CES 2013: Sony CEO Stays Committed to Content
Alex Pham (@AlexPham), Las Vegas
“We are not selling” those properties, said Hirai, who formally took the reins of the Japanese media and technology company nine months ago from Howard Stringer.
Hirai, who cut his teeth in the company’s U.S. music and games divisions before rising to the top rung in Tokyo, said Sony continues to believe in the synergies between content, services and devices.
Sony for instance unveiled at its CES press conference a new service that will deliver ultra-high resolution 4K video to consumers whichwill include many of its own titles from Sony Pictures, Hirai said. Right now, most in-home high-definition content, including Blu-ray, is 1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 pixels high. In theaters, however, high-quality screens boast four time that resolution with 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, or commonly referred to as 4K.
Hirai said Sony wants to own the 4K ecosystem – from content creation, to theater distribution to at-home streaming and sales. It’s also feeding professional filmmakers at its studios and elsewhere, as well as consumer enthusiasts, with 4K video cameras. Being able to push 4K at everypoint along the chain gives Sony an advantage, Hirai told a handful of reporters following the company’s Las Vegas press conference.
The 4K mantra remains one of Sony’s three core themes as it embarks on a painful path to restructure its massive bulk, downsizing some businesses and shuttering others. The company, for example, in October announced it was shuttering a plant that makes optical lenses and mobile phones. Sony also is buying more components from outside suppliers. The company, which lost $5.7 billion its last fiscal year ended March 31, said it is on target to return its battered television business within the year.
Hirai said Sony will narrow its focus on digital imaging, mobile and games. But that doesn’t mean the company is giving up on all other business units, he said.