PlayStation 3 Was on Life Support

But things are getting better, says Sony head

  Breathing by itself
Howard Stringer, who is Sony's Chief Executive Officer, has admitted that his company faced a hard time when the PlayStation 3 was launched and that more effort is required to recoup the investment made in the gaming console.

As part of a questions and answers session at the D: All Things Digital conference taking place in Carlsbad, California, he said that "We're coming along, I think," he said, also commenting that "We closed our 5 percent margins... There's a sort of sense of, we're climbing up the mountain. We're nowhere near the top, but we're halfway up... The level of competence is growing, which is the main thing".

His remark was referring to his self-imposed goal of taking Sony towards a 5% profit margin during his tenure of the CEO position. He also took the time to analyze the evolution of the PlayStation 3, which is one of Sony's biggest investments to date and a piece of hardware on which the electronics giant has pinned a lot of hopes.

Stringer admitted that the console had been on a "sort of on life support before", mainly because of the late launch and hardcore gamers not as drawn to the PS3 as the company thought they would be. He also stated that the situation is constantly improving, mainly because of the PlayStation Network and the experience it can offer both to gamers and to casual users and also because of the Blu-ray drive that comes in every Sony console and that can turn it into a multimedia center.

He thinks that the PS3 helped the Blu-ray win the "format war" with the HD-DVD from Toshiba and that, in turn, the Blu-ray will help the PlayStation 3 win the "console war" against the Microsoft made Xbox 360. No word regarding the Nintendo Wii, which is currently selling more than the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

Stringer concluded by mentioning the strength of Sony, which he considers a "giant department store competing with many companies that are really skillful boutiques".

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By    30 May 2008, 14:13 GMT