Is Sony the real offender to the recent Foxconn scandal?

When the PS4 came out, launch problems occurred – delayed shipments, broken or fragile consoles, all that.

Gamers around the world shared their mourning moments about their DOA consoles, while the content gamers who got a working console kept quiet while they played games on their working consoles. That’s how it works out.

The problem only got bigger, as the media started reporting about the issues, and comments regarding Amazon reviews “my friends and I have made 100 accounts together on amazon, where we intent to spam with 1 star reviews if just one of our Xbox One consoles are broken.” While being discontent, even rage about a broken console is understandable, ain’t this taking it too far? I certainly hope that Amazon will look out for cases like this as it’s hurting Sony and Microsoft more than it should.

Since the negative experiences is what people are reporting, and not all the boring and dull positive ones (stay with me here… “my console is working” ain’t no golden headline that will attract readers, right?) It get out of proportion. When Sony told the world they had sold (as in homes, not just for store shelves) one million units, they also told us that the DOA consoles percentage was as less then 0.4%. Pretty good for a complicated hardware at launch, I’d say.

Anyway, when people still thought that the rate of broken consoles was high, some people speculated that it was the interns at Foxconn who deliberate had sabotaged the console (Kotaku comments), and if this is true, I would not be surprised. Foxconn is very well known for mistreating their employees – in this case a large group of highschoolers were working at Foxconn for 16 hour long shifts, assembling PS4s, with low payment, some forced by the words “do this or you won’t graduate”.

Cinemablend rapports that the rumors of sabotage on the consoles is not true – at least according to a student who interned at Foxconn. They didn’t intentionally sabotaged the consoles, but the working conditions were rough enough to enforce a cost on the quality side on the assembling line. The Tieva.Baidu forum is often used by Foxconn workers and students, wherein a thread emerged after the backlash that followed the launch of the console. One of the fitting inspectors came to the defense of the workers, and that he had encountered almost no faulty units, and he certainly haven’t seen any signs of the sabotage that the rumors are mentioning.

The student underlines that he with many other students voluntarily joined Foxconn, full knowing of the horror stories stemming from the company, as you can always use more money. Electronic devices are expensive, but wanted, and Foxconn looks to be the only way to earn money, which explains why workers and students has to disregard the stories and meet up at the gate. Nobody actually wanted to go in the first place.

He went on by throwing the ball of shame onto Sony by saying with only two weeks of training, and shipments increasing due to demand from Sony because of consumer demand, students were ill prepared for the amount of work they were requested.

Cinemeblend has by google translate quoted the student(s) telling the stories in the threads over at Tieva.Baidu, and from what I understand, the students in spite of hard effort, they feel lost, useless and blend in with the rest of the factory workers. They don’t even know what kind of units they are assembling, even when they are sharing stories from the hardware-line.

Several students in the thread tells further that September was the worst month, especially the last half, and the enthusiasm between the students was at its lowest point. The workers grow so tired that they make many mistakes, sometimes unintentionally, other times deliberately.

Another thing coming into lights is that the teachers who manages to get students to work at Foxconn gets a cut of the wages – which explains why the students gets less pay than the regular workers. Also, the schools and Foxconn are in a close relationship with a lot of money involved apparently going both ways.

The user starting the thread catching Cinemablends eyes, closes up the thread by saying: “…the consumer is the most innocent. I can not represent other people, I can only say to you in a personal capacity I am sorry. Beyond that, I can do nothing.” Sony and Foxconn will now investigate the alleged claims of sabotage.

Loosely based on this rapport on Cinamablend.

So if Sony tries to meet consumer demand by pitching for more units from Foxconn and not going into more production lines at other factories, doesn’t that make Sony the real offender here, and not Foxconn? If Foxconn just tries to hold up against a contract, can they be blamed? Who’s at fault here? Us, the consumers, because we order too many units? Jump into comments, we’re always interested in hearing our readers opinions!

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Getting sucked into games by Super Mario as a kid, gaming got on hold during her teens. Lured into gaming with the 7th generation by GTA IV, and a few years later intrigued by reviewing games, and now she's running gamingirl since 2009.
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