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Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sony Accelerates 3D TV Business To Return to Profitability

Sony is implementing its restructuring plan in an effort to become a leader in the next generation 3D TV and gaming businesses, the company said Thursday.

In an effort to return to profitability, the Japanese company has already cut 19,500 jobs and plans to close 18% of its factories worldwide, reducing the number to 47 sites by May 2010. The company expects to restore its operating profit margin to 5% in fiscal 2012, after reporting a net loss of Y98.9 billion for the fiscal year ended last March.

Sony aims at restoring profitability in their TV and game businesses, according to Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer. The company plans to focus on developing content and hardware for the 3D television, games and Blu-ray disc player market. 3-D products are expected to launch in the fiscal year through March 2011.

Sony also said it planned to bolster operations in the high-margin business of selling lightweight lithium-ion batteries used in electronic goods. The company also believes that entering the electric vehicle battery business in the near future could be a wise decision.

Sony is also hoping to return its PlayStation business to profitability next year with the help of new hardware devices and expansion of its network-delivered services platform.

Sony wants to grow its PlayStation Network platform, which already delivers game software to the PS3 and PlayStation Portable. Non-game content such as video is already taking its place alongside games in some countries and was expanded on Thursday to customers in the UK, France, Germany and Spain . Digital comics will join the line-up in Japan and the U.S. from December and a music video download service is planned for Japan.

In 2010 a non-game development kit for the PlayStation Network will be released to encourage content providers to develop for the platform.

The Blu-ray Disc player of the PS3 wil be also able to playback 3D content with a firmware upgrade, Sony added.

Sony also plans to launch the Motion Controller next year. The controller will be able to sense and estimate movement and acceleration. The companion PlayStation Eye, a camera with image recognition capabilities, will be also launched.

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