Q&A: Sony's Sir Howard Stringer

Electronics giant's CEO drops the gloves in this CES chat; calls coverage of PS3 shipping shortfall "thoughtful, elegant, unkind."

Sony has been in the news a lot in the last year, but mostly for the wrong reasons. The electronics giant had to recall millions of notebook batteries. The hotly anticipated PlayStation 3 came out, but in lower volumes initially than expected. The fight over Blu-ray and HD DVD crimped sales of future high-definition players. Sony has picked up momentum in flat-panel TV sales, but the whole industry is experiencing fierce price competition.

Clearly, Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony and a Knight Bachelor in the British honors system, has his hands full. The former CBS newsman, however, was as ebullient as ever when he sat down with CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos and other reporters at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Stringer, along with CFO Rob Wiesenthal and Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow, discussed this year's product lineup for Sony, future products such as OLED televisions, the PlayStation 3, and an upcoming plan to right Sony.

Q: What are the current status and the goals for the electronics group?

Howard Stringer: We set out a year and half ago when I became the CEO to recover the electronics business to profitability. You will remember that for the first time the electronics side of Sony was unprofitable. Well, in the space of this time we are now at 4 percent margin on electronics, and that's significant. The cost of the PlayStation has raised some challenges on the consolidated numbers that we have promised, but we have to find a way to reach those targets as well. And that's what we'll be working on over the next few months, deciding how to get to the 5 percent consolidated number.

You all know about the [PlayStation] delays because you all covered that thoughtfully and elegantly and unkindly--but we've now reached a million PlayStations shipped to the United States, as ultimately promised.

And we're now very comfortable with our research program for PlayStation 3, which one researcher recently described as the Mercedes of games players, for obvious reasons. The million is more than we delivered of PlayStation 2 so, for all the anxiety, I think PlayStation 3 is well on the way to living up to that promise. That's a good sign.

Q: What are the goals this year for PlayStation?

Stringer: I think it's 6 million units by the end of the quarter, worldwide. And then we have got the European launch in April, which is very important to us. I think we have 20 games out there. I assume we're going to increase the number of games.

NOTE: Sony has since issued the following statement saying Stringer misspoke when he said the PS3 would launch in Europe in April: "In a recent interview, Sir Howard Stringer stated that the launch for the PS3 in Europe and other PAL countries is slated for April. Sir Howard meant to say the launch was set for 'this Spring.' The release for the PS3 in Europe and other PAL countries remains March."

Lost in the shuffle is the fact that the current games that are out there are using only about 20 percent to 25 percent of the bandwidth. Once the publishers' excitement reaches a level of intensity that they start using more of the bandwidth, that will create additional excitement.

Secondly, there now are 1 million Blu-ray players in the market, and each of those in the United States has a Blu-ray disc because we put Talladega Nights inside. I'd say 90 percent of the people who [own] PS3s are playing that Blu-ray disc on it or playing other Blu-ray discs on it. Contrary to some of the reports, it is an effective Blu-ray player. The people who like Blu-ray are the people who play PlayStation 3, just as people who play PS2s were the early proponents of the DVD format. It drove the DVD format.

I did read all the HD DVD excitement, but I think they sold 60,000 discs, and we actually put out a million. So Blu-ray format is a strong format. You have to have a high-definition television; you have to have an HDMI link up. But if you've seen the Blu-ray disc on the PlayStation, on the television set attached to PlayStation 3, it's a remarkable image.

Q: Do you think the PlayStation 3 might become a vehicle for other applications or other forms of entertainment?

Stringer: Absolutely. Despite understandable concern about the cost--the whole purpose of PlayStation 3 is to create future opportunities. The early anxiety is that the Cell chip is expensive for consumer electronics applications. But prices come down, and for the first time in the last few months the Cell chip group is beginning to come up with Cell applications that are quite exciting. And I don't mean just the Stanford supercomputer [type of application], but beyond that. We're clearly at the stage where the opportunities for that high-powered processor are gathering momentum.

Somebody said to me before Christmas, "Well, yes, but this is very risky." Well, on the one hand you tell us we're not innovative enough, and on the other hand you tell us if we are innovative, it's too risky. It's a wonderful balance, and it is true. In the short term it's risky. But between the excitement of its potential and the availability of bandwidth that you have unused for interactivity as well as movies and 3D, it's worth the price of admission.

Q: When do you hit a break-even point with the cost of the console?

Stringer: Well, I think Kutaragi-san said that it would be break-even by the end of the year, at the end of '07. PS2 was not profitable in the first year. You make it up on the content as the content gathers momentum, the licensees from that, and so forth. But the current understanding is that it will be break-even by the end of '07.

Q: How do you achieve your financial goals with that in mind?

Rob Wiesenthal: What we said to the analysts is that just like the PS2, in its second year PlayStation 3 will get profitability. Given the income that we're expecting from PS3, there are other things that we'll have to deal with in the corporate environment to achieve our margins, and we're evaluating those right now.

Stringer: We have two or three months of discussions to figure out how to achieve the target that we promised everybody.

Wiesenthal: Unlike PS2, there's a third leg of economic value which is not only the box and the software, but also the online service. In PS3, which is Wi-Fi enabled, people are buying games right now. We're very happy with what we've seen so far, and we're hoping in the future to have their own content television and music. There is a third revenue stream to help you achieve your economics.

Stringer: Yeah, there's also a lot of optimism about renewed momentum for the PSP. PS2 performed far better than expected for Christmas, and we don't know what profits will generate. The electronics company is feeling very bullish, but that's for me to assess, and to decide whether that alone will get me where I want to go. But we have to have a lot of contingency plans.

Q: When will Blu-ray players drop in price to become a mainstream product?

Stan Glasgow: If you go back to when DVDs came into play, it took about three years until they got into price points of $299 to $399. I suspect it's about the same thing here with Blu-ray. I think it's going to take up to three years to get down to those price points, possibly a little longer. But I would assume it's similar to DVD.

We have some control over [the cost of the] components. There are a lot of components in that product. Once you get volumes up, you get yields up, and you get efficiencies up; the prices go down on the components.

It sounds like you have a lot of questions in your mind over where the profit will come from to hit your financial goals. Are you going to try to decide where to do it over the next three months?

Stringer: No, I only say three months because announcements come in three months. Every decision doesn't take three months at Sony. It only seems like that. Actually, I know where I can get the money, and I have ideas where I can get the money. But we have to achieve a consensus in an organization about how to get to those numbers, and we need a review of where we stand.

The electronics company has had a very strong December. I haven't seen the rest of the organization's December yet. There are lots of different elements that enter into the equation before deciding how to get to that 5 percent. I go to Japan for a month starting next week. I made a promise to find a way to get to it.

Q: How does the electronics company fit into the big picture?

Stringer: The whole company, it's Sony United these days--I don't want to think of Sony United as separate P and L that ignore each other. That was part of the problem over the last three or four years. We are a shared environment today.

In the digital world one of the difficulties has been that one company can lose money so that another part of the company can make a lot of money. That's something that we've had to educate people about. That's the difference in the digital world. In the analog world, self-contained P[s] and Ls made sense. In a horizontal digital world, they don't.

For example, we have $4,000 projectors for movie theaters. Those are short-term expenses, but it saves $160 million for the movie company across studios. So, how do you make a decision on whether to go forward with the $4,000 projector with all the cost implications of a more sophisticated product? If you make it in the narrow analog decision P and L, you probably make a decision not to do it. But when you're going to save $150 million in another part of the company? You have to get the company used to the idea that the left hand can make the right hand money and vice versa, and that's part of the cultural change that Sony United represents.

You've all had a hundred discussions and thoughts about integration and convergence, but there is a certain inevitability now about content driving hardware sales. Talladega Nights was released with PS3 before its normal window of release in the video department. That's one part of Sony working very hard to the advantage of another part of Sony. We didn't do that before. We lived in separate worlds.

Q: What are some of the other cultural changes you've had to make?

Stringer: We still have software technology improvements that will make us competitive going forward in video players. We can't afford to let anyone else beat us in that market. So how we will use the PSP in the future is a huge opportunity.

We transformed the software technology development at Sony. We really do now have an integrated approach in the United States, Tokyo, and Sony Online Entertainment. Tim Schaff and Shimada-san [Keiichiro Shimada, president of the technology development group] from Tokyo are now in constant communication about software technology. There are a number of people in their 40s instead of their 50s and 60s. I don't mean to downplay age, but we are pushing Sony first past the digital world and, for example, now we have software architects in every product lineup. We didn't used to. I don't think everybody really knew what a software architect was two years ago. So now we have a relationship between software engineering and product design from the beginning of products.

You are going to say, "What took you so long?" and that's irrelevant. We are doing it. For the first time, particularly from the spring onwards, [for] the products coming into marketing, like the IPTV television, there's more and more understanding at Sony and in the content companies that working together is a big advantage for us that nobody else can manage.

Q: What are Sony's plans for Web 2.0?

Stringer: The first example is the IPTV opportunity. [Editors' note: At CES, Sony showed off a Bravia TV that can play content directly from select Internet sites.] Basically, we've made the television the center of the Internet world instead of the computer, by bypassing the computer and taking the Internet direct to that television screen. Now, there are a lot of implications for what that will do inside the television set. It's a sea change for Sony to be the first to do that because two years ago you were all muttering at us for being software illiterate.

Glasgow: We had to build the application layers of software to be able to put a module to connect to the Internet and stream content. All of that is 80 percent software controlled, and that includes streaming high-definition content, so we can stream high-definition movies through this, and that comes through cooperation with Sony Pictures. What we wanted to do is seed all of our televisions with the capability of having this but not burden the cost of a TV for those consumers who are not ready to adopt this extra option. That's why we did it as an optional module.

The content at this moment is free. There may be premium content in the future.

Stringer: Nothing is free. It's not free to us. If we put the movies from the studio on, as we did with Blu-ray, someone has to pay for it. In this case, it's an investment. We have the opportunity to use content to drive the success of hardware products--again, something that would not have been possible three, four years ago.

Q: What are the implications for IPTV for broadcasters? Is it going to spell trouble for them?

Stringer: That's very hard to say. Content is coming to you in every different direction in every different device. All devices with Wi-Fi can deliver content of one kind or another. The customer has to decide first what's convenient. We have to respect the integrity of copyright because we own a lot of copyright. We also have our brothers at our studios to figure out how to use the content most successfully. All we are really demonstrating is that we are no longer behind the curve; we are ahead. I think you have to keep enhancing technology to stay ahead.

The movie theater has to change to be attractive to the baby boomers and middle-aged customers. Young kids will probably always go dating in the movie theater. This year, the box office in the United States went up, so there's still demand for the movie experience.

Q: What do you think of the LG combo Blu-ray HD DVD player?

Stringer: It's an expensive way of showing universal discs. The three biggest box-office winners of this year were, in order: Sony, Disney, and Fox. Those are the three Blu-ray players. When you consider that those three successful studios will be delivering last year's successful box office in home video this year, then that's an enormous advantage. The fourth is Warner, and they release in both formats, so it doesn't hurt. If you are going to be buying discs, you are going to be buying an awful lot of Blu-ray discs going forward--if you want Pirates of the Caribbean or James Bond or Da Vinci Code or Spider-Man. Universal is the only one with HD DVD. I don't feel terribly intimidated.

Q: How far in the future are OLED TVs for Sony?

Glasgow: OLEDs are being produced right now in very small sizes. I think we'll probably be doing something in the next year.

Stringer: You really need to look at it because it is one of the few products that stops you in your tracks. It's so breathtakingly bright and clear and original and microscopically thin. Strangers stop in the street, stop by the booth all the time to look at it.

Q: But do you think by next year you can reach a level of price compared to other TVs?

Stringer: I think that's the issue. We showed it to you because we want to show you the promise. The reality is connected to price and availability and mass production because it's also a quite complex technology. But it is so beautiful we want people to see it. Excitement comes first, you know.

Q: What's the situation with LCD TV prices?

Glasgow: The best answer I can give you is that it's going to remain very challenging. We were able to compete over this holiday season effectively in LCD and not get into financial trouble and maintain No. 1 market share [in the US] in both dollars and in units. So we're just going to have to continue to come up with new systems and new ways of driving costs down.

We're going into a generation eight fab at the end of this coming year. That will give us tremendous economies going forward. Those are huge investments. Not many companies are doing that.

Q: When does it open?

Glasgow: It's been announced for September-October. It takes a couple of months for them to really ramp up production, and it's a joint venture with Samsung.

We've actually had increasing ASPs [average selling prices] in LCD year to year, because we're selling the highest screen sizes. We're not going after the lowest price points or the lowest possible size in LCD. We're trying to add the features to make it optimal for consumers. So we have a chance to be considerably better off financially by being that way.

Q: Could you give us an update on the Sony Reader?

Stringer: We are very happy with it. It's selling as fast as we can make it. We're not making enough. We've been very cautious in launching it because, as you know, it failed in Japan two years ago. This is a totally different version with totally different economics and software, and we understand that Amazon is also coming on with something in the relatively short term. So, we need to get a second reader out. We probably need a Wi-Fi component.

But we're very pleased that the acceptance from the consumer is unusually strong. I don't want to be a salesman, but people love the device. How many ultimately can be sold is a question mark. I think the next iteration will be the educational marketplace. We've sent some to England. I haven't heard back from the English publishers that I've sent them to, but clearly there is a component in the English-speaking world where you can stack so much educational content that kids can take [the entire content of] their whole [collection of] textbooks [in their Sony Reader].

We didn't go there [into education] at first because there was a lot of caution. A lot of my contemporaries in Japan weren't sure about this. This has been a peculiarly American dynamic. We're well aware of the potential publishing costs and paper costs, and it has a unique ecological advantage.

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Discussion

159 comments
EpidemicAHazard
EpidemicAHazard

I don't want to watch movies that look a little better on blue ray. I wanna be an ally sniping an axis from a 100 yards.

ricsuave
ricsuave

"mark_unix a couple of million Blu-Ray disks vs a couple of thousand HD-DVD. it's quite clear to me who has won already.." Me too. Regular DVD, that's who. Blu-Max will die a horrible death and HD-DVD may be right after them but in the end consumers will find that the format they have is just fine.

mark_unix
mark_unix

a couple of million Blu-Ray disks vs a couple of thousand HD-DVD. it's quite clear to me who has won already..

theKSMM
theKSMM

I'm expecting good things from the PlayStation 3 over it's lifespan. Hopefully the recognition that Sony needs to build an ecosystem that incorporates more of its products and technologies will lead to good innovations for us customers. The ability to deal with the same content (read games, music, or video) from the PS3 or PSP in a uniform way would make a compelling argument for having Sony devices. As far as Blu-Ray against HD-DVD, I suspect it will be a case of one side making a slip-up and giving the game to the other team. This seems more likely than one camp just beating the other into submission. So right now, it's far too early to call the "winner." One thing I think we forget on this site is that we're technology whores, and we make up a very small percentage of buyers. Joe and Jane Moviewatcher aren't going to spend $25 just to watch in high-def. The fact that one disc format has 15% more capacity than the other doesn't matter to the mainstream. The team that can get their discs into the bargain bin fastest will likely win those dollars.

NinjaMan130
NinjaMan130

ObiKKa How are you going to say that Sony doesn't give a crap about games for the PS3? Lets be real here, if your in the console business, its a givin that your going to care about the games your console is going to have. ------------------------------------------------------ Autolycus You bring up good points, but your points are only valid if your speaking in short term. Right now, yes its understandable that this new era of High Def DVD format is not cheap and the middle class people can't afford it. But thats how its always been with anything new and innovative, its expensive. They don't aim for the middle class; its aimed for the the higher class people who can afford the new tech, and for the tech savy who can't wait to get their hands on new gear. As time moves on, of course eventually manufacturing costs will decrease. Along with that, prices for the new tech will decrease and the middle class will start to get their hands on it. At this point, this will truely decide who will become the format victor because now most of the population will begin to purchase High Def DVD's and players; and to be quite honest Blu-ray looks to become the victor. Not because of its tech, because Blu-ray and HD-DVD specs are very similar with very few differences. The winning factor is going to be the studios that back up which ever format, and Blu-ray has 5 out of 8 of the major movie studios backing them up exclusively (Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate and MGM). Along with 2 others that are supporters of both (Warner, and Paramount). Also this will start the switch from DVD to High Def DVD's, as what happened with VHS to DVD (when prices went down, DVD was in). Some things you've said though that I totally disagree with is: 1) Of course movies are going to make a difference, most content out now on DVD's are movies. When people look to buy a DVD, 90% of the time its going to be a movie. 2) Big business' do understand how much each financial class makes. For them not to have a grasp on that is ridiculous. As a big business, that is a must thing to know. No big business is going to prosper with that not in mind. This post was not meant to be a bash, if somehow you take it that way. It is just my perspective on the matter.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

Sony is the true frontier for executives who only spout out rubbish words. But it feels as if this Howard Stringer guy gives out that feeling of calmness, which we haven't seen of Sony before. I've seen the photos of the Irish guy, of course. incredibilistic "Once Apple starts making Macs with Blu-Ray drives and Disney starts releasing classics like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Snow White" onto Blu-Ray,..." Well, I think I'd rather wait for the downloads and storing multiple movies on the futuristic holographic formats and/or that another format that I can't remember the name of. Cole2026 "Every corporation that is based in Japan and/or the United States cares only about money. You think Microsoft or Nintendo give a crap on if you like your console or enjoy playing it? No, they just want the cash. For you to say it's bad for a corporation to want money is to say it's bad for people to dress. Every corporation does not give a crap, not just Sony." God! I hate it when many people say it like that. Companies DOES give a crap about making money from the consumers who pay, because they, by basic nature, THRIVE on creating the desire in the people to buy their own products or services on a consistent basis if they're to stay as a business in the long term. However Sony doesn't give much crap about the games for the PS3, especially with most of their own first-party games (exceptions include the God of War series, LocoRoco, the above-average Wild Arms RPG series). On the other hand, Microsoft does give a crap about selling good to great games as well as other content to sell their own consoles.

Autolycus
Autolycus

Sorry what I meant to say was, any company that is stubborn and sticks with blu-ray (lets say if HD-DVD becomes the proven format, which is only outselling right now and is still too short term to see a winner). As I stated earlier, I personally, dont believe the movies are going to make the difference. The jump from DVD (480p) to HD-DVD(read high def, not hd-dvd format)(720p/1080i/1080p) just really isnt that important to NON tech heads. I dont ever need to purchase beauty and the beast in HIGH DEF, if i can get in in DVD(480p) for 10 dollars less. Also one of the largest differences between big business($ony(which got its name because they dont care about their consumers or their rights), m$(which got its name because it has a cr@p ton of money and people are jealous), disney, apple, etc) is that they dont really understand what the general, average income w/ kids family, has to spend. A 30 dollar movie(any high def movie) to ma and pa and jr is totally different then a 9.99 on sale or 14.99 regular DVD(non highdef). Especially for kids movies, because kids outgrow everything including wanting to watch cartoons all the time(just because a few of us watch em when they are on TV doesnt mean we cant go to sleep without watching it and throwing a hissy fit otherwise). So going to high def dvd from a standard of regular dvd is EXTREMELY different then going from VHS (analog display) to DVD(digital and 480p). The simple fact of the matter is, the movies dont play that big of a role. The price is the largest determing factor and I hope you can see that by now. (look into history about price compared to quality/technology). EXAMPLE, if core 2 duo's cheapest processor was 1200 bucks, do you think everyone and their mother would still want to purchase one? (The answer is no)

Cole2026
Cole2026

You know, I hear everyone screaming "look a fanboy!" when someone supports Sony. I'm sick of it too, because maybe Sony is, in fact, getting back on track. The Anti-Sony fanboys piss me off just as much as the Sony fanboys, if not more. Every corporation that is based in Japan and/or the United States cares only about money. You think Microsoft or Nintendo give a crap on if you like your console or enjoy playing it? No, they just want the cash. For you to say it's bad for a corporation to want money is to say it's bad for people to dress. Every corporation does not give a crap, not just Sony. Blu-Ray is a superior format, however. It has many more movie studios backing. HD-DVD does have some better picture quality, but that's because movie studios that back Blu-Ray are putting the files in there as MPEG2. That will eventually change as the technology is more manipulated and developed. I'm ready for the HoloDisc Please. :)

Mark_HD
Mark_HD

Yeah, EGM said the PS3's blu-ray player is good, and the HD-DVD add on for the Xbox 360 has bad image quality and SUCKS! By the way, my favorite movies are from Disney, Fox and Sony Pictures so blu-ray is the player for me, sayonara!

NinjaMan130
NinjaMan130

pencilpusher69 I would like to see the links of the sites you are claiming said those things. I have yet to see that. In this months EGM, they say the XBox360's HD-DVD player is one of the worst players out there and that the PS3's blu-ray is better. And people on here that complain Sony only talks about money sound ridiculous. Of course they are going to bring up money, they are an extremely big business, thats what they aim for. Also are we forgetting how Microsoft got the nickname M$? Not only that, this interview was mainly about their status and position in the industries they are involved in; and new innovations.

incredibilistic
incredibilistic

Autolycus makes some good points (check that, some great points) but the one about any company that's invested in the Blu-Ray technology being stupid is, well, a stupid comment to make. Disney, that owns ESPN, ABC, and other media companies is not a company I would call stupid. Apple, makers of the world changing iPod, Mac computers, and the upcoming iPhone is not a company I would call stupid. And yet both of these world renowned companies are supporting the Blu-Ray format......................EXCLUSIVELY!!! Yes, the Blu-Ray format is more expensive to develop for but Disney and Apple would be not be in bed with the technology if they cared about saving a few bucks. With the knowledge that the HD-DVD format is cheaper to develop for but still going with Blu-Ray has to encourage all the PS3 owners to feel a little better about their investment especially if one of the motivating factors of buying the PS3 was for Blu-Ray playback. Once Apple starts making Macs with Blu-Ray drives and Disney starts releasing classics like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Snow White" onto Blu-Ray, I believe this will, at the very least, give the Blu-Ray a lot more credibility over HD-DVD for being the preferred format of Disney.

G_W_X
G_W_X

Let me take this opportunity to say that I like that Nintendo makes consoles. I am now finished. Good luck with your PS3 Sony (I really mean that). But I am sorry I do not want it or ever will. I want a Wii and that my friends is just IT. bye.

Autolycus
Autolycus

i would agree with pencilpusher69. I've never seen one article, from very respectable places stating whatever you are trying to prove. There is a reason they say 80% of statistics are made up. I own a HD-DVD Player and I stare @ a ps3 all day long @ work. You sir, are full of it...but i understand, its part of the fanboy nature:)-----henry_the_horse @Junji-Hiroma Quad-layered Blu-ray 100 gb, sorry. If you do research and decide to post only truthful facts you'll learn that no matter what advancements take place with HD-DVD, Blu-ray will always have a disc that is larger. Simply because a blue laser is thinner than a red laser which HD-DVD uses. ----if you want to get technical why dont you do some research yourself. Both HD-DVD and BLU-RAY use the same lenses(and color). its the track spacing that makes the difference. The media can fit into a smaller distance and there for more tracks can be placed closer together(aka more storage space). Also because they fan fit more data into to the bandwidth of the laser, they can get a higher audio and video bandwidth. But considering the 36.55mb/s in HD-DVD is plenty, the higher rate doesnt really prove to be any benefit. All data is a microscopic bumps(on/off) switches on a flat surface/media that are picked up by the laser at unbelievable speeds.

pencilpusher69
pencilpusher69

gmayronne "the guy made some really good points, and the whole blu ray vs. hd dvd thing, i can tell you this, the blu ray player in the ps3 is really really good and easily compares with the 1000 dollar plus stand-alone players, and the hd dvd player for the 360 is a 200 dollar piece of garbage, ive seen movies run on both and there is simply NO comparison, blu ray blows it away" Funny, every major electronics magazine and website that have had side by side comparisons say the HD DVD image quality is better. In fact, you're the very first person I've seen make this claim that blu-ray is in fact "better".

gmayronne
gmayronne

the guy made some really good points, and the whole blu ray vs. hd dvd thing, i can tell you this, the blu ray player in the ps3 is really really good and easily compares with the 1000 dollar plus stand-alone players, and the hd dvd player for the 360 is a 200 dollar piece of garbage, ive seen movies run on both and there is simply NO comparison, blu ray blows it away

mahjustin
mahjustin

@ragin_massaih Yeah, but when Nintendo talks about making money and profit off of us, it means that they are smart, whereas everyone who talks about it are money grubbers. Ninty fanboys fail with their double standards. "Yet more proof Sony are just money grabbing B@stards Not once does he ever mention Sony's goals as "we want the gamer to enjoy games even more" etc, or whatever. It always just MONEY MONEY MONEY!! GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE!! I hope they die this year! Total BULL! "

nikefreak
nikefreak

"This is pretty cool stuff. i like reading about the business aspect of all this isht. Ya'll fools can learn something from this. " You mean you like being toyed with by a company exec, touting even yet more numbers while comparing apples to oranges (Sold vs Shipped, just to make it look more in Sonys favor)... Personally, I am sick of reading more and more of Sonys spin-doctors PR nonsense.

henry_the_horse
henry_the_horse

@Junji-Hiroma Quad-layered Blu-ray 100 gb, sorry. If you do research and decide to post only truthful facts you'll learn that no matter what advancements take place with HD-DVD, Blu-ray will always have a disc that is larger. Simply because a blue laser is thinner than a red laser which HD-DVD uses.

jackfatal
jackfatal

porn industry did not support HD dvd! they simply did not get the permission to produce there nasty movies in the blue ray dics! although i like that nasty movies;)!

dQuarters
dQuarters

Howard kinda looks like General Raam! Yay. More fanboy fodder.

ragin_massaih
ragin_massaih

Yet more proof Sony are just money grabbing B@stards Not once does he ever mention Sony's goals as "we want the gamer to enjoy games even more" etc, or whatever. It always just MONEY MONEY MONEY!! GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE!! I hope they die this year! Total BULL!

Darkrider1013
Darkrider1013

Autolycus may have created a novel, but he has 2 extremely good points. BETAMAX: it was a higher res video output, and a "superior format." but sony could not justify why people and production/film companies needed to pay more when VHS was dirt cheep. I think that there are also 3 BIG statements that worry me about the prospects of Blu-Ray, as said by Mr. Howard Stringer "I did read all the HD DVD excitement, but I think they sold 60,000 discs, and we actually put out a million." Even if that number is correct, it is sold. so that is not disk that were packed in with a console, and that is not discs that are sitting in a warehouse or retail store. that is discs that people have, and watch. Also "Secondly, there now are 1 million Blu-ray players in the market, and each of those in the United States has a Blu-ray disc because we put Talladega Nights inside. I'd say 90 percent of the people who [own] PS3s are playing that Blu-ray disc on it or playing other Blu-ray discs on it." Mr. Stringer continues with " we've now reached a million PlayStations shipped to the United States, as ultimately promised." so if this is true, there are on 1 million players in the market, Is the PS3 a blu-ray player. also where is there disc sold count. There can only be one format, just like the Beta Vs VHS, there will be one that will fall short. and going by track record, 8 tracks and Beta tapes were higher quality and a huge techical success, the higher cost made it a consumer failure, and what will kill a product. That said, just wait. Buy a PS3 for the games, because a standard will emerge so that everyone can enjoy any movie they want on one High Def Player.

SocaWarrior
SocaWarrior

This is pretty cool stuff. i like reading about the business aspect of all this isht. Ya'll fools can learn something from this.

Junji-Hiroma
Junji-Hiroma

Triple Layer HD-DVD (Toshiba) = 51GB Blu-Ray (Sony) = 50GB Triple Layer HD-DVD beats Blu-Ray in Size Avantage by 1GB. TrueHD = Should Be the Ult. Format If One Format Fails.

Autolycus
Autolycus

oh and one more then HD-dVD encryption has been cracked. And even though this may seem stupid to you, people buy hackable media formats over non hackable media formats. You might not believe me, but you'll be hard pressed to prove it wrong.

Autolycus
Autolycus

There are plenty of good points made throughout the latest posts. Some that I noticed are -----OldWiseBob One thing I've seen in alot of posts is that if lots of people (Let's say millions) buy a PS3, then blue-ray automatically wins the format so-called wars. Um... just because alot of people have the equipment to play a blue-ray disc, doesn't necessarily mean they are going to play blue-ray discs.------epormada Where do you guys get your info????? HD-DVD is an upgrade from DVD saving movie studio's millions of dollars in manufactering equipment from the completely different machines required to do blu-ray. HD-DVD IS CHEAPER TO PRODUCE THIS IS WHY IT HAS MORE SUPPORT FROM STUDIO'S AND IS THE LEADER IN MARKET SHARE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!! GEEZ!!!!! -----draarrowgant Blu vs HD: http://www.pcauthority.com.au/news.aspx?CIaNID=44219----Someone earlier used that Sony has 2 million units sold. For the record, that means sold to the stores/warehouses. That doesnt even come close to what is in peoples hands. Around here the PS3 has bene in stock @ best buy, target, walmart, and of course gamestop(where i have worked for 10 years). So obviously they arent selling. But for the sake of arguement someone said that even if 20%-25% of the PS3 where's purchasing blue ray, that would be 100,000 +. Okay great, lets use the same thing for MS. If you are going to fudge your numbers to try and prove a point 20%-25% of 10.5 million is 2.1 million units. Since you magically pulled that number out of your arse it certainly isnt going to help compairing quantity sold to stores for both systems. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Blu-Ray is the neater technology. I dont disput that, but business are in business to make money. Now how are they supposed to generate a higher NET profit(after cost and marketing, etc) if they have to pay $2.00 in royalty fees for EVERY COPY of a movie the produce. HD-DVD only costs about $0.03 per copy. Any business person who is stubborn and keeps choosing the path of blu-ray is flat out, stupid. THe point of being in business it to make money. Its not to get fans(Though any fanboy for any system would love to think they are cared for, but they arent). Point being, Blu-Ray Disc(BD) can be the most sophisticatted hardware out there. It doesnt mean its going to sell the best. And for the record BETA produced a better qualitiy picture/signal then VHS(look it up before you try to argue it). Also, most people in here are from a certain generation. You forget, or are simply not able to understand, the older generations. THey have a different mind set because they've had to live through different technology changes(computers werent used much in the work place 25 years ago). HD-DVD has lower productions costs, which means lower prices to the customer. They both produce the same image quality(1920x1080) aka 1080p. And the STAND ALONE unit cost is much lower on HD-DVD. If poeple cant find the movie in HD-DVD they'll just purchase it in regular DVD, so the titles dont really matter. Its just the industry tryin to bone the consumer, yet again. PS SOrry for the book

azuroc
azuroc

I know that its difficult to believe, but HD and BR can share the market. Afterall, we do have 3 seperate consoles sharing the market currently for video games. Why can't there be 2 entities sharing the market with DVD? Also, I would say that a lot of this fanboy ranting comes from fear, fear of choosing one and investing in a failed product. There's still a chance that the market could embrace both. With the history of home movie media devices, this looks frighteningly unlikely. Being that as a consumer, we are forced to purchase a Blu-Ray player included in the PS3, HDDVD is more of a risk for us as gamers. Any X360 owner has a choice. With that choice comes less obligation to support. Every PS3 owner on this comment board HAS a Blu-Ray player. I can guarantee that not every X360 owner has a HDDVD player. On the other hand, I think a lot of people on this board that support Sony don't even own a PS3. The price is right now, and they're available, buy it, especially if you spend so much time on here supporting Sony's next DVD format. As a matter of fact: I THINK THAT IF EVERYONE HERE WOULD STOP TALKING AND GO OUT AND ACTUALLY SUPPORT THE COMPANY THAT THEY SO OFTEN TALK UP (MEANING GO BUY AN HDDVD PLAYER, OR A PS3), WE WOULDN'T HAVE ALL OF THIS UNNECESSARY BANTER. THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT YOUR COMPANY IS TO BUY THEIR PRODUCT.

casshern
casshern

@ PixyMisao I think he was talking about the media in general, so many people made their points of view about the ps3 launch that there were many types of reactions.

ldonyo
ldonyo

Now I can see where Sony's utter contempt of its customers comes from and why I will never own a Sony product.

Tiefster
Tiefster

Atleast Stringer isn't totally mad.

OldWiseBob
OldWiseBob

One thing I've seen in alot of posts is that if lots of people (Let's say millions) buy a PS3, then blue-ray automatically wins the format so-called wars. Um... just because alot of people have the equipment to play a blue-ray disc, doesn't necessarily mean they are going to play blue-ray discs. Of course, you really don't know which format will come out on top.

diangelogrey
diangelogrey

Is it just me or did he seem to have a disdain for the media and also the consumer?

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

Wow, TV being connected to the web sounds cool. My 45inch HDTV with dual HDMI ports, which is Sharp Aquos is not that feature packed, but hey, it produces good pictures at less than 2500$.

YoYo_Bridget
YoYo_Bridget

"niteowl74 Did anyone notice he stated "they've sold 600,000 discs, and we've shipped a million" I thought selling and shipping are 2 different things. I'm not going to get into the middle of the format war even though the 360 hd-dvd player looks like a deal, but the adult film industry just backed hd-dvd. So I guess we'll have to see what happens." Well, here's how it works. When a company ships a product, stores have to buy it from the company. So when Sony says they have shipped 1m PS3's, it also means they have sold 1m. Now, that is different from selling them into the channel, and getting the installed base up...but that's a different story for a different day. But all companies do that. Even Microsoft and Nintendo. Nintendo usually tries to give the "sold to consumers" numbers rather than shipped numbers. But Microsoft also did that. In September or October(can't remember) they announced that they had sold 6million 360's. At the end of the year, they said there were 10m 360's. But that doesn't mean there is an installed base of 10m, that just means that's how many they have shipped to the U.S. The installed base is probably around 6-8million. Maybe more. But ever wonder why there's SO MANY 360's at Best Buy or Target? Cause Microsoft is shipping them like crazy. And the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray war will be interesting. While HD-DVD has Universal, the adult industry, and companies that are doing both formats backing it....Blu-Ray has more movie companies backing SOLELY Blu-Ray... But Blu-Ray also has another allie among it. Apple. I know many people here on Gamespot hate Macs or just Apple in general, Apple's influence is VERY GREAT. Ipod is the best selling Mp3 player out there. Why? The marketing. And believe it or not...but LOTS of people buy Macs. They are used more in professional business's, like Graphic Design firms, lots of office jobs, printing places, etc. So having Apple on Blu-Ray's side will help that format IMMENSELY. But the porn industry did back the DVD format, and that did help. It will be interesting to say the least...but we shall see.

thekey
thekey

I think Howard Stringer is the problem with sony.

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

"You all know about the [PlayStation] delays because you all covered that thoughtfully and elegantly and unkindly" One cannot be thoughtful and unkind at the same time, what childish banter from someone who rolls his cigars in hundred dollar bills.

SithProphet
SithProphet

Please tell me that someone else noticed that all they care about is blue-ray. It is there bread and butter. They could care less about games. If blue ray wins they no longer need to make consoles because the next gen will have blue ray drives and they will reap huge benifits from every movie and game sold. I could care less about thet companies. I just want good games from companies that care about gamers. As in not Sony. Sometimes not microsoft, even though I love my xbox and they have been doing better in the customer front. Nintendo is always about good games so they don't even count anymore, they will always be there.

niteowl74
niteowl74

Did anyone notice he stated "they've sold 600,000 discs, and we've shipped a million" I thought selling and shipping are 2 different things. I'm not going to get into the middle of the format war even though the 360 hd-dvd player looks like a deal, but the adult film industry just backed hd-dvd. So I guess we'll have to see what happens.

Ansem_Rev
Ansem_Rev

Sony ... Wow Sony... This is me buying a ps3... *purchase ps3* *play for 2 minutes* *turn on my xbox 360* end...

Bathyj
Bathyj

epormada Where do we get our info? Umm, from the article above. Didn't you read it? Br has the most support and it has the best support. You are correct but, that HD-DVD is cheaper because it uses the same machines to make. Just like going from GC - Wii is cheaper than going from XB1 - X360 or PS2 - PS3. But which do you think is the bigger leap technilogically? Anyway I dont really care about the so called "Format War" but I think BR will do better since every PS3 sold is a BR player in the house.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I don't mind the Blue-Ray format, but PS3 seems like it lacks in terms of gaming which is what I would buy the system for if I were to get it. The only good news ive heard about it so far is that it's available on shelves easily from not selling...

Bathyj
Bathyj

Is it LG making the hybrid player? That just turned me off. I have a LG DVD recorder and its crap. Everything skips on it, even movies with no marks on the disk and some times even stuff I've just recorded with it. Maybe a recorder with a hard Drive that then burns to DVD is more reliable since mine burns to DVD on the fly as you're recording.

darendt69
darendt69

The Samsung Blu-ray player has been out for awhile now, and has sold at least a million units, now there are panasonic, Pioneer and Sony as well. The blu-ray camp does have the most studios backing it, also the best studios, and now that the PS3 is selling the format will take off. Think of it like this. When I started building my DVD collection I only bought widescreen DVD because I new that for one it was a better image quality due to no cropping, but also because widescreen tvs would be affordable someday and I would be ready. Same goes for Blu-ray. Just because you dont have a 1080P tv yet, chances are you will within 5 years. Why would you continue to buy dvds and blow them up (up-convert) when you can watch your Blu-ray discs at a lower resolution. Picture quality will be better on BD compared to DVD regardless of resolution. LG can make ther hybrid drive all they like, It would still have to cost as much as a blu-ray player, so why not just get the Blu-ray. Oh and apparently the point about the PS3 only using 20-25% of the Cell bandwidth right now got overlooked. That IMO is huge if true. The games already look as good as most second gen games for the 360. The PS3 will start to pull ahead with its second round of game releases.

laez
laez

Dic_Dasterdly Im only adding my two cents about the format wars. Most of you on here are wrong. Blue-ray only has sony, fox and Disney and HD-DVD has Universal and Paramont. As for any other studio who may support one or the other, they dont matter as much, those 5 are the big dogs. WB supports both. Now, if WB gets their way with the THD disk, the whole thing may just be over. Most people are like me and dont want to choose a side yet. But if I can by a movie and play it on any player then Im all for it. Oh, one last thing. Even if there are 2million PS3s in NA and japan, there are not 2million in households. Do people forget that MS launched a HD-DVD player. Even if only 1 out of every 10 360 owners bought one, thats still over a million new HD-DVD players in the market. This format war may never end. . . . No, you are incorrect. Paramount also supports both formats. Universal is the ONLY exclusive for HDDVD. Paramount have already released 22 tiltes for Blu-ray. Need to get your stuff together =D