Sometimes I think Sony barks up some very odd trees indeed. The company still makes uber-desirable consumer electronics, but I reckon the people running the gaming division are in need of a good sit down and a nice cup of tea.
Evidence of its questionable behaviour first surfaced when Sony unleashed the PSP, which was gorgeous but had no interesting or original games -- and consequently had its backside handed to it by the Nintendo DS. Then there was the disastrous UMD movie format, which has pretty much died a humiliating, bargain-bin death.
As if the PSP wasn't rubbish enough, the company is now planning the release of VoIP, video-conferencing and instant-messaging software for the beleaguered handheld. It'll take advantage of Sony's webcam attachment, special software from BT, and of course a nearby Wi-Fi network.
But I'll give my eye teeth if anyone buys this stuff. Not only does nobody seem to give a damn about the PSP any more, but don't we all have mobile phones already? And forgive me if I'm mistaken, but didn't the whole concept of mobile video calling, as pioneered by 3, fall flatter than a badger that's been run over by a Hummer?
Give me the name of one person -- just one -- who wants to make calls, let alone video calls, on their PSP, and I'll eat my own face. Not only would you look stupid holding it to your noggin, but there are no number buttons, you can only use it in a limited number of locations, and (if you ask Panorama) the Wi-Fi will completely fry your brain.
You can almost imagine the Sony execs at the planning meeting. I believe the conversation went along the lines of: "We've already made a bunch of stuff nobody really cares about -- how can we combine it with a bunch of other unwanted stuff to produce the most yawn-inducing idea in the history of the world?"
And don't even get me started on the PS3. Sony, sort it out. -Rory Reid