PS3 Console Box

In an interview that appears on the February 2007 issue of Game Informer, Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA, had this to say about the manufacturing problems with the blue laser diode that lead to the PS3 shortages:

"We're taking a device that is going to be state of the art and future-proof for the next decade, and provide you with the ultimate gaming experience-in addition to giving you a state of the art Blu-ray DVD experience. And, we're incorporating the ability to read standard DVDs, audio CDs, and games from platforms going back 10 years. To have a consumer device that's going to read six very disparate platforms effectively is an extremely noble undertaking and impossible for me to even imagine. It's a little more difficult to pull that off and manufacture it—and we made that work. But to pull off such an amazing feat, when you're dealing with something that is not off-the-shelf technology, you run into some start-up problems with manufacturing." –Jack Tretton

Wait. Hold the phone. Are you telling me that consumers had to wait on insufferably long lines, endure near-riotous conditions and deal with severe price gouging on eBay so that the PS3 could play audio CDs, which are on the verge being replaced with MP3s, DVDs which are not high-definition and archaic PlayStation games, which are practically relics?

With the lack of demand for Blu-ray and the growing trend of making past generation titles available for download on virtual consoles—essentially making backwards compatible disc media unnecessary, was it worth the launch day pains that Sony put consumers through? I thought the PS3 was supposed to be future-proof, but it sounds more like Sony was more concerned about the PS3 being past-proof.

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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5 Comments on "Is “future-proof” PS3 worth the shortage?"

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Well, Sony, Jack, and whoever else decided that the PS3 should be a little more than just a graphics-rendering toy…. got it right. As far as I’m concerned. My Wii is amazing, it’s a blast, but it won’t play BlueRay DVDs. I don’t want to have a CD player, a DVD player, and another game console in my entertainment stack. This Christmas I broke down and decided to go full-on HD with my movie watching. The choice was BR or HD-DVD, looking into BR’s enhanced copy protection tells my how the movie industry will move and where the best movies… Read more »
Having the PS3 play three consoles worth of games, as well as all the other audio and video media that consumers currently own, is actually one of the big draws of the PS3. Whether or not you intend to use those other functions, there are other gamers (like myself) who want to play PS3 games and not lose the ability to play PS2 or PS games. Now, you may say that there’s always that PS2 sitting on my entertainment system, but now that my Playstation 2 is 5+ years old, it’s starting to slow down and have more problems. But… Read more »

That’s not spin-its a legitimate impediment on SONY’s ability to manufacture the console.


I like how he gives an hour-long speech on how great the product is just to say, “you run into some start-up problems with manufacturing.” He couldn’t even just say, “you run into some start-up problems with manufacturing” he had to add “But to pull off such an amazing feat, when you’re dealing with something that is not off-the-shelf technology” before it in the sentence.

David  Stone

Don’t forget, this is the same Jack Tretton who famously said in an EGM interview that if we could find a PS3 that had sat on a shelf for more than five minutes, he would give us $1200 for it. Naturally, the PA guys tore into him and sent him a bill for over $13,000.