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Sony Failure

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Sony Failure

Post by Irish_COP on Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:34 pm

Some would say that Sony pricing the PS3 so high was all the help the Xbox 360 needed to pull ahead in recent months but it seems that Sony - unknowingly - may have helped fund and create the 360 as we know it.

A new book from a couple of IBM engineers, called "The Race for a New Game Machine", tracks Sony, Toshiba and IBM's massively expensive and troubled efforts to create a brand new gaming chip, Cell, back in 2001. It also notes that Microsoft contacted IBM in 2002 to create new chip for the Xbox 360 and that IBM showed them what it was doing with the Cell.

Of course, while IBM had the green light to sell the Cell processor technology later on, Sony was unaware that's its key gaming rival was benefitting from all its R&D cash and research during the Cell's creation.

According to the WSJ:

"Mr. Shippy and Ms. Phipps detail the resulting absurdity: IBM employees hiding their work from Sony and Toshiba engineers in the cubicles next to them; the Xbox chip being tested a few floors above the Cell design teams. Mr. Shippy says that he felt "contaminated" as he sat down with the Microsoft engineers, helping them to sketch out their architectural requirements with lessons learned from his earlier work on Playstation.

The deal only got worse for Sony. Both designs were delivered on time to IBM's manufacturing division, but there was a problem with the first chip run. Microsoft had had the foresight to order backup manufacturing capacity from a third party. Sony did not and had to wait another six weeks to get their first chips. So Microsoft actually got the chip that Sony helped design before Sony did. In the end, Microsoft's Xbox 360 hit its target launch in November 2005, becoming its own success. Because of various delays, the Playstation 3 was pushed back a full year."

You gotta laugh. Unless of course you're Sony who, no doubt, have now gone down to the basement and released their notoriously vicious legal team.

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