It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, but it’s time to revive an old PVG standby. This entry comes courtesy of the president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida. He spoke for a little bit about how Nintendo continually emphasized with the 3DS that the device doesn’t need glasses for the 3D effect.
“I have hope that they have a broader perspective with 3D,” Yoshida said. “When you listen to what they are saying about the effect of 3D perspective to the games, they are saying the same message we are, but they don’t have to bash some small part of what the other company is doing.”
Source: IGN UK
The idea that the lack of glasses for the 3DS is a “small part” is pretty absurd. Plenty of people think it’s actually a pretty big deal. But setting that aside, this quote commits two terrible sins of marketing:
- It looks defensive. The public doesn’t like people who are defensive, be they politicians or corporate executives. What’s more, it looks needlessly defensive in proportion to the perceived attack. Nintendo wasn’t really bashing Sony that hard for needing 3D glasses on their screens.
- It tells a competitor what to do. I don’t mean that Yoshida was giving an opening which let Nintendo know what they should do next. I mean that on its face, he was telling Nintendo what to do (or in this case, what not to do). Think of political campaigns for a moment and all the times you’ve seen someone say something like, “Don’t talk smack about me unless you can take it, too” or “How about you quit making stuff up?” Such lines are always spoken to a crowd of supporters—the base, if you will. Here, Yoshida wasn’t talking to a group of Sony fanboys or even a Sony fan site. He gave this quote to IGN who is generally neutral on the console wars. The reaction of the IGN readership can partially be summarized as, “You’re the one to talk!”
Yoshida has just exacerbated a problem for Sony. The fact that the 3DS doesn’t need glasses and that any 3D implementation for the PS3 or PS4 will need glasses is actually a fairly significant point. By drawing attention to this difference, Yoshida has just made the comparison more stark. What’s worse, he has made it look like Sony is worried about this issue. It’s time for him to go back into his undisclosed location in the Sony campus.