What went wrong with Sony?

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  1. thermal

    thermal Well-Known Member

    When I was a teenager, the Sony Walkman was the must-have gadget. Sony products were very highly regarded. I remember walking by a high-end electronics store and seeing the first Trinitron flat screen TV's; they made our jaws drop. If you got a Sony product for Christmas, you hit the jackpot.

    Now I read that Sony hasn't made a profit in four years, and that its debt has been reduced to junk status.

    Fitch downgrades Sony, Panasonic to junk - Nov. 22, 2012

    What went wrong? I often hear about the strong Yen, but surely there must be more to it than that?

  2. ajdroidx

    ajdroidx Well-Known Member

    Root kit, probably one.

    iPod another.

    Proprietary hardware, storage. another.

    Other options out there as well.
  3. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

  4. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    apple and sony.. are doing the same thing...

    sony is feeling the market make its choice. apple may soon see the same ..
  5. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Sony used to make better quality stuff...and you paid more. Now their products are the same as everyone else's, but they still want to charge more for the Sony name. People caught on. Sony doesn't carry the same cache that it used to.

    It's a shame, Sony used to be a great company.
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Blame him....

    Sony without Akio Morita is probably like Apple without Steve jobs.
  7. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member

    Lots of things went wrong. Yeah Sony was like a Mercedes in the world of technology. I remember one of my friend who's family was pretty rich back in 90s had everything Sony.. Tvs, sound system, portable players, camcorders,cameras, vcrs and etc.

    Looks like apple is going the same way..
  8. Wilkas

    Wilkas Well-Known Member

  9. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    Interesting article, but I disagree with a lot of it. For one, if a device maker can't succeed today, explain Samsung. For another, the xbox is not "the dominant" games console. If anything it might have a slight edge, more like even, really.
  10. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    it may have started when they made cheaper versions of previous stuff before a new release. (PS1 slim, PS2 slim, PS3 slim) that were inferior quality and was some sneaky way to get us to upgrade when a new item was released. it seems they 'slimmify' their last item (DVD, Blu Ray, PlayStation) before they release an upgrade, likely a year or so before. they think that if the item breaks the user is going to buy the new replacement. but after three PS3s did the Yellow Light of Death failure, at a cost of $249 per unit, I decided to stick with Xbox. I still like Sony's consumer items, such as clock radios, stereos and such, at least they seem well made enough. but they hardly have any products unique to their line. they got Blu Ray, which won over HD-DVD (unlike their previous attempt with Betamax vs. VHS in the 80s) but that's pretty much it. everything else is common everyday stuff (TVs, game consoles, stereos) and nothing inherently unique like the Walkman or Discman were in their day. my first CD player was a Sony Discman.

    ever notice the prices of Sony products is getting lower? they no longer have the preference of the higher end part of the consumer market the way Bose still does today.

    then you got the problem with trying to support too many products at a time. the PlayStation Vita for example. it's sadly going the way the Nokia N-Gage did in the early 2000s, with a great launch but no support later on, and it still has very few games available. Sony is trying to single-handedly support the PlayStation 3, Vita, and now they are focusing on the PlayStation 4 so much they can't keep up. it's also a problem that caused Sega to get out of consoles. Sega had great consoles, the Saturn and Dreamcast, but failed to follow through in the end, much like Sony is going with the Vita.
  11. Bexy

    Bexy Well-Known Member

    Have to agree with Gmash's comment. Sony were class! They made premium products, that yes were at a premium price but now..... :S. Don't get me wrong, I still like Sony but, their laptops aren't as great as they once used to be and they still want a premium price for their products. As it happens, I do have a Sony laptop, as does my partner and we both looked at other laptops but, it had to be Sony but, definitely can see the difference in quality to what it used to be.
    Gmash likes this.
  12. Wilkas

    Wilkas Well-Known Member

    I agree with you, I just found the article interesting if not fully correct.
  13. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member

    Any color you like ;)
  14. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member

    I wouldn't blame Sony's downfall due to DRM, lock-in, or other "Apple-like" behavior. They were doing this for decades with impunity. Likewise for marking up their products due to the good brand name they established.

    I think the beginning of the downfall started with the Playstation 3. They incorrectly assumed that the PS3 would do well simply because the PS2 did well. At the time, the blu-ray format was at its infancy. To get the full benefit of blu-ray's resolution, one needed not only the player, but a 1080p TV, which was not cheap. Not to mention that people were upset that they'd have to repurchase movies they already owned on DVD.

    Sony chose to "future proof" the PS3 by bundling a blu-ray player into it. Because blu-ray was so new, the cost to produce them was high. PS3 was priced high, even though according to Sony, they priced them at cost. Even though XBox didn't offer out of the box HD movie playback (they had an add-on HD-DVD drive), the gaming console was priced lower than PS3, and people FLOCKED to the xbox. Clearly consumers were not as brand-loyal as Sony anticipated.

    The walkman brand was a thing of the past once iPod became the new standard. Apple struck a deal with the music labels and provided the iTunes store as an easy way to fill those iPods with music. Suddenly, just having a good hardware mp3 player wasn't enough to compete.

    That means Sony's final stronghold was the HDTV. But Samsung slowly but surely made a name for itself by cranking out very high quality TV screens at a fraction of Sony's prices. Eventually, Samsung TVs became the gold standard for a quality LCD HDTV. And now that Samsung has further enhanced its brand with its Galaxy-line phones, Sony has nothing that really stands out anymore.

    TLDR: it's not due to DRM or lock-in. It was because the PS3 flopped, and other companies produced either superior products, or comparable products at lower price.
  15. Gmash

    Gmash Well-Known Member

    On a cumulative basis, Nintendo is still the king of the current console generation, with 95 million Wiis sold worldwide, compared with 66 million Xbox 360 for Microsoft and 62 million Ps3s for Sony.

    Those numbers are a little old, but the PS3 has been far from a flop, especially considering the 360 had a big head start.

    Xbox 360 tops Wii and PS3 for 1st time in yearly global sales - GeekWire
  16. Wilkas

    Wilkas Well-Known Member

    The amount the console sells is only half the story though as usually there isn't much profit in the hardware. You then have the peripherals like Kinect and Move plus the DLC which Microsoft does really well on, I think if it wasn't for Xbox live being so successful they probably wouldn't bother.

    Will be interesting to see what comes next from Sony as Microsoft is rumoured to be releasing a cut price set top box with Kinect integrated for the next version, think the days of the traditional console are numbered.
  17. Shinji01

    Shinji01 Well-Known Member

    i agree that sony with out Morita is apple with out Jobs.
    The company skimped on the creative people and started hiring too many "smart" but not creative people and did not develop new products.
    Also they expanded into too much stuff. banks, cosmetics, internet services etc etc.
  18. Skyroket

    Skyroket Well-Known Member

    Im not sure but their camera department just weird. They make one of the most expensive cameras with so many unique features but yet fell behind Canon and Nikon. They make everything non traditional way.. Tilt screen have awkward rotation, developed some sort of translucent mirrors, electronic view finders, Insanely complex menus with words you have to find in the dictionary or online.
  19. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I'm sure Sony was never really a camera-maker, not in the traditional sense, like Nikon, Pentax or Canon. Think they bought the camera business from Kyocera or somebody, that wasn't doing too well. Sony branded SLR cameras is a fairly recent thing. They've always done really good consumer and professional video/TV cameras though.
  20. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    From my POV Sony's decline started when then-chairman Akio Morita co-wrote a highly political and far-right leaning book entitled "The Japan That Can Say No". It may be coincidence, but around the time that Morita told the world about his protectionist ideals and disdain for their largest market, the US, Sony products sold in the US started to get really cheap and flimsy.

    At the time I was working in television broadcasting, and was shocked by how crappy our newest Sony equipment was. I have less experience with Sony consumer electronics, but heard from others that Sony was doing the same thing in that market.

    Needless to say, the racist and imperialist rhetoric that was all too reminiscent of Axis times, coming from the country that had to be stopped with the atom bomb was a major cause for concern. Thankfully Morita's political career went nowhere, and now he's dead.

    One thing that we Americans should be aware of is that most Japanese businesses that export to the US and Europe make two different versions of the same products. One version is made in Japan, by Japanese workers and for Japanese consumers. The other version is made in whatever country (currently China) that can make them as cheaply as possible.

    When it comes to Sony's stock value I have no opinion. It will be interesting to see how Japan's unique business system deals with a possible foreign takeover. My guess is that Sony isn't in any real peril, and that they'll be around for a long time to come. It's like how Hollywood movies make huge profits, but on paper they appear to be in the red. They're just playing the system.
  21. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    The camera is still 4/3 isn't it? Plus for some, Sony didn't have a full frame camera (does now). Canon and Nikon do, and the lenses are interchangeable with the D series. Which means you can get a full frame system piecemeal if you want one. Snob/professional category.

    I thought they bought Konica/Minolta.

    Sony bought some sound editing software that I owned. I paid for the MP3 codec, changed computers, codec and software no longer working. Since I bought software under Soundforge name, Sony would do nothing even thought I had license, receipt, etc.

    I did like the PDAs though. I still have 2 working Clies and software. (Pre DRM, probably why they worked so well.)
  22. Liamo_210

    Liamo_210 Well-Known Member

    They go greedy is what i think. They charge more for average products
  23. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Actually Mercedes are the Mercedes of technology ;)
    Speed Daemon likes this.
  24. wyndslash

    wyndslash Well-Known Member

    my non-american perspective on that would be that there may be more Japanese consumers willing to pay more for Japanese-made, quality products.

    Other consumers in other parts of the world just want high-quality yet cheap products. No such thing.
  25. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Well-Known Member Contributor

    The PlayStation 3 was meant to have a ten year lifecycle, but seems to have been abandoned along with its PS Vita portable sibling lately, and games never seem to take advantage of the tri-core cell processor at all, thus making it seem graphically inferior. It's Move controller is an obvious ripoff of the Wiimote, but more easily broken due to the cheaply constructed plastic ball on the end of the remote. Around here the Wii is dead. They're selling at $69 or less. Far below MSRP due to the lack of demand. The 3DS is a bomb in my area as well

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