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Sony Interactive Entertainment (2006-2011, 2018-present)

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Sony Interactive Entertainment (2006-2011, 2018-present)
Sony Interactive Entertainment logo (2016).svg
Play has no limits, even in corruption.
Formerly: Sony Computer Entertainment (1993–2016)
Type: Subsidiary
Founded: November 16, 1993 (Tokyo)
April 1, 2016 (San Mateo)
Headquarters: San Mateo, California, United States
Key people: Jim Ryan (president and CEO)
Services: PlayStation Network
PlayStation Video
PlayStation Store
PlayStation Now
Parent: Sony
Divisions: PlayStation Studios
PlayStation Mobile
PlayStation PC
Subsidiaries: Audiokinetic
Bungie
Evolution Championship Series
Gaikai
PlayStation Productions
SN Systems
Visual Arts Service Group
Website: sie.com

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is a multinational video game and digital entertainment company wholly owned subsidiary of Sony. The SIE Group is made up of two legal corporate entities: Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (SIE LLC) based in San Mateo, California, United States, and Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. (SIE Inc.), based in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Their Japanese branch are the creators of the PlayStation brand of video game consoles.

Despite their reputation among gamers, they have done some questionable stuff over the years that almost dented their reputation.

Bad Qualities

  1. Because the PlayStation brand is successful, they get too cocky at times which either leads to the failure of the next console or a disconnect from gamers. Fortunately, the PlayStation 3 still managed to sell well, but the PlayStation Vita handheld was a flop.
  2. Horrible customer service and questionable terms of service. Unlike Microsoft which at least tries to help a person recover their account if it is hacked, Sony declares that the original user is responsible for it being hacked (even if they're not) and will automatically permaban it with no chance to appeal.
  3. The PS3 launch was an absolute disaster, due to complicated hardware[1] and a lack of quality games. And the PS3 commercials used to advertise the console certainly did NOT help either.
    • As a result, many games received imports that were inferior to the Xbox 360 version, with Bethesda's open-world games being the worst offenders.
  4. They blocked the stacking of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now for existing members ahead of the launch of the new PS+ in June, which will add two tiers to the subscription service: PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium. And all of this comes after they announce the price of these two tiers at $100 and $120 respectively for 12 months.
  5. Unlike Microsoft and Nintendo, they don't allow third party retailers such as Amazon and GameStop to sell video game download codes for the PlayStation Store. Thankfully, they still allow these retailers to sell wallet codes for the PlayStation Store.
    • On May 6, 2021, they were sued for infamously operating a monopoly by only allowing digital games to be bought through its online store.[2][3]
    • In August 2022, they were was sued for £5 billion ($5.9 billion) for charging a 30 percent commission fee on all digital purchases made through the UK PlayStation Store.[4]
  6. They have a habit of announcing games way too early, the best example would be The Last Guardian, which was announced at E3 2006, but wasn't released until November 2016.
  7. Despite its potential, they neglected the PS Vita, an over-engineered handheld system which was already suffering from poor marketing.
    • Speaking of which, after the failure of the PS Vita, Sony has dropped out of the handheld gaming market.
  8. While not as bad as Sega or Microsoft, they have started to milk some (luckily not all) of their more popular franchises in recent years.
    • Though the quality has been more consistent, Insomniac Games used to milk Rachet & Clank. Luckily, this practice stopped in 2013 and only 2 games have been released since.
    • Naughty Dog has recently been milking The Last of Us, releasing two remasters of the first game not even a decade after it was released. This is pointless given that the game is already fine the way it is and still holds up well to this day. Not to mention, the second remaster is coming out only two years after the disappointment that was the sequel.
    • San Diego Studio has been milking the MLB The Show series to death, as well as implementing micro-transactions into them rather than making sequels to games like Sports Champions[5] or The Mark of Kri.
  9. They often ignore some of their IP's whenever a new console is made, like Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, PaRappa the Rapper, Twisted Metal, & SOCOM: US Navy Seals.
    • While lately they have been showing that they care about their IPs, this is mainly for games that are on the PlayStation 4 such as God of War, The Last of Us, Ratchet & Clank, etc, while other franchises are almost ignored most of the time.
      • In fact, only 3 of their franchises made it to most generation of PlayStation consoles (Everybody's Golf/Hot Shots Golf, WipEout and MLB The Show).[6]
  10. Nowadays, they tend to focus way too much on their American Studios and Guerrila Games, rather than giving support to their British and Japanese studios like Media Molecule and London Studio.
    • They even shut down Japan Studio in 2021, a studio that was easily one of their most creatively thinking alongside Media Molecule. Because of that, we may never be getting sequels to Ape Escape, Gravity Rush, Knack, LocoRoco or Puppeteer.
    • They've also had a habit of shutting down many British studios like Bigbig Studios, Evolution Studios, Guerrilla Cambridge, Manchester Studio & Studio Liverpool. Because of this, franchises like MediEvil, Motorstorm, Pursuit Force & WipEout could continue to remain dormant for a long time.
  11. Aside from Media Molecule games and Naughty Dog Games (due to their success), recently Sony tends to shut down online games that aren't successful enough, rather than try to give players a good reason to play their online games, some examples include Kill Strain, Destiny of Spirits, and MAG (all of which are now completely unplayable). Sony did admit that they're not great with online games and that they wished they were as good at it as they are in Single Player games.
  12. They are awful towards indie developers, as their lack of communication, frustrating bureaucracy, issues with discover, ability, and severe limitations on when and how games can be put on sale is what push indie publishers to the edge, especially when indie game studios support Sony.[7]
  13. Scalping of the PS5. Enough said!
    • Even worse, some of these PS5s have been reported stolen by Sony and gamers who do decide to purchase the console at these ridiculous price tags will sometimes, unknowingly, be buying a bricked console. This is especially worse if they have chosen the digital version because it requires PlayStation Network to download games.
    • Some games such as Gran Turismo 7 and God of War: Ragnarok were originally intended to be exclusive to the PS5, but are now reportedly also coming to the PS4, with the scalping problem possibly being the reason.
    • PS5 prices internationally got shafted (Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, and Canada only) as of result of significant inflation for their country's currency despite their continuation of supply issues.[8] It does not effect the USA prices as the inflation is not affected (still $400 on Digital Edition and $500 on Disc Edition).
  14. Ever since rebranding in San Mateo, they have been making their brand appeal more to westerners.
    • Much like Nintendo in the 90's, they have taken to censor some games on their consoles or in some cases, flat out removing them from the PlayStation Store since 2018 (defeating the purpose of the rating system).
      • In fact, if you actually used the PS4/PS5 share feature to share screenshots of fanservice games, you can actually get banned for sharing content of sexual nature.
    • With the PS5, the cross (X) button is now used to confirm in all regions including Japan. It has received heavy criticism from Japanese players and media who are used to the circle button to confirm and the cross button to exit. The circle button was used to confirm in Asian and Japanese PlayStations from the PS1 to PS4. Fortunately, there's a way to customize controller button assignments through accessibility settings.
  15. In addition to the PS1 classic, they have also made some poor versions of their good consoles, such as the PSX, the PSP Go, and PlayStation TV.
  16. They almost shutdown PS3 and PS Vita stores which was originally planned on August 27, 2021. This would make games like Xenogears, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, Suikoden II and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment unable to buy legally due to the expensive second hand copies like eBay, as well for unable to buy further PS3 games because the cell processor architecture makes it difficult to emulate on the PS4 nor PS5. Thankfully, they reversed this decision as they will lose game reservation to new buyers of the classic games.
    • This pointer is the reason why PS4 remasters exist such as God of War III, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 & 2 (latter game campaign only), Saints Row: The Third and 4, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Assassin's Creed (The Ezio Collection, Rogue, 3 and Liberation only), as well for the PS2 on PS3 remasters of God of War (2005) and II; Sly Cooper and Jak & Daxter trilogies (the latter is also available via PS2 emulated on PS4).
    • They removed the ability to buy PS3, PSP, and Vita games from the desktop version of the PS store, with the only way to buy games from those legacy systems is to go to the PS store version of the PS3 and/or Vita, this wouldn't be a problem if the store wasn't riddled with bugs. You have to use wallet codes as they disabled the option to use credit card payments.[9]
  17. While it doesn't happen often, the PSN is notoriously easy to hack, with the best example being the 2011 hack.
    • Speaking of which, they poorly handled the 2011 hack, which compromised the data of over 75 million players. It also doesn't help that it took them a week to announce this information to the public.
  18. Very ugly quality control: Not only do the PS2 and (more recently) the PS4's PSN have shovelware, they've also been promoting the latter.
  19. While not as bad as others like 2K, they have been shoving microtransactions into competitive games Killzone Shadow Fall and Gran Turismo 6. They later did this with Gran Turismo Sport and 7 even though they said they wouldn't, in addition for rushed development and most of the modes are only available online via "Release Now, Fix Later" model.
    • They also did this with Destruction AllStars. Not only that but you are forced to pay for the Single-Player content!
    • They purchased Bungie studio so that they could help them make more live service games, so hopefully it doesn't become bad.[10]
  20. They did a poor job of handling Error CE-34878-0, a fatal error on the PS4 that could render the system unplayable. To make matters worse, they never offered a solution or compensation to the customers affected by the error, in fact they never publicly admitted that this error existed, they just let the controversy die.
  21. Unlike Microsoft, they've been following the practice of charging for next gen upgrades on the PS5 and standardized $70 prices. The first Sony game to be priced at $70 was Demon's Souls (2020).[11] See here for more information.
    • The remaster of The Last Of Us 1 is another example, which costs $70.
  22. They play favorites against their competitors:
    • Cross-play is one of them.[12] Fortunately, they stopped that now.[13]
    • "Blocking rights" after they paid publishers and developers for a limited "time-exclusive" to be on PS Plus Extra and Premium, as well for preventing Microsoft to place these games on Xbox Game Pass.[14]
      • Sony has heavily criticized Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard, because the company has only allowed Call of Duty (which is Activision's long-running franchise) to stay on the PlayStation for three years after its license expires.[15] Before Bethesda was sold to Xbox, the studio agreed to make Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo paid exclusives for the PlayStation[16] until September 14, 2022 (Deathloop) and March 25, 2023 (Ghostwire).
      • Unlike Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, Sony refuses to immediately release their first-party games on PlayStation Plus.[17]
  23. Hypocrisy:
    • In November 2021, Sony was accused of widespread gender discrimination in the workplace, despite criticizing Activision Blizzard for the same practice.[18]
    • Despite PlayStation Stars not to have NFT-related items,[19] the PlayStation Quest asked players at Evo 2022 about NFTs/Digital Collectibles.
    • As mentioned on BQ #14, they are known for vigilant censorship of in-game content the company deems to be sensitive and/or inappropriate. This stance did not apply, however, to The Last of Us Part II with its graphic depictions of sex and nudity.
  24. They've recently been copying Microsoft's bad habits, like paid online multiplayer.
  25. They have quit E3 since E3 2018 and unlike Nintendo or EA who make a stream before or after the event, they don't appear at all.[20]
    • It can be understandable and justified however, as they consider that the purpose of E3 is to promote games when they can just add the trailer on social media to promote them instead.
  26. On YouTube, they always turn off the comments on E-rated game trailers, and age-restrict M-rated ones.
  27. In recent years, Sony has been against modding and most backwards compatibility except PS4 games on the PS5.

Good Qualities

Despite their bad business decisions recently, they are still regarded as a highly respected company, as their consoles and games (particularly their exclusives) are still great. Thus, they are still good enough to continue to be on the Awesome Games Wiki without a year period.

References

  1. PS3's strict 256 MB RAM split (XDR DRAM system and GDDR3 video each) resulted into memory leak and easier to crash/freeze; Cell Processor architecture makes the game harder to develop, even for exclusive games.
  2. Sony Sued for Limiting Purchases of Games to PlayStation Store
  3. Another Lawsuit Accuses Sony Of Overcharging PlayStation Customers For Games
  4. Sony PlayStation being sued for £5bn amid claims it 'ripped off' nine million consumers
  5. Sony boss on Move: “We could have done a better job” Because of the PS Move's lackaster sales.
  6. The two former franchises on the PS1-PS4 era, while the latter on the PS2-present era.
  7. Sony’s hit-driven PlayStation platform is failing indie developers
  8. PS5 price increase announced for Europe, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, and Canada
  9. It's Harder to Buy PS3 and Vita Games (But You Still Have Options)
  10. So What Changes With Sony’s Acquisition Of Bungie Finalized? Nothing, Allegedly
  11. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan: £70 is fair price for PS5 games and launch line-up is console's best ever
  12. Sony really hated PS4 crossplay, confidential documents reveal: Used to disagree the revenue share stipulations which resulted certain developers like Gearbox Software to temporary disable cross-play in Borderlands 3.
  13. Borderlands 3 Adding Full Cross-Play Soon Following PlayStation Holdout
  14. Microsoft claims Sony pays for ‘blocking rights’ to keep games off Xbox Game Pass
  15. PlayStation: Xbox's Call of Duty offer was "inadequate on many levels"
  16. Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop Will Still Be Timed PS5 Exclusives, Phil Spencer Confirms
  17. PlayStation Says First-Party Games Would 'Deteriorate' If They Launched Onto PS Plus On Day One
  18. Gender discrimination lawsuit against PlayStation has been resubmitted
  19. Sony Reveals PlayStation Stars, Where You Earn PS Store Funds And Non-NFT Collectibles
  20. Why Sony Is Skipping E3 2021

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