Whatever happened to pride in manufacturing?


We all buy products from brands we know and trust, or that used to be the case. Take Sony for example. I have been buying Sony products for years. Four of my past five laptops were Sony Vaio’s. Each one far exceeded its use by date before I bought its replacement. My digital camera is a Sony Cybershot which is old technology nowadays, and yet it still keeps on keeping on. Soon after I joined the gaming world, I switched from an Xbox to a Sony PS3 simply because the Xbox was so poorly manufactured. It lasted barely a month. In short, what can I tell you except that I love all things Sony, with one exception.

While each of the above products is made by different divisions under the Sony umbrella, one of the products is riddled with faults. I refer to the Sony PS3. No matter whether you have one of the older ones or the latest slim model, I defy anyone to tell me that they have got more than the equivalent of two straight months continuous use out of their PS3. I am currently on my fifth console in less than eighteen months. Each one of them showed the same signs that it was about to die by either locking up or suddenly deciding not to load a game. This latest one has been in my possession for barely a month now. Right from day one it began locking up. At one point it even died and rebooted itself. Clearly there is a major design fault, either in the software or the hard drive system.

Sony is not the only organisation with a lack of overall quality control. Both my television and my video player/surround sound system are manufactured by Samsung. My 42” flat screen digital television is three years old now, and the best I’ve ever had. I wish I could say the same thing when it comes to the video player. Like the PS3, the Samsung video/surround sound system has an obvious design fault. Consequently it only partially works. While the sound system which I leave permanently hooked up to my PS3 is still operational, the video player died within a couple of months. This is yet again another example of a reputable brand let down by just one division trading under the parent company’s name.

Finally we come to video games. I absolutely love my PS3 version of The Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim. The problem is that it is simply riddled with faults. I hear on the grapevine that Bethesda are calling it a day with the Elder Scrolls series of games. I also see that they have produced a collector’s edition of Skyrim. The only problem is that it is not an improved version, merely the original with a dragon statue, an art book and a paper map. While the PC version has all manner of add-ons, the original PS3 version has none; sadly yet another classic example of profit over quality control. The very least Bethesda should do before they finally cease working on Skyrim is to produce a disc with all the patches on it for those of us who don’t have our PS3’s connected to the internet.

Unfortunately there is a complete lack of pride in manufacturing and quality control these days. If only the companies placed quality above profit. Unfortunately I cannot see it happening any time soon…