Boston Mayor Plans To Bill Sony For PS3 Crowd Madness

from the pay-up dept

Following the various messes caused by so many people lining up to buy Sony PS3s last week, Joystiq points out that Boston’s mayor has said he plans to bill Sony for the crowd control that was necessary when 500 people stormed the doors at the Sony Style store in Boston as the consoles went on sale. Joystiq wonders if other local officials will do the same. They note that some stores handled the crowds much better than others, in terms of how they organized those who were lined up — including whether they allowed pre-orders, or at least explained the basic process for getting one of the coveted game consoles. Either way, it may represent yet another cost for Sony to overcome in actually making the console profitable.

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Comments on “Boston Mayor Plans To Bill Sony For PS3 Crowd Madness”

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Brian says:

Re: Hardly Sony's Fault

totally sony’s fault by M on Nov 20th, 2006 @ 8:28am
they created a false shortage to hype up the product. they knew what would happen.

I agree , they knew what would happen since they released it within their own country and seen the results. This was foreseeable especially the injuries. Not only should walmart be suied for the shooting incident but so should sony.

Andrew N. says:

Re: Re: totally sony's fault

No really, he’s right. Sony knew how many needed to be sold and they under-produced to give it more hype. “Oh now, there are a limited supply and you don’t know when more will be made so you better get one at launch.” It’s just a way of increasing the advertising because of all the news stories that talk about it.

Compare how many Wii stories there are versus PS3 stories and you’ll see my point. Sony did it intentionally, so did Microsoft with the 360, and also Nintendo with the Wii, though to a much smaller extent.

Betaflame says:

Re: Re: Re: totally sony's fault

right… it couldn’t Possibly be the fact that they are using completely new technology that takes Months to create the parts to assemble the console. They can make a super-computer processor in a week? dream on. Learn alittle about how things are made and stop believing everything you hear.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 totally sony's fault

You are so right Betaflame. It takes time to develop the hardware/software etc. And it might not be sony’s fault they didnt have enough units produced but it is clearly their fault they released it when they knew it wasnt ready and they didnt have enough.

At least by reading this thread should be able to tell who is a fanboy around here and whos not. I dont have anything against sony but I wouldnt buy anything from Microsoft or sony on release day. Neither one of these company’s have a very good track record for releasing quality hardware or enough to fill customers demand.

Zealot says:

Re: False Shortage

There isn’t a “false shortage” – the BluRay drives are expensive and complicated to make, and 8-core chips aren’t any easier.

They’re manufacturing the things as fast as they can. If they SOLD OUT at $600 a console, you think Sony would make MORE money making more consoles, or LESS?

Or do you think Sony doesn’t like money?

RonDo says:

Re: Re: False Shortage


Sony wouldn’t make MORE money by selling more consoles. They make money on accessories and games, which aren’t selling much since 90% of consoles are being flipping instead of being played.

The PS3 really wasn’t ready to release for this holiday but Sony pushed it out anyway, because Nintendo has the right game plan this season.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: False Shortage

actually sony is loosing money($240 to $300 per console by most estimates on parts alone) so the more the sell now while the parts are so expensive the more money they loose. However regardless of their production issues it is not in any way sonys fault fo how people react. Each and every person who caused a preblem over the launch is completely responsible for their own actions, as we all are every day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: False Shortage

it is a false shortage because they could have done like what some of the other companies are doing and buy the blu-ray from samsung to meet the demand of just Blu-Ray players for the holidays. Plus, if they couldn’t meet the demand they should have held off on the launch. Sony wanted the chaos. Its free advertising on the local and national news. And yes the Sony Style store should be responsible for not supplying the proper crowd control.

Anonymous Coward says:

False shortage hype or not, you can’t blame Sony for the actions of others. Blame the shops that didn’t allow for pre-ordering, or not doing like one Best Buy did, where they handed out vouchers to the first people who lined up until they had all their systems accounted for and told the people to go home, if you didn’t have a ticket you weren’t getting a PS3.

etrim (profile) says:

Re: Re: The stores need to be charged, not Sony

I have a better idea, round up and arrest anyone starting a fight, throwing things, stealing a console from and knocking down a lady, or even starting a yelling match. Then when things have calmed divy the bill up amongst the problem causers since they are the ones who could not behave in a civilized manner. Oh and that goes on top of any criminal charges they are responsible for.

Anonymous Coward says:

pre-order, yes.

vouchers, no. with pre-orders, you are gauranteed to pick up an item for like a week or whatever after it is released. (at least every pre-order i’ve had has had an extended period of time to pickup the product. after that, you wait or get a refund)

vouchers are something else. vouchers are reserved for a short time span. (normally 1 hour to 1 business day) after that, boom. the item is up for grabs. so people would line up to get the “leftover items”

but either way, there will be people lining up to get the voucher/preorder the very moment that time comes. so instead of waiting on nov. 18, they’ll come in june 1st or whatever. still the same crowd. different date. that’s all.

does any municipality have the authority to charge sony for causing the disturbance? i really don’t know. i mean, i can be arrested for starting a riot but i am just practing free speech. i never said to riot. i just spoke passionately about the subject. others decided to throw rocks, set cars on fire, break stores…i never said to do that. yet if i’m the leader, i can get arrested, right?

so why not sony? they are doing the same thing. they hyped up the crowd to gather, never said be meand and whatnot. however it was their presence that caused it. where do we draw the line? individuals vs. corporations?

come on people. debate!!!

Patrick says:

BILL them all and let God sort it out

Personally I think both the store and Sony should be charged. Yes the stores should have been more prepared but Sony did nothing to help the situation by constantly changing the expected delivery counts. It is also unfortunate that almost none of these units were sold to people that actually intended to keep them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: BILL them all and let God sort it out

I really don’t see why it is sonys or any stores fault. What about the people that caused the disturbance, why isn’t their fault?

Sony didn’t force them to stand in line all night, the store didn’t force them either. No one forced them to rush the doors.

This is the same mob mentality that comes into play during sporting events, but no one blames the sports teams for causing the disturbances, why should this be any different?

Brad says:

Mayor Menino blunders again

In typical Menino fashion, he’s screwed up again. This guy is a massive ass clown. When the Patriots won their 1st Super Bowl and college students in Boston went crazy in the streets, Menino blamed the Students and Universities. The following year the Patriots again won the Super Bowl and the college students again went crazy. There was a death or two among all of the craziness and again the Universities and students were the ones blamed.

Menino never learned from the first Super Bowl that there should be an increased BPD presence in case the city residents and students repeated their actions.

It wouldn’t have been to hard for Menino’s office to have said “hey look at all the coverage predicting mobs of people gathering for this game console release just like they’ve gathered for previous game console releases. We should either increase our city police force for the night or better yet, encourage the retail stores to take responsibility and hire some additional private security for the night”.

Some stores did this on their own but the ones who did not are now causing problems for Sony. It should be problems for the retailer.

mockingbirdthewizard (profile) says:

rioters vs stores

I’m a geat proponent of personal responsibility.
if people riot, the rioters should be held responsible.
Sony was not irresponsible in their release of their product.
I’m not a huge fan of sony, but I Still have to say leave them alone in this case.

I don’t recall california suing itself for casuing riots after the rodney king court ruling.

really. personal responsibility.
200 guys show up in a place, camp out for 2 days waiting for 100 items. yeah, there may be trouble.
is it the responsibility of the seller to keep the dopes under control? no.

if the cops see a giant group camping on a city street for days, maybe they should tell them to scram. come back in a day.

arrest the guy who threw the brick, that’s waht I say.

Carlo says:

Sony not to blame

First off i would like to say for those whothink its sony’s fault you guys need to learn something!!!. It your actions that cause this to happen.If people wanna get stupid because they feel like they need something and start riots or start fights well they are all morons.People need to understand that we allhave the ability to make decisions and well everybody makes the wrong decision, so ask your self is it sonys fault you made the wrong decision????

Anonymous Coward says:

He cannot win this. If anything, this is putting more publicity on the PS3 and taking attention away from his failure as a mayor. This isn’t a console/sony flamefest as a few people here are starting to make it seem like.

Also, I remember reading this story when it came out, it was much longer than a paragraph, and IIRC, the rioting happened at a walmart or something. Hold on… I’ll see if I can dig up the link.

Kent Fung says:

Question: when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series (and the preceding playoff games), were the Sox owners billed for the crowds and riots that occurred? How about the crowds that gathered all over the city when the Patriots won the Super Bowl? What about when a large political rally (say, protesting the war in Iraq) gathers? Do rally organizers have to pay for the cost of extra police coverage? I seriously doubt it.

Taxpayers (individuals, families and businesses) pay the police to be ready to handle WHATEVER happens. They don’t pay the police to only protect them during those times when everything is calm and NOTHING is happening.

If you bill Sony for the madness surrounding the PS3, then fairness dictates that you also bill the Patriots, the Sox, any organizer of political protests. And then logic dictates that you also bill extra for someone who reports a mugging, gets into a car accident, or asks a police officer for directions. Because heaven forbid that the police officers we pay for actually be required to … do the jobs we paid them to do without taxpayers paying extra money — money, I might add, that the officers involved wouldn’t even see a cent of.

C. J. says:

Some one mentioned it here already; it is the governments job to keep the peace.

This sort of stuff happens, it isnt like it wasnt expected. It happened with the Xbox 360, and the Playstation 2. Hell, it even happened with Tickle me Elmo. And you know what? Didnt they make a movie about hot holiday items with Arnold Swartzenegger? — Yeah, they did.

So who is to blame? Please, the officials in Boston had to of been blind to not see this coming.

Anonymous Coward says:

does this mean the PD must take watch when the newest blockbuster movie comes out? Starwars 7? what about the new release of halo 3 or the latest ATI/nvidia graphix card? elder scrolls 5?

if sony purposfully incited people to act that way, they are responsible. NO different than someone starting a riot.

however, i find that very hard to prove.

so, i don’t think sony will be charged. however, i think they knew about their product and didn’t take the steps to provide a “safe launch”

ohwell. just my 2 pence.

Tyshaun says:

Sue Sony to hell

1. I don’t think tax payer money should go to pay cops for security to support a private event like a video game premier. People pay off-duty cops and the city all the time for security for non-public events, this is no different.

2. People, learn how to read, this wasn’t just any store, it was a SONY store so it makes sense that they get the bill.

3. This is all about Sony getting some free publicity. If they wanted to avoid this they could have just made all the available consoles available for online ordering only and sold out just as fast (maybe even faster).

4. Those of you who compare this to LA riots, how silly. In that case, who do you send the bill to? LA city/county didn’t start the insurrection, the people of LA did.

5. Unlike the erroneous statements made by others above, sports franchises often do reimburse the city from damages caused by rioting AND most times pay the city to help provide security during events so why should stores be any different.

Joe says:

I think everyone involved should be help responsible..

– Any customers who got arrested should pay fines that will help offset the cost
– Any company, not just Sony, that purposely creates this kind of environment should have to contribute to any damage it may cause.

For anyone who thinks the companies that do this are innocent. Think about this, they knew this would be an incredibly popular item, yet they only released enough to average 35 per store and then they sold them at a loss. They just wanted to be the next Elmo.

You have to give them credit though. This is better advertising than they’d get with a superbowl commercial and the loss they took was probably less than that commercial would have cost.

Joe says:

I think everyone involved should be help responsible..

– Any customers who got arrested should pay fines that will help offset the cost
– Any company, not just Sony, that purposely creates this kind of environment should have to contribute to any damage it may cause.

For anyone who thinks the companies that do this are innocent. Think about this, they knew this would be an incredibly popular item, yet they only released enough to average 35 per store and then they sold them at a loss. They just wanted to be the next Elmo.

You have to give them credit though. This is better advertising than they’d get with a superbowl commercial and the loss they took was probably less than that commercial would have cost.

Jack says:

Who to sue?

Just a thought .
Why not sue universal? they seem to be suing lots of companys now. why not give them a little bit of frivolousity ( if thats even a word ) LOL!! These stores pay property taxes, and all the employees pay income taxes, the mayor should sue himself for bieng an ass . Then Universal should sue the mayor for using the words ass and mayor because they probably think they own the words in some of their songs. by the way I’m playing GTA right now and cleaning my guns . anyone wanna go for a ride?

WhooTAZ says:

Gun Manufacturers

So, with this reasoning, might the Boston Mayor also charge the makers of firearms (rifles and handguns) for the Hospital bills and funerals and property loss for all individuals who use these products to kill, maime & destory?

I think NOT… What ever happened to making people accountable for their actions?

That started going into the toilet with the plea aggremenst and softening of sentences for those who do the crime but do not have to do the time.

Stuff a sock in the bleeding heart liberals and ACLU and then this country may get back on track to what it once was. . . . .

the 1st Computer says:


its a shame that people don’t realize or care at how they are manipluated by corporations and media… and then we try to make excuses for them…and blame others for the problems that they cause. Both sony and the people rioting over a GAME are the problems. PEOPLE NEED TO GROW UP AND EXCEPT RESPONSIBLITY (COME ON 20-30 + YEAR OLD MEN/WOMEN FIGHTING OVER GAMES…WHAT IS AMERICA COMING TO!!!!!

Mike says:

To all the morons above...

If you think that anyone other than those who actually committed criminal offenses are responsible for this, then you are…well, my subject notes that.

False shortage or not (and that is no crime), Sony in no way told people to go crazy and be anti-social. Each individual made a choice. Be it to stand in line peacefully, rob/attack people standing in lines, or anything of the sort.

Does Sony have a new mind control device that I don’t know about? Oh wait, how would I know? We’ve all been implanted, the end is near.

Anonymous Coward says:

yeah, the democrats blame business for public acts

while the republicans blame people for the actions of businesses. it all works the same. if a does something, it’s b’s fault.

for every dumb thing a deomcrat does, there’s a republican behind him doing something just as stupid.

here’s one, let’s not tax large business or right people, because they are rich, they will employ people, who will give the gov’t money in the “poor peoples” taxes. or lets not tax the rich, because they pay too much, and they are better off “investing” so corporations will grow, and pay employees more. no need for minimum wage.

NO NEED FOR MINIMUM WAGE? then, why do business send jobs overseas? because they get cheap labor. if there is no minimum wage, who’s to say big corporations won’t pay less than a dollar a day for wages? i know mcdondalds loves to cut costs, so i wouldn’t put it past them to pay as little asthey had to.

so it goes both ways.

Steve says:


Just shows we live in a crazy world. People camping out for days, trampeling over each other just for a game machine. So the person who got one can act childish and say, I Got One Before You..I Got One Before You!! It’s no wonder the world is going to hell. Sony may not be responsible for people’s actions but they sure contributed to it. Sony knew what would happen if they only supplied stores with 3 – 6 Playstations. In the court of law, Sony could be held liable for indifference.

Chris says:

Personal Responsibility

You’ve got to be kidding? I can’t believe how many people think it’s okay to send the bill to anyone but the people who got unruly. So much for personal responsibility for your actions.

If anyone should foot the bill, it should be the people who required crowd control. Allowing the blame to fall anywhere else only propagates our litigious mindset.

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