's next console, the PlayStation 3, was released in 2006 and has sold over 80 million consoles worldwide as of November 2013. Sony's latest console, the PlayStation 4, was released in 2013, selling 1 million consoles in its first 24 hours on sale, becoming the fastest selling console in history.
The first handheld game console in the PlayStation series, the PlayStation Portable or PSP, sold a total of 80 million units worldwide by November 2013. Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, which launched in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in most other major territories in February 2012, had sold over 4 million units by January 2013.PlayStation TV is a microconsole and a non-portable variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld game console. Other hardware released as part of the PlayStation series includes the PSX, a digital video recorder which was integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short lived due to its high price and was never released outside Japan, as well as a Sony Bravia television set which has an integrated PlayStation 2. The main series of controllers utilized by the PlayStation series is the DualShock, which is a line of vibration-feedbackgamepad having sold 28 million controllers as of June 28, 2008.
The PlayStation Network is an online service with over 110 million users worldwide (as of July 2013). It comprises an online virtual market, the PlayStation Store, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia, a subscription-based online service known as PlayStation Plus and a social gaming networking service called PlayStation Home, which had over 41 million users worldwide at the time of its closure in March 2015.PlayStation Mobile (formerly PlayStation Suite) is a software framework that provides PlayStation content on mobile devices. Version 1.xx supports both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and certain devices that run the Android operating system, whereas version 2.00 released in 2014 would only target PlayStation Vita and (optionally) PlayStation TV.Content set to be released under the framework consist of only original PlayStation games currently.
7th generation PlayStation products also use the XrossMediaBar, which is an award-winning graphical user interface. A touch screen-based user interface called LiveArea was launched for the PlayStation Vita, which integrates social networking elements into the interface. Additionally, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 consoles also featured support for Linux-based operating systems; Linux for PlayStation 2 and OtherOS respectively, though this has since been discontinued. The series has also been known for its numerous marketing campaigns, the latest of which being the "Greatness Awaits" commercials in the United States.
The series also has a strong line-up of first-party titles due to Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, a group of fifteen first-party developers owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment which are dedicated to developing first-party games for the series. In addition, the series features various budget re-releases of titles by Sony with different names for each region; these include the Greatest Hits, Platinum, Essentials, Favorites and The Best ranges of titles.
PlayStation was the brainchild of Ken Kutaragi, a Sony executive who had just finished managing one of the company's hardware engineering divisions at that time and would later be dubbed as "The Father of the PlayStation".
The console's origins date back to 1988 where it was originally a joint project between Nintendo and Sony to create a CD-ROM for the Super Famicom. Although Nintendo denied the existence of the Sony deal as late as March 1991, Sony revealed a Super Famicom with a built-in CD-ROM drive, that incorporated Green Book technology or CD-i, called "Play Station" (also known as SNES-CD) at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1991. However, a day after the announcement at CES, Nintendo announced that it would be breaking its partnership with Sony, opting to go with Philips instead but using the same technology. The deal was broken by Nintendo after they were unable to come to an agreement on how revenue would be split between the two companies. The breaking of the partnership infuriated Sony President Norio Ohga, who responded by appointing Kutaragi with the responsibility of developing the PlayStation project to rival Nintendo.
At that time, negotiations were still on-going between Nintendo and Sony, with Nintendo offering Sony a "non-gaming role" regarding their new partnership with Philips. This proposal was swiftly rejected by Kutaragi who was facing increasing criticism over his work with regard to entering the video game industry from within Sony. Negotiations officially ended in May 1992 and in order to decide the fate of the PlayStation project, a meeting was held in June 1992, consisting of Sony President Ohga, PlayStation Head Kutaragi and several senior members of Sony's board. At the meeting, Kutaragi unveiled a proprietary CD-ROM-based system he had been working on which involved playing video games with 3D graphics to the board. Eventually, Sony President Ohga decided to retain the project after being reminded by Kutaragi of the humiliation he suffered from Nintendo. Nevertheless, due to strong opposition from a majority present at the meeting as well as widespread internal opposition to the project by the older generation of Sony executives, Kutaragi and his team had to be shifted from Sony's headquarters to Sony Music, a completely separate financial entity owned by Sony, so as to retain the project and maintain relationships with Philips for the MMCD development project (which helped lead to the creation of the DVD).
According to SCE's producer Ryoji Akagawa and chairman Shigeo Maruyama, there was uncertainty over whether the console should primarily focus on 2Dsprite graphics or 3D polygon graphics. It was only after witnessing the success of Sega's Virtua Fighter in Japanese arcades that "the direction of the PlayStation became instantly clear" and 3D polygon graphics became the console's primary focus.
Formation of Sony Computer Entertainment
At Sony Music Entertainment, Kutaragi worked closely with Shigeo Maruyama, the CEO of Sony Music, and with Akira Sato to form Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) on November 16, 1993. A building block of SCEI was its initial partnership with Sony Music which helped SCEI attract creative talent to the company as well as assist SCEI in manufacturing, marketing and producing discs, something that Sony Music had been doing with Music Discs. The final two key members of SCEI were Terry Tokunaka, the President of SCEI from Sony's headquarters, and Olaf Olafsson. Olafsson was CEO and president of New York-based Sony Interactive Entertainment which was the mother company for the 1994-founded Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA).
The PlayStation project, SCEI's first official project, was finally given the green light by Sony executives in 1993 after a few years of development. Also in 1993, Phil Harrison, who would later become President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, was recruited into SCEI to attract developers and publishers to produce games for their new PlayStation platform.
Computer Gaming World in March 1994 reported a rumor that the "Sony PS-X" would be released in Japan "before the end of this year and will retail for less than $400". After a demonstration of Sony's distribution plan as well as tech demos of its new console to game publishers and developers in a hotel in Tokyo in 1994, numerous developers began to approach PlayStation. Two of whom later became major partners were Electronic Arts in the West and Namco in Japan. One of the factors which attracted developers to the platform was the use of a 3D-capable, CD-ROM-based console which was much cheaper and easier to manufacture for in comparison to Nintendo's rival console, which used cartridge systems. The project eventually hit Japanese stores in December 1994 and gained massive sales due to its lower price point than its competitor, the Sega Saturn. Popularity of the console spread after its release worldwide in North America and Europe.
Main article: PlayStation (console)
The original PlayStation, released in Japan on December 3, 1994, was the first of the ubiquitous PlayStation series of console and hand-held game devices. It has included successor consoles and upgrades including the Net Yaroze (a special black PlayStation with tools and instructions to program PlayStation games and applications), "PS one" (a smaller version of the original) and the PocketStation (a handheld which enhances PlayStation games and also acts as a memory card). It was part of the fifth generation of video game consoles competing against the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. By December 2003, the PlayStation and PS one had shipped a combined total of 102.49 million units, eventually becoming the first video game console to sell 120 million units.
Main article: PS one
Released on July 7, 2000, concurrently with its successor the PlayStation 2, the PS one was a considerably smaller, redesigned version of the original PlayStation video game console. The PS one went on to outsell all other consoles, including its successor, throughout the remainder of the year. It featured two main changes from its predecessor, the first being a cosmetic change to the console and the second being the home menu's Graphical User Interface; a variation of the GUI previously used only on PAL consoles up to that point.
Main article: PlayStation 2
Released in 2000, 15 months after the Dreamcast and a year before its other competitors, the Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube, the PlayStation 2 is part of the sixth generation of video game consoles, and is backwards-compatible with most original PlayStation games. Like its predecessor, it has received a slimmer redesign. It is the most successful home console in the world, having sold over 155 million units as of December 28, 2012. On November 29, 2005, the PS2 became the fastest game console to reach 100 million units shipped, accomplishing the feat within 5 years and 9 months from its launch. This achievement occurred faster than its predecessor, the PlayStation, which took "9 years and 6 months since launch" to reach the same figure. PlayStation 2 shipments in Japan ended on December 28, 2012.The Guardian reported on January 4, 2013 that PS2 production had ended worldwide, but studies showed that many people all around the world still own one even if it is no longer in use. PlayStation 2 has been ranked as the best selling console of all time as of 2015.
Main article: PlayStation 2 Slimline
Released in 2004, four years after the launch of the original PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 2 Slimline was the first major redesign of the PlayStation 2. Compared to its predecessor, the Slimline was smaller, thinner, quieter and also included a built-in Ethernet port (in some markets it also has an integrated modem). In 2007, Sony began shipping a revision of the Slimline which was lighter than the original Slimline together with a lighter AC adapter. In 2008, Sony released yet another revision of the Slimline which had an overhauled internal design incorporating the power supply into the console itself like the original PlayStation 2 resulting in a further reduced total weight of the console.
Main article: PlayStation 3
Released on November 17, 2006 in North America, the PlayStation 3 is a seventh generation game console from Sony. It competes with the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. The PS3 is the first console in the series to introduce the use of motion-sensing technology through its Sixaxis wireless controller. The console also incorporates a Blu-ray Disc player and features high-definition resolution. The PS3 was originally offered with either a 20 GB or 60 GB hard drive, but over the years its capacity increased in increments available up to 500 GB. The PlayStation 3 has sold over 80 million consoles worldwide as of November 2013.
Main article: PlayStation 3 Slim
Like its predecessors, the PlayStation 3 was re-released in 2009 as a "slim" model. The redesigned model is 33% smaller, 36% lighter, and consumes 34% to 45% less power than previous models. In addition, it features a redesigned cooling system and a smaller Cell processor which was moved to a 45nm manufacturing process. It sold in excess of a million units within its first 3 weeks on sale. The redesign also features support for CEC (more commonly referred to by its manufacturer brandings of BraviaSync, VIERA Link, EasyLink and others) which allows control of the console over HDMI by using the remote control as the controller. The PS3 slim also runs quieter and is cooler than previous models due to its 45 nm Cell. The PS3 Slim no longer has the "main power" switch (similar to PlayStation 2 slim), like the previous PS3 models, which was located at the back of the console. It was officially released on September 1, 2009 in North America and Europe and on September 3, 2009 in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Super Slim model
Main article: PlayStation 3 Super Slim
In 2012, Sony revealed a new "Super Slim" PlayStation 3. The new console, with a completely redesigned case which has a sliding door covering the disc drive (which has been moved to the top of the console), is 4.3 pounds, almost three pounds lighter than the previous "slim" model. The console comes with either 12GB flash memory or a 250GB, 500GB hard drive. Several bundles which include a Super Slim PS3 and a selection of games are available.
Main article: PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is the latest video game console from Sony Computer Entertainment announced at a press conference on February 20, 2013. In the meeting, Sony revealed some hardware specifications of the new console. The eighth-generation system, launched in the fourth quarter of 2013, introduced the x86 architecture to the PlayStation series. According to lead system architect, Mark Cerny, development on the PlayStation 4 began as early as 2008. PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan emphasized in 2011 that Sony wanted to avoid launching the next-generation console behind the competition.
Among the new applications and services, Sony introduced the PlayStation App, allowing PS4 owners to turn smartphones and tablets into a second screen to enhance gameplay. The company also plans to debut PlayStation Now game streaming service, powered by technology from Gaikai. By incorporating a share button on the new controller and making it possible to view in-game content being streamed live from friends, Sony plans to place more focus on social gameplay as well. The PlayStation 4 was first released in North America on November 15, 2013.
Main article: PlayStation 4 Slim
PlayStation 4 Slim (officially marketed simply as PlayStation 4 or PS4) was unveiled on September 7, 2016. It is a revision of the original PS4 hardware with a streamlined form factor. The new casing is 40% smaller, and carries a rounded body with a matte finish on the top of the console rather than a two-tone finish. The two USB ports on the front have a larger gap between them, and the optical audio port was also removed. It ships with a minor update to the DualShock 4 controller, with the light bar visible through the top of the touchpad and dark matte grey coloured exterior instead of a partially shiny black. The PS4 Slim was released on September 15, 2016, with a 500 GB model at the same price point as the original PS4 model. Its model number is CUH-2000.
Main article: PlayStation 4 Pro
PlayStation 4 Pro or PS4 Pro for short (originally announced under the codename Neo) was unveiled on September 7, 2016. Its model number is CUH-7000. It is an updated version of the PlayStation 4 with improved hardware, including an upgraded GPU with 4.2 teraflops of processing power, and higher CPU clock. It is designed primarily to enable selected games to be playable at 4K resolution, and improved quality for PlayStation VR. All games are backwards and forward compatible between PS4 and PS4 Pro, but games with optimizations will have improved graphics performance on PS4 Pro. Although capable of streaming 4K video from online sources, PS4 Pro does not support Ultra HD Blu-ray. Additionally the PS4 Pro is the only PS4 model which can remote play at 1080p. The other models are limited to 720p.
|PlayStation||PlayStation 2||PlayStation 3||PlayStation 4|
|¥49,980 (20 GB)|
US$499 (20 GB), US$599 (60 GB)
£425 (60 GB)
€599 (60 GB)
PS one model
Super Slim model
|Units sold||102.49 million shipped, including 28.15 million PS one units (as of March 31, 2007)||>155 million (as of December 28, 2012)||>84 million (as of November 2014)||>50 million (As of 6 December 2016[update])|
|Best-selling game||Gran Turismo; 10.85 million shipped (as of April 30, 2008)||Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; 17.33 million shipped (as of March 26, 2008)||Grand Theft Auto V; over 15 million shipped (as of December 7, 2013)||Uncharted 4: A Thief's End; 8.7 million shipped (as of December 21, 2016)|
|Media||CD-ROM||DVD-ROM/CD-ROM||BD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, SACD (1st and 2nd Gen Only)||Blu-ray, DVD|
Blu-ray 6x CAV, DVD 8x CAV
|Included accessories and extras|
|CPU||R3000A 32bit RISC chip @ 33.7 MHz - Manufactured by LSI Corporation||300 MHz MIPS "Emotion Engine"||Cell Broadband Engine (3.2 GHz Power Architecture-based PPE with eight 3.2 GHz SPE)||8-Core 1.6 GHz AMD "Jaguar"|
|GPU||16.47 million colors |
Resolution: 256x224 - 640x480 Sprite/BG drawing Adjustable frame buffer No line restriction Unlimited CLUTs (Color Look-Up Tables) 4,000 8x8 pixel sprites with individual scaling and rotation Simultaneous backgrounds (Parallax scrolling) 620,000 polygons/sec
|147 MHz "Graphics Synthesizer"; fill rate 2.352 gigapixel/sec; 1.1 gigapixel w. 1 texture(diffuse); 588 megapixel/sec w. 2 textures (2 diffuse maps or 1 diffuse map and 1 other(0 around 74 mill, 1 around 40 mill, 2 around 20 mill); 2 textures per pass |
Capable of multi-pass rendering;
Connected to VU1 on CPU (a vector only for visual style coding things with 3.2Gflops) to deliver enhanced shader graphics and other enhanced graphics
|550 MHz RSX "Reality Synthesizer" (based on Nvidia G70 architecture)||Custom AMD Radeon|
18 Compute Units (1152 shaders) @ 800 MHz
|Online service||N/A||Non-unified service||PlayStation Network|
A/V chat via PlayStation Eye or PS2 EyeToy, voice chat via headset
|Backward compatibility||N/A||PlayStation||20GB & 60GB: All PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles Original 80GB: All PS1 titles, most PS2 titles. All other models (model code CECHGxx and later): Support for PS1 titles only.||No native backwards compatibility. Cloud based backwards compatibility via PlayStation Now.Emulated PlayStation 2 titles available from the PlayStation Store.|
|System software||proprietary OS||proprietary OS, Linux|
DVD Playback Kit
|XrossMediaBar (XMB)||Orbis OS|
|Audio CD playback||Audio CD playback |
|Operating Systems can be installed and run via a hypervisor (feature unavailable with Slim Model)|
Audio CD playback
Audio file playback (ATRAC3, AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA)
Image editing and slideshows (JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP)
|Blu-ray playback |
|Consumer programmability||Requires the Net Yaroze kit||Yabasic software, Linux for PlayStation 2||Development on console via free Linux platform or PC.||TBA|
Main article: PocketStation
The PocketStation was a miniature game console created by SCE as a peripheral for the original PlayStation. Released exclusively in Japan on December 23, 1999, it featured a monochrome LCD, a speaker, a real-time clock and infrared communication capability. It could also be used as a standard PlayStation memory card by connecting it to a PlayStation memory card slot. It was extremely popular in Japan and Sony originally had plans to release it in the United States but the plan was ultimately scrapped due to various manufacturing and supply-and-demand problems.
Main article: PlayStation Portable
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) was Sony's first handheld console to compete with Nintendo's DS console. The original model (PSP-1000) was released in December 2004 and March 2005, The console is the first to utilize a new proprietary optical storage medium known as Universal Media Disc (UMD), which can store both games and movies. It contains 32 MB of internal flash memory storage, expandable via Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. It has a similar control layout to the PS3 with its PlayStation logo button and its ('Triangle'), ('Circle/O'), ('Cross/X') and ('Square') buttons in their white-colored forms.
PSP-2000 and PSP-3000 models
Main articles: PlayStation Portable § PSP-2000, and PlayStation Portable § PSP-3000
The PSP-2000 (also known as the Slim & Lite in PAL territories) was the first major hardware revision of the PlayStation Portable, released in September 2007. The 2000 series was 33% lighter and 19% slimmer than the original PlayStation Portable. The capacity of the battery was also reduced by ⅓ but the run time remained the same as the previous model due to lower power consumption. Older model batteries will still work and they extend the amount of playing time. The PSP Slim & Lite has a new gloss finish. Its serial port was also modified in order to accommodate a new video-out feature (while rendering older PSP remote controls incompatible). On a PSP-2000, PSP games will only output to external monitors or TVs in progressive scan mode, so that televisions incapable of supporting progressive scan will not display PSP games; non-game video will output in either progressive or interlaced mode. USB charging was also made possible. Buttons are also reportedly more responsive on the PSP-2000. In 2008, Sony released a second hardware revision called the PSP-3000 which included several features that were not present in the PSP-2000, such as a built-in microphone and upgraded screen, as well as the ability to output PSP games in interlaced mode.
PSP Go model
Main article: PlayStation Portable § PSP Go
Released in October 2009, the PSP Go is the biggest redesign of the PlayStation Portable to date. Unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go does not feature a UMD drive but instead has 16 GB of internal flash memory to store games, videos and other media. This can be extended by up to 32GB with the use of a Memory Stick Micro (M2) flash card. Also unlike previous PSP models, the PSP Go's rechargeable battery is not removable or replaceable by the user. The unit is 43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP-1000, and 16% lighter and 35% smaller than the PSP-3000. It has a 3.8" 480 × 272 LCD (compared to the larger 4.3" 480 × 272 pixel LCD on previous PSP models). The screen slides up to reveal the main controls. The overall shape and sliding mechanism are similar to that of Sony's mylo COM-2 internet device. The PSP Go is being produced and sold concurrently with its predecessor the PSP-3000 although it will not replace it. All games on the PSP Go must be purchased and downloaded from the PlayStation Store as the handheld is not compatible with the original PSP's physical media, the Universal Media Disc. The handheld also features connectivity with the PlayStation 3's controllers the Sixaxis and DualShock 3 via Bluetooth connection.
Main article: PlayStation Portable § PSP-E1000
The PSP-E1000 is a budget-focused PSP model which, unlike previous PSP models, does not feature Wi-Fi or stereo speakers (replaced by a single mono speaker) and has a matte "charcoal black" finish similar to the slim PlayStation 3. The E1000 was announced at Gamescom 2011 and available across the PAL region for an RRP of €99.99.
Main article: PlayStation Vita
Released in Japan on December 17, 2011 and North America on February 22, 2012, the PlayStation Vita was previously codenamed Next Generation Portable (NGP). It was officially unveiled by Sony on January 27, 2011 at the PlayStation Meeting 2011. The original model of the handheld, the PCH-1000 series features a 5-inch OLED touchscreen, two analog sticks, a rear touchpad, Sixaxis motion sensing and a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor.
The new PCH-2000 series system is a lighter redesign of the device that was announced at the SCEJA Press Conference in September 2013 prior to the Tokyo Game Show. This model is 20% thinner and 15% lighter compared to the original model, has an additional hour of battery life, an LCD instead of OLED, includes a micro USB Type B port, 1GB of internal storage memory. It was released in Japan on October 10, 2013 in six colors: white, black, pink, yellow, blue, and olive green, and in North America on May 6, 2014.
Main article: PSX (DVR)
Released solely in Japan in 2003, the Sony PSX was a fully integrated DVR and PlayStation 2 video game console. It was the first Sony product to utilize the XrossMediaBar (XMB) and can be linked with a PlayStation Portable to transfer videos and music via USB
The original PlayStation
The redesigned PS one