Not the same thing
by Jimmy Greystone - 6/16/10 8:09 AM
In Reply to: Unfair by ajstavola
Not the same thing. Microsoft (MS, MSN is the Microsoft Network, a subdivision of MS) was facing failure rates significantly higher than Sony with the 360. Some estimates from the people who do the Square Trade warranties estimated it at as high as 33%, so one in every 3 systems sold. Their estimates for Sony and Nintendo failures were around 5% each.
Microsoft was also facing huge amounts of negative publicity, lawsuits, and angry retail partners who were having to process all these returns.
Any time a company is aware of some issue like this, they will do the math and figure out whether they think it is cheaper to do a recall or take their chances with what may come. Microsoft clearly opted for the latter, and it ended up being the wrong decision. And the Toyota thing is completely different, but of course it's easy to say this or that should have been done with the perspective of hindsight to guide you.
Look at it this way. When the PS3 first came out, it was the cheapest Blu-Ray player out there, by a long shot. Sony was subsidizing part of the cost, and selling each unit at a loss. It's probably only been about now that the PS3 is starting to break even. Companies like Sony and Microsoft initially sell the hardware at a loss, hoping to make the money up on the back end with games. So as much as people complain about how expensive the PS3 was/is, it should have cost probably about 2X as much, maybe more.
And finally... Life isn't fair. Anyone who told you otherwise was lying. Sometimes a device will fail early, while your buddy who was literally next in line after you in the store to buy, has one that channels the spirit of the energizer bunny.
We're largely to blame too. We want things cheaper, and we want them to market faster. Sooner or later, something has to give. Quality control is now done by statistical sampling rather than inspecting every unit. You might test 100 systems out of every 1000 that comes off the assembly line. If those 100 systems check out, the whole lot of 1000 is sent out, though everyone knows full well there's a chance at least some of those will be defective. It's a calculated risk.
Now, if everyone wants to start paying an extra 100-200% more, and wait an extra 12-24 months for a device to come to market, then companies could probably justify having every unit rolling off the line tested. Somehow, I don't think that sort of thing would fly with many people. We want things yesterday, and we want them dirt cheap. Which is what companies give us, so complaining about what companies have to do in order to give us what we want is a bit tacky to say the least.
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