It didn't go that way. Some time into my Googling, it became apparent that the overwhelming majority of quotes were all coming from one company. Therefore, listed below are some of the collected PR bombshells that have come out of Sony this generation. They appear to be completely unparalleled. The thread title is not meant to be a troll (if it comes across as such, please can a mod edit it, or lock it, with my apologies). Its an observation, with the following wall of fame offered as evidence.
(sources are in brackets)
"PlayStation 3, you will see, will be far and away the winner when you look at it by March '08. They really, really will. It's something that is going to be a slow burner, and suddenly it's like a tsunami; it will just overtake you." (David Reeves, 2008)
"I believe that the Sixaxis controller offers game designers and developers far more opportunity for future innovation than rumble ever did. Now, rumble I think was the last generation feature;" (Phil Harrison, 2007)
”With the DS, it's fair to say that Nintendo stepped out of the technical race and went for a feature differentiation with the touch screen, but I fear that it won't have a lasting impact beyond that of a gimmick - so the long-lasting appeal of the platform is at peril as a direct result of that... Nintendo knows its target audience, because it has really narrowed that down; and it's pretty much defined by a boy or girl's ability to admire Pokemon.” – (Phil Harrison, 2005)
”The idea of a handheld rivalry with Nintendo is an irrelevance. Those formats don't appear in our planning. It's not a fair comparison; not fair on them, I should stress." (Phil Harrison, 2007)
"It’s probably too cheap…" (Ken Kutaragi on the $599 PS3, 2007)
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1200 bucks for it." (Jack Tretton on the PS3 launch, 2007)
"The first five million are going to buy it (PS3), whatever it is, even [if] it didn't have games." (David Reeves on the PS3 launch, 2007)
"Microsoft does not concern us. Microsoft is not a technology company."(Nobuyuki Idei, Sony chief corporate adviser, 2007)
"The PlayStation 3 is a computer. We do not need the PC." (Phil Harrison, 2007)
"I believe we made the most beautiful thing in the world." (Ken Kutaragi on the design of the PS3, 2005)
"The Xbox 360 is more of an Xbox 1.5 than a next generation console." (Ken Kutaragi on the design of the competition, 2005)
”Did you see the movie 'The Matrix'? Same interface. Same concept.” (Ken Kutaragi on the online capabilities on the upcoming PS3, 2000)
”[PS3 is] 4D” (Ken Kutaragi, 2006)
“[Nintendo 3DS] is a great babysitting tool" (Jack Tretton, 2011)
"I would like my car to fly and make me breakfast, but that’s an unrealistic expectation." (Jack Tretton’s thoughts on those who expect backwards compatibility in future PS3s, 2007)
"This time, Microsoft has stated clearly that it is going after the PlayStation. However, they're going not after the PlayStation 3, but the PlayStation 2. They were looking at 2, and that's why [Xbox 360] became like that." (Ken Kutaragi explains Microsoft’s lack of ambition with the 360, 2005).
”Xbox is 1.5, the PS is more than what I was expecting, so it's 3.5. That's the difference." (Ken Kutaragi explains the difference between the PS3 and 360, 2005).
”We're not going to equip [the PS3 with] an HDD by default, because no matter how much [capacity] we put in it, it won't be enough.” (Ken Kutaragi on why he was hesitant to include a hard drive, 2006)
“[nothing] good has come from the internet, period” (Michael Lynton, Sony PE, 2009)
”some of our competitors, seemingly, are losing the plot” (Jack Buser, head of Sony DP, shortly after the company spent a significant portion of their E3 2012 Press Briefing focussing on the Wonderbook)
”PlayStation brand carries so much cachet with customers. In many ways it’s the most authentic brand in the games industry.” (Jack Buser, head of Sony DP, 2012 )
"the true identities of the infringers need to be determined so that a copyright owner can take appropriate action against them to stop the infringement" (Sony’s lawyers threatening to identify, expose and legally punish all those who distributed the PS3 security key, around the same time that one of their own PR twitter accounts published the key worldwide)
"The true definition of HD is the three elements of the HD value chain - the display, the content and the hardware to play back that content, and PlayStation and Sony is the only organisation that has all three bits of the value chain together." (Phil Harrison on why the PS3 is the only HD console in the market, 2005).
"[Wii] is a lollipop, and I'm too old for lollipops." (Jack Tretton, 2007)
“True generation quality only available on PS3" (Kaz Hirai, explaining how the PS3 ascends past Next Gen, 2007
"He certainly likes to make a lot of noise.” (Sir Howard Stringer on the expressed concerns of the leader of one of the biggest third parties in the industry, Bobby Kotick, 2009).
"This is not meant in terms of numbers, or who's got the biggest install base, or who's selling most in any particular week or month, but I'd like to think that we continue official leadership in this industry,” (Kaz Hirai, 2009)
"It's difficult to talk about Nintendo, because we don't look at their console as being a competitor.” (Kaz Hirai, 2009)
”The Xbox - again, I can't come up with one word to fit. You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity.” (Kaz Hirai. 2009)
"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that [developers] want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" (Kaz Hirai. 2009)
”The environment where PlayStation wins is best for this industry” (Jack Tretton, 2009)
In retrospect, many of these quotes are hilarious given how things ended up this generation. Is it unfair to label them as a stream of incomparable arrogance?
"[PS3 is] for consumers to think to themselves 'I will work more hours to buy one” (Ken Kutaragi, 2005)
Its been difficult to find many quotes from previous generations, so I'm unable to establish if this attitude has been predominantly from this generation, or was just as apparent during the time of the PS1 and 2.
A few questions:
(1) Was there some sort of mentality of invulnerability or inevitable success permeating the company, or could there have been some PR doctrine requesting everyone simply come across as being as ridiculously, absurdly confident as possible?
(2) Did comments like those listed above tarnish your opinion of the Sony brand in any way, or were you happy to dismiss them as eccentric ramblings of detached execs?
(3) What's the silliest/most ridiculous/your just-plain-favourite quote?
(4) Am I being unfair - is there a company in the industry that has provided more arrogant quotes than those above? (Examples please).