A tale of two stores, and a go with PlayStation Move

I had some free time following the NVIDIA GPU Technology conference and wandered up to the Valley Fair mall in San Jose. I took a quick look at the Apple store, there was really nothing for me to see in terms of new product but it has a kind of "bees round a honeypot" appeal.

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Next I went along to the Sony Style store, another strong brand you might think:

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Clearly this is a social story as well as a technical story but it is significant.

The Sony store was actually more interesting to me since the PlayStation 3 Move was on display and I had not had an opportunity to try it before. A helpful assistant gave me a demo; we were going to play 2-player table tennis but there was a technical issue with one of the controllers so I ended up playing solo. In conjunction with the huge screen in the Sony store it was a very passable imitation of the real thing. Although it is well done it does not feel like a revolution in the way the Wii did when it first appeared – you may recall that the pre-release Wii was code-named "Revolution".

Adding Move to your PS3 setup is somewhat expensive – you will probably want two controllers as well as the Eye camera – and there are not yet many games which support it, but I reckon it will be a lot of fun. Playing Table Tennis one of the best aspects was the ability to rush forward for a forehand slam.

The Sony guy admitted to being curious about the Microsoft Xbox Kinect which is coming out in a couple of months, and does away with the controller completely. He said Microsoft is opening a store in San Francisco and plans to go up to take a look in due course.

A question: which of the above two pictures will the new Microsoft store most resemble?

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2 comments to A tale of two stores, and a go with PlayStation Move

  • James

    I was like that when I was visiting 2 yrs ago, sony had too many products on display, it’s not an inviting store and it’s stuck away in the poor location, so it’s not quite like for like (but yes Houston, there is a problem…)

  • Traditionally one would say that Microsoft will be a clone of the Sony store. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they come up with…

    Looking at the pictures, I immediately see a main different: the store furniture.
    Whoever has been to an Apple store seen how the space is open. Product are around the room against the walls, or on top of the tables in the middle. The trick here is that these are tables.
    Sony, on the other hand uses the big clumsy furniture that creates islands. These solid wooden cabinets and tables also “hide” whatever might be behind it: you don’t have the same visibility of the rest of the store, simply because you have a huge wooden thing in front of you. This also creates barriers for people to flow smoothly across the store.

    What apple does is remove all visual cluttering from the store, so that the only thing that stands out are the products.

    Michel