Forget bad buys for a moment and think back to all of the things you’ve purchased over the years. How many of these things have never, not even once, been used for things the original description expressly did not state?
Sony’s PlayStation 2 could play DVD movies, but it turns out if you did this often enough, your game system would break.
How many of us just didn’t care? I didn’t have a DVD player when I got my PS2, and because it did things that, while a bad idea, were possible at all, I didn’t spend the money on a DVD player because I didn’t think I needed one. Two PS2 systems later, you better believe I have a DVD player and movies never go into my game system.
Thankfully, Sony learned from its users experience.
When the PlayStation 3 came out, and Sony among others was touting the BluRay format, was there any way they would let their own format and their own new toy not work hand in hand effortlessly and pain free? No chance.
Early adopters have the hardest lives in the digital landscape.
Whenever a new device comes out, there are problems. Compare the original iPhone to the iPhone 3G, or the iPhone 3GS. Look at the PlayStation against the PS2 or PS3 – compare the Xbox to its successor, the 360. In every case, the new version does what the old version did better, and usually adds new functions – which don’t work as well as the next version will, if the features make it in.
Unfortunately this means that those of us who dive on the new and shiny as soon as it gets out of the gate end up having more poor experiences than people who wait for versions two and three. By and large, early adopters are tougher on their toys, which doesn’t help either.
There’ a disconnect between the early adopters and everyone else, but aside from ads and blogs, we are who our friends trust with giving them the scoop, and for all we know, they may be far more forgiving than we are. I’m sure you’ve run into this before.
Which side are you on? The hyper-critical gadget hounds? Or the rest of us just trying to keep up?