Sony CEO speaks out

I’ve sort of been wondering what would happen at Sony now that Howard Stringer, a western non-engineer, is CEO. Today’s news has not enlightened me. Let’s analyze it bit by bit, shall we?

‘We have an HD value chain that no one else in the business has,’ Stringer said.

It starts with cameras and goes through projectors and television sets and ends up with the PS3. You can see an HD necklace with all the pearls connected.’

OK, unfortunate imagery there.

“Owning the content as we do is all of a sudden part of an integrated relationship with the device. Each understands the value of the other. And that is what makes Sony so unique, since we make them both. More and more, you will see Sony’s fully integrated HD strategy,” he added.

Um. Is that clumsily phrased or bad writing or both? In any case, wasn’t Microsoft the one with the HD strategy? I’m confused now. Oh, and ‘all of a sudden’ makes it sound like he just noticed this.

Discussing the company’s attempts to cement Blu-Ray as the industry standard for next generation DVD production, Stringer commented on the technological benefits in comparison to the rival HD-DVD format.

“If you are going to take the DVD to the next generation, the customer experience better be more exotic. So, Blu-Ray offers far more capacity and the potential for 3G and interactivity. The Blu-ray package has greater selling power than transitional technology,” Stringer stated.

3G? The mobile phone technology? Interactivity? Isn’t that one of the key selling points of HD-DVD? (“HD DVD discs will offer greater interactivity using iHD technology“). Sure sounds exotic to me.

Anyway, the punch line is fantastic:

Stringer appears convinced of a victory for Sony in the next generation battle, ending the interview by stating boldly: “Innovation and quality will win the day. Eventually consumers are going to want devices that play everything and everybody’s content in the end. And the customer is king. So, I have no doubt that Sony will prevail.” (emphasis is mine)

Are we talking about the company that only recently embraced MP3, after having clung to it’s own proprietary ATRAC format for years? The company that installs malware on their customers’ PCs? (And gets up to other DRM hi-jinx.) The company that owns two major Hollywood studios – studios that (together with all the others) are trying as hard as they can to restrict what people can play?

Is this going to require another clarification?

(Via Eurogamer.)

Update: More interpretations of the words of Stringer via Kotaku.

Uodate: The Sony malware story continues here.