In an interview that appears on the February 2007 issue of Game Informer, Jack Tretton, President and CEO of SCEA, had this to say about the manufacturing problems with the blue laser diode that lead to the PS3 shortages:
"We're taking a device that is going to be state of the art and future-proof for the next decade, and provide you with the ultimate gaming experience-in addition to giving you a state of the art Blu-ray DVD experience. And, we're incorporating the ability to read standard DVDs, audio CDs, and games from platforms going back 10 years. To have a consumer device that's going to read six very disparate platforms effectively is an extremely noble undertaking and impossible for me to even imagine. It's a little more difficult to pull that off and manufacture it—and we made that work. But to pull off such an amazing feat, when you're dealing with something that is not off-the-shelf technology, you run into some start-up problems with manufacturing." –Jack Tretton
Wait. Hold the phone. Are you telling me that consumers had to wait on insufferably long lines, endure near-riotous conditions and deal with severe price gouging on eBay so that the PS3 could play audio CDs, which are on the verge being replaced with MP3s, DVDs which are not high-definition and archaic PlayStation games, which are practically relics?
With the lack of demand for Blu-ray and the growing trend of making past generation titles available for download on virtual consoles—essentially making backwards compatible disc media unnecessary, was it worth the launch day pains that Sony put consumers through? I thought the PS3 was supposed to be future-proof, but it sounds more like Sony was more concerned about the PS3 being past-proof.