How The Tech Parade Passed Sony By

HamburgerBandit

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The lights dimmed. The crowd hushed. The teleprompters flickered.

Kazuo Hirai stepped up and flashed a winning smile: it was show time. The scene was oddly upbeat inside the Sony Corporation last Thursday as Mr. Hirai, the company’s new chief executive, faced the cameras. He outlined a strategy that, he vowed, would return the troubled electronics giant to profit.

“The time for Sony to change is now,” said Mr. Hirai, who formally took up the C.E.O. post on April 1. He posed for the cameras, one finger held high in a No. 1 sign. “I believe Sony can change,” he said.

Outside Sony — and inside it, too — not everyone is quite so sure.

That is because Sony, which once defined Japan’s technological prowess, wowed the world with the Walkman and the Trinitron TV and shocked Hollywood with bold acquisitions like Columbia Pictures, is now in the fight of its life.

In fact, it is in a fight for its life — a development that exemplifies the stunning decline of Japan’s industrialized economy. Once upon a time, Japan Inc., not to mention Sony itself, seemed invulnerable. Today, Sony and many other Japanese manufacturers are pressed on all sides: by rising Asian rivals, a punishingly strong Japanese yen and, in Sony’s case, an astonishing lack of ideas.

No one was terribly surprised last week when Sony announced that its losses this year would be worse than it had expected. Sony, after all, hasn’t turned a profit since 2008. It now expects to lose $6.4 billion this year. The reason is plain: Sony hasn’t had a hit product in years.

The verdict of the stock market has been swift and brutal. Sony’s share price closed at 1,444 yen ($17.83) on Friday, a quarter of its value a decade ago and roughly where it stood in the mid-1980s, when the Walkman ruled. Sony’s market value is now one-ninth that of Samsung Electronics, and just one-thirtieth of Apple’s.

Even in Japan, where many consumers remain loyal to the brand, some people seem to be giving up on the company.

“It’s almost game over at Sony,” said Yoshiaki Sakito, a former Sony executive who has worked for Walt Disney, Bain & Company, Apple and a start-up focused on innovation training. “I don’t see how Sony’s going to bounce back now.”

WHAT went wrong is a tale of lost opportunities and disastrous infighting. It is also the story of a proud company that was unwilling or unable to adapt to realities of the global marketplace.

Sony’s gravest mistake was that it failed to ride some of the biggest waves of technological innovation in recent decades: digitalization, a shift toward software and the importance of the Internet.

http://www.nytimes.c...arade.html?_r=1

Apple future inbound? Or will Sony make a recovery? You tell me.
 

finkmac

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"Walkman/TriniTron" Sony was the Japanese equivalent of what Apple is today… Steve Jobs was a Sony fan… Sony 3.12-inch disk were popularized by the Macintosh 128k…

I think they started thinking they were invincible, that any product they unveiled would sell well…
 

Fear Zoa

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Ehh I'm not 100% sure on how it is for Sony but large companies usually have large reserves of money they can use to stay afloat for years even in bad times.

I'm sure Sony will be fine, worst comes to worst it would get bought out/ acquired. Even if they can't make a profit they still have allot of nice copyrights, IPs, and trademarks.
 

Knocks

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I'm not sure Kaz can turn it around. They're just too big and completely lack focus as a company. And to think that Steve Jobs modeled his company after Sony is just bizarre.
 

GreatZimkogway

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Sony kinda blew themselves with the PS3, even if they're profiting from it now. They haven't managed to make any new product work, in any way. The UMDs? Failure. The PSVita? Failure. The PS3? Nearly bombed. PSP? Didn't do that good. Their TVs? ...Hell if I know, doubt very well, seeings how many brands there are. Seriously...I think Sony just ran out of steam.
 

Bladexdsl

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their mistake was the ps3 you can fanboy all you want about it but it's the TRUTH

1st when it came out it was an outrageously ridiculous price

2nd since is has brd it costs devs twice as much to put games on it meaning only the big companies really had any interested in it causing a flood of lame ports (mainly shooters.)

3rd they lied about it's power it's not as powerful as everything thinks and only half the games actually run in 1080p and they use lame techniques like bloom to make the gfx look better than they are.

4th they belittle and heckle nintendo about their wii remote than later on blatantly go ahead and steal their tech and say it's better. and it ends up blowing right up in their face!

if they intend to make a ps4 or whatever they better change their attitude, stop stealing and start acting professionally their not number one anymore unlike the ps1-2 and they have to learn to deal with it. if not i'm never touching their products ever again!

---

enter fanboy comments here about how i'm wrong and all that BS cos i won't be reading them

----
 
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Thesolcity

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The only problem I had with Sony products is a lot of proprietary nonsense. CEOs will be CEOs and are entitled to being asses and/or arrogant, they want to push that their product is the best and arrogance is the only way humans know by nature. Screwing over your consumers, however, is a mistake most corporations tend to go out of their way to avoid and does not fly with investors nor potential buyers. Sony should look into closing their gaming market or spending a bit more on R&D. If Apple/Nintendo have proven anything its that specs don't matter to anyone but the truly e-peen'd, and content is the true hook.
 
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Qtis

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Am I the only one here that sees that Sony isn't struggling in the gaming industry, but in their TV side (mainly)? If they can make the other parts profitable (doable), I don't see how Sony could go wrong. It just takes time.

@[member='Bladexdsl']:
1. Then was then. Times change. Considering the game library for the PS3, it's a steal for it's current price.
2. At least the PS3 has 3rd party support with a various range of titles. And there are quite a few good and innovative games in there, that aren't just shooters. Also the PS3 works as a BD-player so that's a saved amount of cash and space for not buying a BD-player.
3. At least the PS3 can make 720p/1080p graphics. Also how is using a certain tech to make the game better a bad thing? Kinda like saying that software rendered graphics to compensate for a certain hardware limit is stupid.
4. While the Wii was the first to use motion controls in that way, the PS3 motion controller is nowhere near the WiiMote in terms of hardware and technology. It's based on a completely different type of motion control.

Also those are all facts too. Hate it all you want, but I'll just go enjoy the consoles regardless of brand. It doesn't take much to see that all 3 current gen platforms are fantastic. Though I don't have a 360, I've played it at my friends' places. It's quite innovative, especially in the XBL department.

ps. Enjoying life and everything > concentrating only on how something is better or worse than something else.
 

Hadrian

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PS3 sales are Just above 62 million worldwide as of the end of last year...only 5 million less than the 360. That is quite impressive considering how expensive the thing was and it was up against Microsoft which had a a TWO year start and money to steal all of the big exclusives back then. It was also against the Wii which offered something different and was cheap. I bet Sega wished they had half those sales for the Dreamcast. Of course I'd doubt they even made a quarter of the profit that Microsoft has made.

Problem was that they were stuck in the ways with the success of the PS2 and Microsoft just took advantage and now the Playstation brand seems to be below 360 & Nintendo in the mainstream concious

Also since when was the PSP a failure? It sold well over 75 millions worldwide! To me that is very impressive for a handheld that to the mainstream doesn't really offer much else other than what they can play on their home consoles anyway. Nintendo owns the handheld space and every company that has tried to take them on now doesn't make hardware (is this a omen?). PS Vita I can see it being successful once it has the software, it would be silly to count it out this soon. I can't say I'll ever want one though, I already have a device that can do what it can do and Sony just doesn't have the gamer draw that Nintendo has.
 

triassic911

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Wow, hopefully Sony does bounce back up. I will admit the PS3 is "ehh" at most, but you guys can do it! Stop selling overpriced shit for Vita and market it correctly!!

@Hadrian A lot of people say that the psp was a failure because of its library. It had only a handful of games that people enjoyed.

(don't know how to tag people...)
 

emigre

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Eh lads, the reasons for Sony's problems isn't the gaming division cause y'know it's one of the few division actually making a profit.

If anything, it's the damn televisions.
 

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How Sony can fix themselves:

1 Put the company on a diet, get rid off the excess especially in the design, and management departs, smaller more focused design teams will create better products, and will allso reduce development costs.
2 Reduce costs to consumers and drop prices, especially to compete in the lcd market currently dominated by Samsung and LG.
3 Open up the products,simplify and remove all Proprietary BS. This will make consumers lives easier to use your products, and win back the consumers you lost,this is especially true for your Blu-Ray and media products.
4 Stop suing people especially hackers /JK
5 ????
6 Profit
 

raulpica

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Most certainly Sony's gaming division will survive.

If anything happens, Sony will just split up and the unprofitable parts (keep in mind that Sony's a giant) will be sold at loss just to recoup money and make the other parts stay afloat.

The PS3's lack of success has got nothing to do with this. Sure, they had losses because of that, but it's the rest of the company that it's failing.
 

Guild McCommunist

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Eh lads, the reasons for Sony's problems isn't the gaming division cause y'know it's one of the few division actually making a profit.

If anything, it's the damn televisions.

You forget people on GBAtemp only think Sony makes PS3s and Vitas and that Microsoft only makes Xbox's.

As everyone said, they're gaming division is doing just fine, it's everything else that sucks.
 
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raulpica

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Eh lads, the reasons for Sony's problems isn't the gaming division cause y'know it's one of the few division actually making a profit.

If anything, it's the damn televisions.

You forget people on GBAtemp only think Sony makes PS3s and Vitas and that Microsoft only makes Xbox's.

As everyone said, they're gaming division is doing just fine, it's everything else that sucks.
Well, it's also because when everyone hears the name "Kaz Hirai" they just think of this:

[yt]eaBUeINW_3s[/yt]

....RIIIIIIIIIIIDGEEEEEEEEE RAAAAAAAAACER! *crickets*
 
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freaksloan

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Their E-Readers blows the Kindle and Nook out of the water. It is the first Sony product I have bought since I bought my PSP 3000. I used to be all about Sony electronics, but now a days there is just so many other options out there. I didn't buy a PS3 and I don't think I ever will, I am happy enough with my PS2.
 
D

Deleted-188346

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their mistake was the ps3 you can fanboy all you want about it but it's the TRUTH

1st when it came out it was an outrageously ridiculous price

2nd since is has brd it costs devs twice as much to put games on it meaning only the big companies really had any interested in it causing a flood of lame ports (mainly shooters.)

3rd they lied about it's power it's not as powerful as everything thinks and only half the games actually run in 1080p and they use lame techniques like bloom to make the gfx look better than they are.

4th they belittle and heckle nintendo about their wii remote than later on blatantly go ahead and steal their tech and say it's better. and it ends up blowing right up in their face!

if they intend to make a ps4 or whatever they better change their attitude, stop stealing and start acting professionally their not number one anymore unlike the ps1-2 and they have to learn to deal with it. if not i'm never touching their products ever again!

---

enter fanboy comments here about how i'm wrong and all that BS cos i won't be reading them

----
Recipe for success!
1) Fanboy hears about a multi billion dollar rival company (that has many divisions of varying success and failure) being in financial trouble.
2) Doesn't like their console, so attributes the entire failure of the company onto the console.
3) Provides reasons that are worthless opinions, speculation, gossip, complete lies/assumptions, or very superficial in terms of business.
4) Provides reasons that are well known facts, but are however still unrelated to the current situation.
5) Puts hands on ears and says "la la la la la la, I am not listening, la la la...".
 
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Guild McCommunist

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Recipe for success!
1) Fanboy hears about a multi billion dollar rival company (that has many divisions of varying success and failure) being in financial trouble.
2) Doesn't like their console, so attributes the entire failure of the company onto the console.
3) Provides reasons that are worthless opinions, speculation, gossip, complete lies/assumptions, or very superficial in terms of business.
4) Provides reasons that are well known facts, but are however still unrelated to the current situation.
5) Puts hands on ears and says "la la la la la la, I am not listening, la la la...".

While you are correct, it's also Bladexdsl, and his process for going to Sony threads involves Mad Libbing in key phrases like:
  • Fanboys
  • Shooters
  • Steal
  • gfx (IT'S GRAPHICS FOR CHRIST SAKE)
  • Ports
So on.
 

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