Sony Electronics Corporation, a long-time global leader in consumer electronics, has encountered a rash of issues that put its market share (and reputation) in serious jeopardy:
- PlayStation3™ (PS3) and PlayStation Portable (PSP) are not selling well against console competitors Microsoft XBOX 360 and Nintendo Wii and DS
- Ken Kutaragi, considered the father of the PlayStation and interactive console gaming, stepped down as the leader of PlayStation gaming division
- As the world climbs out of aneconomic depression, projected sales for consumer electronics (HDTVs, camcorders, MP3 players, etc) will undoubtedly slump
After providing such an optimistic outlook, could there be an upside for Sony? What could possibly be the silver lining? BLU-RAY! Yes, Blu-ray. In February 2009, Sony and its allies usurped Toshiba and Microsoft’s HD DVD technology for the future of high-definition video distribution; this is reminiscent of VHS eliminating BetaMax in the 1980s. Movies and games utilizing Blu-ray technology enjoy increased disc capacity, 1080p resolution, and enhanced interactive and multimedia features. Blu-ray will be Sony’s saving grace. But that cannot be it. There has to be more. Financially, Sony is singing the Muddy Waters Blues when it could be rocking to AC/DC’s “Back in Black”. Blu-ray cannot achieve this monumental task alone. And with the assistance other Sony products, it will not have to. Sony will need to outline an aggressive, innovative, and ingenious device to rally the masses back to its flock.
This new, combined media device is be called “ONE”. The best Sony products – Bravia TVs, PlayStation 3 (PS3), and Blu-ray – are employed. The ONE’s design is comparable to Apple’s popular, iMac, centering on a 32 – 70” display. The display supports the latest HDTV formats and peripherals. Outwardly, the TV appears like any flat panel. Inside is where the magice resides. Sony engineers place so much power within, users think a HEMI engine is there.
Like the iMac, the ONE has features similar to a personal computer. Built-in features include:
- 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet connectivity
- 802.11n Wireless access connectivity
- Bluetooth + EDR connectivity
- Dual high capacity hard disk drives
- High-resolution web camera
- 3 – 6 USB connection ports
- 3 – 6 HDMI connection ports
- Component / Composite / RCA ports
- DVI & VGA ports
- S-Video ports
- Digital Out
- Flash memory inputs
In addition to the standards above, a single proprietary feature will set the ONE apart from other media devices – a modular PS3 / Blu-ray player. Now you are getting excited! Wipe the drool off your chin… there’s more.
- The modular PS3 / Blu-ray: The crowning jewel of the ONE. A modular device, like those in laptops, is removable and interchangeable. As new hardware updates are released, Sony-authorized drives can be swapped into the ONE. When the next version of the PlayStation is released, a consumer can purchase the ONE’s modular drive without having to replace the entire device or elements of the home theatre
- Digital Video Recorders (DVRs): Changing the way people experience television. Pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding our favorite programs is the norm. No longer are excessive commercials a problem or ever missing a critical LOST episode likely. Using a digital guide and a variety of recording schemes, the ONE enables users to maintain a library of personally selected programming. Home wired and wireless networks can be leveraged to share recorded programming to other networked ONEs, TVs, PCs, laptops, and mobile devices
- Push Software Updates: Sent to the ONE via the Internet, ONE users can link to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or personal contacts – video conferencing with each other over-the-cloud. In conjunction with local ISPs and telephone companies, the ONE will support voice dialing, voicemail, call waiting, advanced conferencing, and emergency services for the entire family. The built-in hard drives will allow ONE users to copy games, DVDs, music, and photos to create a centralized media hub for the entire family.
- Built-in hard drives and Internet connectivity: Empower the ONE to take advantage of new media services available from Sony; current PS3 users already utilize the PlayStation Network and Store to buy games, demos, and movie trailers. Sony even added access to movies and TV shows distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) including the Spider-Man trilogy, Seinfeld, and other hits; ONE users will be able to buy / rent episodes, seasons, or movies anytime, anywhere.
How long will it be before we see the ONE? Are there concerns or limitations for the ONE? The greatest challenges threatening the ONE include 1) research and development, 2) cost, and 3) the competition.
As broadband services begin to reach all corners of the globe, the world is becoming even smaller digitally. The importance of harnessing digital media, social services, and information is at the forefront. The ONE will effectively bridge families’ everyday technological needs with its entertainment desires. The ONE could revolutionize communications and personal entertainment.
Will we see the Sony ONE in the future? Who knows. But, Sony… can you rise to the challenge?