Microsoft should buy Sony: Stein

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 7 February 2008 08:29 GMT

Scott Stein, writing in US Esquire, has given some fairly blunt reasons why Microsoft should be looking to buy Sony instead of Yahoo!.

“1. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has the most atrocious hardware in consumer electronics history. It’s so bad, the company had to extend 360 warranties to three years, spending a billion dollars in the process, just to fix systems that keep breaking on a whim. I’ve had four systems break in only three years. They’re becoming known as a lemon-maker with great games. Meanwhile, Sony makes great hardware but…

2. Sony has the worst software interface in the business. Compared to the Wii, Sony’s online friend management and gameplay are an utter mystery, requiring endless navigation of its Byzantine menu structure. Sure, buried inside the PS3 are plenty of amazing “potential technology” features — like the ability to install Linux, or its wireless connectivity with the PSP — but who cares? No one needs these features to play games. Even worse, developers can’t seem to make games for the PS3, while the 360’s development toolkit is a relative stroll in the park.

3. Cost-cutting. The PS3 still costs more to make than it does on store shelves, which has led to $841 million operating loss for Sony’s games division as of the end of October 2007. Until it pulls a profit, it’s an albatross for all of Sony. Microsoft feels like it’s finally gaining ground on Sony, with a library of titles that are superior, and an online interface that is miles better — not to mention a larger installed base of sales in the U.S — but they blew a billion dollars to extend the faulty system’s warranty to three years. Splitting the cost on a next-gen system might be a wise idea.

4. Big in Japan (kinda). Nintendo dominates in Asia, but at least the PS3 sold nearly two million systems… as opposed to the 360, which has yet to break a million units in Asia after three years on the market. Sony can help Microsoft understand that whole “Asia” thing a lot better. The world gaming market is growing to China, Korea, India — places where Sony still has clout.

5. And now, for the biggest reason of all: maybe, with two brains put together, they can help each other learn what ‘fun’ means.”

Full thing here.

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