Sony CEO Howard Stringer believes that he can restore Sony’s past glory with plans to dominate the marketplace with a range of high definition products, including forthcoming next generation console the PS3.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Stringer discussed the product range at the heart of Sony’s consumer electronics ambitions, confirming that its Cell microprocessor and HD technology would spearhead the next wave of devices. “We have an HD value chain that no one else in the business has,” Stringer said.
It starts with cameras and goes through projectors and television sets and ends up with the PS3. You can see an HD necklace with all the pearls connected.”
“Owning the content as we do is all of a sudden part of an integrated relationship with the device. Each understands the value of the other. And that is what makes Sony so unique, since we make them both. More and more, you will see Sony’s fully integrated HD strategy,” he added. Discussing the company’s attempts to cement Blu-Ray as the industry standard for next generation DVD production, Stringer commented on the technological benefits in comparison to the rival HD-DVD format.
“If you are going to take the DVD to the next generation, the customer experience better be more exotic. So, Blu-Ray offers far more capacity and the potential for 3G and interactivity. The Blu-ray package has greater selling power than transitional technology,” Stringer stated.
One of the major drivers behind Sony’s determination to establish Blu-Ray as the standard throughout the industry is its inclusion in the architecture of the PS3. The Reporter stated that Sony would be releasing a number of portable video devices to “fill the time gap before PlayStation 3 launches in Japan in March and in the US a year from now,” though these dates appear to be the inference of the interviewer and did not come from Stringer himself.
Another un-named executive from Sony said that the company’s Blu-Ray campaign would place the console on much more of an even keel against Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and suggested a lower price point than that hinted at by Ken Kutaragi.
“The reason Sony has suddenly gained support for Blu-ray is simple,” the executive said.
PS3 is a subsidised Blu-Ray play that will sell 20 million units. The first HD player will be on the market for A$1,800. PS3 could be at A$390 or A$490. Sony will be selling them at a loss the first six months to a year just to get Blu-Ray players out in the market.”
Stringer appears convinced of a victory for Sony in the next generation battle, ending the interview by stating boldly: “Innovation and quality will win the day. Eventually consumers are going to want devices that play everything and everybody’s content in the end. And the customer is king. So, I have no doubt that Sony will prevail.”