Sony: PS3 was on "life support"

Sony CEO Howard Stringer admits that PlayStation was in a touch-and-go situation during a rocky launch

"Two years ago PlayStation was on life support," Stringer said during The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital Conference on Wednesday.

Lofty development costs for the console were nearly "catastrophic" for his company, he said.

But he says everything is fine and dandy now with PS3, following improved sales and a win in the HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray format war.

He said he's "very pleased" with the console's performance, and is optimistic that games will begin to take more advantage of the PS3's processing power.

Stringer said as early as January this year that PS3 was "out of the woods" after a rough launch, hindered by a high retail price tag, stiff competition from Xbox 360, and a slim games lineup.

As for the movie format war, Stringer said that if HD-DVD would've won, a reference to "Betamax 2" would've been engraved on his tombstone.

He also denied that Blu-ray won because Sony paid movie studios the most money. "We were not in the check-writing competition," he said.

The future of Blu-ray is promising, even in the face of digital downloads, according to Stringer, who said that consumers will take a long time to move away from physical media to purely digital.

Courtesy of Next Generation

May 29, 2008

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