In an industry where public statements and events are usually carefully managed, the conference calls that follow financial results can sometimes be fascinating in their candour. It's rare to get much genuinely new information from them, of course, but every now and then you get a question that puts executives on the spot simply by asking something that many people have been thinking but the company itself has, for whatever reason, been tiptoeing around.
This week's Sony financials call yielded a good example. One questioner took it upon themselves to pretty bluntly suggest that Microsoft's PR efforts for Xbox Series X have run rings around Sony's next-gen PR, asking what grade CFO Hiroki Totoki would give the team thus far.
Totoki's response -- that we should wait and see the sales figures -- wasn't exactly revealing or insightful, though some commentators, perhaps reaching a bit, felt that there was a flash of Sony's old PS3-era arrogance in his comments. Either way, it didn't address the real issue at the heart of the query; why is Microsoft being allowed to establish the parameters of the next-generation contest, putting its information out there so far ahead of Sony and even establishing at this early point that it's launching a more powerful -- on paper, at least -- piece of hardware? It's still very early days, but you can see where the question is coming from. As an investor, one would have to wonder if Sony isn't on the back foot here to some extent.