This sort of thing isn't unique to Sony; the Japanese media was dishing the same punches to Nintendo last year. Sure, sometimes jabs are warranted—especially if a company seems to be on the slide or underperforming. Call it "tough love."
This past weekend, Japanese news show Mr. Sunday had on Kaz Hirai to give his pitch about "One Sony" (a more united, stream-lined Sony) and how he's going to be Mr. Fix-It.
The show had a list of comments—not so nice comments—and then read them to Kaz Hirai's face. Look at the other guy, and look at him smile. Awkward!
The comments as well as the commenters' ages and professions were:
• "Previously, it (Sony) was great, but now the sun is setting somewhat." (36 year-old company employee)
• "The hardware features are good, but they sometimes break." (23 year-old female sales clerk)
• "The prices seem high." (23 year-old part-timer)
• "Sony, what is it?" (19 year-old college student)
• "An incompetent electronics maker." (23 year-old part-timer)
• "None of its new products grab me. There's no excitement." (22 year-old job hunter)
Late last week, another Japanese news show ran footage of Japanese people being totally different—cold, even—to Sony. Tough love, tough love.