the product naming blog

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July 3, 2006

Product Naming: PooSing a problem for Sony?

PS3Sony appears to be taking a leaf from Nintendo’s book when it comes to product names, for their upcoming Playstation 3 “P oo S.”

The announcement has sparked a great deal of toilet humor (not to mention disbelief and disgust) among gamers. While the idea behind the name may have been to create a visual representation of the controller (rather like the way the “ii” of “Wii” duplicates the shape of the twin command sticks), Sony really should have thought this one out.

The least offensive association I can attach to “PooS” is a phonetic (from an English-speaking perspective) spelling of “poes,” the Dutch word for “cat” - though the Dutch would actually pronounce “Poos” to rhyme with the English word “pose.”

Not so the English speakers among Sony’s intended consumers. While the double-o in English admits to many pronunciations, most of them zero in on the crudest. One computer expert I know based his response on IRC slang and suggested “Piece of Obsolete ****.” Another was kinder and suggested “Piece of Outstanding ****.”

It’s difficult to imagine how Sony could have expected any other response.

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Posted by Diane Prange at July 3, 2006 1:39 PM
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