|A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that you might want
to wait before you jump on the Sony bandwagon. Now, it looks like youre not going to
have much of a choice. Sony announced this week that they would be shipping only 500 000
units of their Playstation 2 for release on October 26thhalf of their
intended. Sony claims that it is due to a component shortage, but one cant help but
wonder if they are trying to build a Tickle-Me-Elmo Christmas frenzy.
Sony should be extra cautious. There is a thin line between building anticipation to fever pitch levels and delaying something so long that you alienate your fan base. George Lucas did a masterful job at not stepping over this line with the release of Episode I. However, he has not fared so well with the DVD release of the Star Wars movies. Look in any DVD newsgroups and you will see the disciples of George are losing their faith left and right. With Sonys announcement to cut the initial offering of PS2 units to half of their promised allotment, they are running the risk of pushing their most avid supporters into the arms of a waiting Sega. I predict that thousands of people will buy a Dreamcast on or before October 26th simply out of spite.
Thousands of people, sick of having the 128-bit carrot dangled in front of them all this time, will defect. People tired of being told, "If you dont put all your money down, buy an extra controller and reserve a couple of games, I cant guarantee you a PS2 at launch," are going to take back their exorbitant deposits, buy a Dreamcast, and put the rest of their money into a mutual fund (or they might buy some games with it).
They will ask themselves, "Why should I have to wait at the Wal-Mart doors on midnight of Oct. 25th? It will be cold, there will be no attractive women there, and its likely to be more violent than a Jerry Springer Transvestite Special. Its just not worth the bloody nose. In fact, I could go out right now and buy myself a Dreamcast for $150.00. Instant gratification. I like instant gratification. I could pick up the best football game on the market today and play against my friends on the other side of the country."
While the Sony zealots are wearing out their knees praying that their deposit will be honored, some will be sittin back with a copy of the most revolutionary fighting game everPower Stone 2. And when the dejected masses come home empty handed, there will be someone there to comfort them with an extra Sega controller and an arm around the shoulder. Or (like me) they will sit back and laugh at the misplaced faith in Sonythe company that is not a god.