Deathwatch: Sony... really?

10 April 2012


They make stupid adapters that only work on Sony products and George Michael hated them. With that, it isn't easy to feel any sympathy for the electronics giant, unless you like non-universal leads and hate Wham!

And Sony are certainly feeling sorry for themselves today as they have forecast a fourth straight year of losses. Of course, Sony are stubborn asses and all this isn't their fault, rather, American tax expenses.

Oh, and they've sold bugger-all television sets. That's definitely their fault.

Naturally, the company needs someone to come and kick everyone in the seat of their pants, and Kaz Hirai, who took over as chief executive from Sir Howard Stringer at the start of this month, is getting ready to give everyone a proper kicking while gnashing his mouth and shouting about taking “painful steps” including withdrawing from businesses.

So what is Hirai going to do? Well, he's promising to sort out the television wing which has lost $10bn in 10 years all by itself. He's also looking at axing 10,000 jobs worldwide. That's six per cent of Sony’s work force.

“The old Sony culture would only allow it to make things that were the best globally,” said Tetsuru Ii, president of Commons Asset Management. “Under that logic, does it make sense for Sony to continue its TV business, when it's not even the market leader in Japan?”

With Sony telling investors that they expect to record a $6.4bn net loss for the financial year just ended, things are looking pretty grim. Could this be the beginning of the end for the electronics Godzilla?

TOPICS:   Technology   High Street News   Gadgets


  • Mr P.
    What should Hirai do? Commit harakiri. Tough crowd.
  • Alexis
    Just had a look a the tellys on their site. 32 inchers seem to be terribly expensive, and they're all out of stock or discontinued.
  • Mary H.
    Didn't you have 'beef' with Panasonic t'other day? They're still here, so stop with your journalistic negativety.
  • will
    to be fair, they did have a bunch of factories destroyed/flooded last year, which would have taken huge amounts of cash to rebuild elsewhere, and cost huge amounts of turnover in lost sales. plus the yen has become increasingly strong recently. plus one of the major revenue streams was tv's, which have stupidly tight margins (hence the huge loss due to tvs). i'm sure the new leadership will set things straight.
  • klingelton
    plus new console next year - that always gives it a shot in the arm.
  • Paul A.
    Mary - the whole point of bitter wallet is journalistic negativity ! The clue is in the name.
  • Oliverreed
    The Vita was being outsold by the old PSP 2 weeks after launch. It's also got the shitty memory card format. Phones, like Nokia, took too long to change with the times. Didn't the TV dept dismiss plasma entirely? You don't hear much about Move, certainly not pushed like Kinect. Orbis is already getting a stinky reception, it won't save them. Shame really they did bring video games to the mainstream.
  • Phil
    Using the logic of the Sony man you quoted and applying it to all of their business intesrest they'll have to withdraw from everything. They're rubbish. Having said that, if this new guy comes in and turns round their fortunes it'll be three cheers for him 'hip hip... ...harai!'
  • Rob
    I think nintendo and sega had more to do with bringing video games to the mainstream than sony did.
  • LeftDinglyDangly
    Bout time Sony stopped overpricing stuff and learn from the last 10 years. If the rumours for the sony playstation 4 are true and they wont allow used games to be played on devices then it will be another epic fail on sonys part.
  • Zleet
    Sony are notorious for shooting themselves in the foot. Often great technology but they either force their own weird formats (minidisc, pro duo), jam drm down people throats (cinavia, software on music cd's, region lock on bd) or otherwise try to restrict choice. Pity as I really like their TV's.
  • Borrisse
    I think sony should withdraw from the console market and leave a massive gap for someone like Apple to come in and compete with Microsoft. I would love an Apple games console
  • Borrisse
    @ Zleet Apple do exactly the same yet they make billions. iTunes, DRM, flash even the 30pin dock connector
  • Zleet
    @Borrisse Apple are experts at making people think they are in some exclusive club rather than having their choices limited. Sony's problem is that their software is clunky as fuck and is always the worst thing about their products so it doesn't give off that air of smug you get from Apple.
  • The m.
    @ borisse Yeah! ...great Looking forward to pay 80 quid for a game just because has an apple logo on it! Shut the fuck up and go play warcraft 2 on your mac.
  • Frank P.
    I think they should change their name and relaunch as "TONY". It has a much nicer, modern ring to it. They would make billions if they did that and sell out of everything they make.
  • Tony
    Fuck you Frank, that's my name.
  • axt113
    The Market hit its Weakpoint for Massive damage
  • Tim
    LCD telly market is saturated and in this climate only people buying are those who actually *need* a new telly. Sony's standards had fallen over the years. They're a studio company and as a result are too obsessed with stuff like DRM, buying up other studios and ruining them (MGM), and trying to control the distribution medium (Blu Ray). Too many proprietary, self controlled, expensive formats and medium. Their aggressive stance to Blu Ray especially hampered take up of HD, cost smaller and independent studios too much in royalties to Sony, cost billions in a stupid pointless format war, held back and overpriced the PS3 which never needed the format, and at the end of it all they've wasted it as online & satellite distribution is certain to replace optical media. PS4 would be a disaster. Next gen gaming is all online and won't need consoles, just tablets, phones and kit built into TVs. Sure, they're banging on about 3D and 4k stuff, but consumers like convenience & price over quality.
  • Massive C.
    Timbo, I think your comments are good. However, I think people will need a little box to play games. Look at OnLive. I think you're right though the future is online gaming and downloading games no need for crappy discs anymore. I don't understand why you can't currently DL many of the new games? Just seems to be Arcade and old 'classics'
  • jonnyrotten
    In addition to alot of whats been mentioned above, SONY need to fire the employees that are getting paid for doing nearly absolutely nothing.
  • Sony
    Thanks jonntrotten that's a great idea. We'll start straight away, do you think 10.000 is about right?
  • Tony
    We are no longer Sony.
  • John C.
    Sony (Tony), "10.000" is an oddly precise way to describe ten people. Only a machine would deem to require three decimal places of precision when counting humans.
  • fra
    Well John, Sony/Tony needed 3 decimal places as many of their workers have lost various limbs over the years so don't equal one person any more. 10.000 people equates to over 5,000 individual workers!

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