Beyond what Rogo mentioned, in my experience and that of several other friends (and other stories I've heard) is they didn't exactly try very hard to stay out of the race to the bottom, as evidence suggests (i.e. Xplod vehicle head units that were notoriously infamous for overheating and let's not forget the huge battery recall fiasco in the noughties, and I've heard plenty of QC problems with their TV sets, the specifics of which I presently forget). My beef does come from a combination of their aforementioned lack of quality control, their cutthroat monopolizing business methods and how they have no qualms if it causes inconvenience for their customers (yes, rootkit). I also preferred HD DVD (more so because it didn't rely upon sluggish Java) along with my prior building history of dislike for the company. The difference is Sony did manage to create a consortium of CEMs with the project while Toshiba was nearly going it alone in comparison. Also, while I can't blame all of it on Sony, the timing of the release of the PS2 and the rabid excitement that ensued upon its release, I feel, is what firmly nailed the coffin in Sega's hardware business (back in the days of my gaming, I was a long-time Sega fan). Finally, their sublabel (BMG/Deconstruction) was responsible for unceremoniously dropping one of my fave electronic artists from their roster without so much as a warning, even after the album (which by most measures was a critical success
), had been delivered and leaked as a promo only to be spread over all the Internet, delaying its eventual proper release by at least 6 months.
All of the above ("death by 1000 cuts") outweighs the areas where I appreciate their input (including the CD, not forgetting Philips' role, and the minidisc, which was a marvel that they priced out of contention; incidentally, the one MD unit I owned was manufactured by Sharp) and the structural makeup of the Blu-ray disc itself (not the clunky cluster that is the Java operating system upon which it relies). The VHS-beta war wasn't really on my radar at the time, and given they lost it, I can't rail against them. It contained the higher quality video output (like BD in comparison to HD DVD) but lost for other reasons. Still, there would be little love lost from me if Sony folded today.