Incoming Sony CEO: Hot gadgets aren't enough anymore

Sony CEO-to-be Kazuo Hirai says hardware is still important, but the company must focus on content, services

Sony's new CEO says the company needs to move on from its hardware roots.

From its inception, the company has defined itself through its brightly named gadget lines - Walkman, Vaio, Cyber-shot, PlayStation - but incoming CEO Kazuo Hirai says Sony must now focus more on the software and platforms they access. Hirai, who will officially lead the company from April, spoke to reporters at Sony headquarters in central Tokyo.

"Everybody talks about 'Sony-like, Sony-esque' products, which is fine, and that's very important, but more important than that is for me to evolve the company," he said. "We can turn this company, that traditionally was a purveyor of hardware, into something bigger than that."

Hirai, who first joined Sony in 1984, said physical products are just one part of the users experience, which is equally dependent on software, content and network connectivity. He said he wants to model the company after its successful PlayStation gaming business, which he helped turn around, where "hardware drives software, and software drives hardware, and it's all tied in by the network."

The executive will take over from current CEO Howard Stringer as the company faces nearly $US3 billion in losses in the current fiscal year, with its core consumer product division deeply in the red due in large part to its struggling TV business.

Hirai has repeatedly said he will not abandon televisions, but has slashed sales targets and moved to outsource production of key components in an effort to turn the business around in the next two years.

Sony is looking to leverage its large in-house video game, movie and music holdings through efforts like its Sony Entertainment Network and PlayStation Certified program, which aim to make the content available on its myriad of devices.

The company's entertainment holdings are a rare asset among electronics companies, though rivals like Apple and Amazon long ago negotiated to sell impressive libraries of their own.

Despite the new focus, he said the company would continue to put effort into compelling new gadgetry, and has some potential hit products in the works.

"We have stuff in the pipeline," he said. "But I'm not going to share."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?