The economic climate, a mature CE-saturated environment, and an “enough already” attitude may cause many high tech companies to rethink their strategies. We’re seeing two steps forward and one step back everywhere.
A few cases in point over the last few weeks:
Netflix: In an about face that showed NetFlix listens to its customers, the company decides not to separate its DVD and online services (and believe me, Qwikster was a poor name for a mail-delivered DVD service). The customer base has spoken. They’re not ready to get rid of DVDs yet. Although, if you read David Pogue’s recent column you can see Netflix’s about-face hasn’t won back the hearts and minds of its members yet.
The 3D Market: Much to the dismay of TV set manufacturers, 3D has not been a catalyst for new purchases in any real quantity yet. Is 3D television going nowhere fast? Probably not, but the adoption rate is slower than the industry would like. Most people are happy they have their DVRs, BluRay and remote working. 3D glasses are not particularly sociable and there’s a dearth of content. Industry leaders like Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and Chairman of HDNet, posts on his personal blog, “The future of 3D is not sports. A bunch of guys are not going to spend a lot of money on glasses to look goofy sitting next to each other.”
Online-only gaming systems: SONY’s Worldwide Studios boss, Shuhei Yoshida, went on record saying that the world is not ready for an online-only delivery system. Thus the Playstation Vita, the new handheld gaming system we’ll see next, will support physical media as well. “We believe the time is still not right to go download-only as a platform”, said Yoshida. “Some PS Vita titles, like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, will be close to 4GB in size, which could be too large to download for consumers who do not have a fast broadband connection”, he said. He went on to say that some consumers like shopping in retail stores, talking to knowledgeable store clerks, and buying and playing games on the spot.
Consumers seem to be putting the breaks on jumping the next tech chasm. The economy and information overload weigh heavily into the slowdown.