Sony is aiming to become the leading global provider of networked consumer electronics and entertainment. The company will make 90% of its electronics products network-enabled and wireless capable, rolling out video services across its key product lines, starting this summer with the PlayStation Network.
Sony chairman and chief executive Howard Stringer said that by March 2011 it aims to incorporate internet connectivity into nine of out of every ten televisions it makes.
“Our mission is simply to be the leading global provider of networked consumer electronics and entertainment,” he told a news conference in Tokyo.
Over the last three years the company has undergone a painful restructuring programme and aims to return to profitability in its games and television businesses this year.
Announcing its strategy for the next three years, Sony says it will increase network and wireless connectivity across its family of devices and build a service platform to provide a seamless user experience across them. It will enable viewing of movies and television programmes through the network on its flat-screen televisions, PS3 and PSP games platforms and Walkman video music players.
Sony has sold around 50 million PlayStation 3 consoles and nearly 10 million are signed up to the PlayStation Network.
“We have an enormous global installed base upon which we can build network services,” said Howard Stringer. “With the inclusion of our Blu-ray player, Wi-Fi and hard drive in every PS3, I am confident that the PS3 is the network home entertainment server of the future.”
“Sony now has the capability to deliver feature films and television shows of ours or our peers directly to consumer televisions across the open IP network outside the conventional satellite, cable or terrestrial distribution systems,” he said. “This initiative is a clear but important glimpse into the future of home entertainment.”
He said that Sony will embrace open standards “to improve interoperability among all of our customers’ devices.”
This November Sony plans to make its movie Hancock available to internet connected Bravia televisions before it is available on DVD. The number of such network connected televisions is likely to be negligible, so the real significance is as a statement of intent.
Sony says the business environment in which it operates is changing rapidly and with the advance in digital technology and broadband networks it says technological innovation is moving at a pace never experienced before. The company says it aims to exploit its advantage in producing both hardware and programming to deliver entertainment services.