Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社 Sonī Kabushiki Kaisha, /ˈsoʊni/ SOH-nee, stylized as SONY) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.
Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group (ソニー・グループ Sonī Gurūpu), which is engaged in business through its four operating components: electronics (AV, IT & communication products, semiconductors, video games, network services and medical business), motion pictures (movies and TV shows), music (record labels and music publishing) and financial services (banking and insurance). These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. The group consists of Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures, Sony Mobile, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Financial Holdings, and others.
Sony's Headquarters Complex at Sony City in Minato, Tokyo
|Sony Kabushiki Kaisha|
|Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo KK (1946-1957)|
|Founded||7 May 1946|
Nihonbashi, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan
(President and CEO)
|¥712.7 billion (2017)[* 1]|
|¥507.6 billion (2017)[* 1]|
|Total assets||¥19.065 trillion (2018)|
|Total equity||¥2.897 trillion (2017)[* 1]|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||List of subsidiaries|
|Footnotes / references|
Sony began in the wake of World War II. In 1946, Masaru Ibuka started an electronics shop in a department store building in Tokyo. The company started with a capital of ¥190,000 and a total of eight employees. In May 1946, Ibuka was joined by Akio Morita to establish a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (東京通信工業 Tōkyō Tsūshin Kōgyō) (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation). The company built Japan's first tape recorder, called the Type-G. In 1958, the company changed its name to "Sony".
When Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was looking for a romanized name to use to market themselves, they strongly considered using their initials, TTK. The primary reason they did not is that the railway company Tokyo Kyuko was known as TTK. The company occasionally used the acronym "Totsuko" in Japan, but during his visit to the United States, Morita discovered that Americans had trouble pronouncing that name. Another early name that was tried out for a while was "Tokyo Teletech" until Akio Morita discovered that there was an American company already using Teletech as a brand name.
The name "Sony" was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words: one was the Latin word "sonus", which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was "sonny", a common slang term used in 1950s America to call a young boy. In 1950s Japan, "sonny boys" was a loan word in Japanese, which connoted smart and presentable young men, which Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka considered themselves to be.
At the time of the change, it was extremely unusual for a Japanese company to use Roman letters to spell its name instead of writing it in kanji. The move was not without opposition: TTK's principal bank at the time, Mitsui, had strong feelings about the name. They pushed for a name such as Sony Electronic Industries, or Sony Teletech. Akio Morita was firm, however, as he did not want the company name tied to any particular industry. Eventually, both Ibuka and Mitsui Bank's chairman gave their approval.
According to Schiffer, Sony's TR-63 radio "cracked open the U.S. market and launched the new industry of consumer microelectronics." By the mid-1950s, American teens had begun buying portable transistor radios in huge numbers, helping to propel the fledgling industry from an estimated 100,000 units in 1955 to 5 million units by the end of 1968.
Sony co-founder Akio Morita founded Sony Corporation of America in 1960. In the process, he was struck by the mobility of employees between American companies, which was unheard of in Japan at that time. When he returned to Japan, he encouraged experienced, middle-aged employees of other companies to reevaluate their careers and consider joining Sony. The company filled many positions in this manner, and inspired other Japanese companies to do the same. Moreover, Sony played a major role in the development of Japan as a powerful exporter during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. It also helped to significantly improve American perceptions of "made in Japan" products. Known for its production quality, Sony was able to charge above-market prices for its consumer electronics and resisted lowering prices.
In 1971, Masaru Ibuka handed the position of president over to his co-founder Akio Morita. Sony began a life insurance company in 1979, one of its many peripheral businesses. Amid a global recession in the early 1980s, electronics sales dropped and the company was forced to cut prices. Sony's profits fell sharply. "It's over for Sony," one analyst concluded. "The company's best days are behind it." Around that time, Norio Ohga took up the role of president. He encouraged the development of the Compact Disc in the 1970s and 1980s, and of the PlayStation in the early 1990s. Ohga went on to purchase CBS Records in 1988 and Columbia Pictures in 1989, greatly expanding Sony's media presence. Ohga would succeed Morita as chief executive officer in 1989. Under the vision of co-founder Akio Morita and his successors, the company had aggressively expanded into new businesses. Part of its motivation for doing so was the pursuit of "convergence," linking film, music and digital electronics via the Internet. This expansion proved unrewarding and unprofitable, threatening Sony's ability to charge a premium on its products as well as its brand name. In 2005, Howard Stringer replaced Nobuyuki Idei as chief executive officer, marking the first time that a foreigner had run a major Japanese electronics firm. Stringer helped to reinvigorate the company's struggling media businesses, encouraging blockbusters such as Spider-Man while cutting 9,000 jobs. He hoped to sell off peripheral business and focus the company again on electronics. Furthermore, he aimed to increase cooperation between business units, which he described as "silos" operating in isolation from one another. In a bid to provide a unified brand for its global operations, Sony introduced a slogan known as "make.believe" in 2009.
Despite some successes, the company faced continued struggles in the mid- to late-2000s. In 2012, Kazuo Hirai was promoted to president and CEO, replacing Stringer. Shortly thereafter, Hirai outlined his company-wide initiative, named "One Sony" to revive Sony from years of financial losses and bureaucratic management structure, which proved difficult for former CEO Stringer to accomplish, partly due to differences in business culture and native languages between Stringer and some of Sony's Japanese divisions and subsidiaries. Hirai outlined three major areas of focus for Sony's electronics business, which include imaging technology, gaming and mobile technology, as well as a focus on reducing the major losses from the television business.
In February 2014, Sony announced the sale of its Vaio PC division to a new corporation owned by investment fund Japan Industrial Partners and spinning its TV division into its own corporation as to make it more nimble to turn the unit around from past losses totaling $7.8 billion over a decade. Later that month, they announced that they would be closing 20 stores. In April, the company announced that they would be selling 9.5 million shares in Square Enix (roughly 8.2 percent of the game company's total shares) in a deal worth approximately $48 million. In May 2014 the company announced it was forming two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to manufacture and market Sony's PlayStation games consoles and associated software in China.
It was reported in December 2016 by multiple news outlets that Sony was considering restructuring its U.S. operations by merging its TV & film business, Sony Pictures Entertainment, with its gaming business, Sony Interactive Entertainment. According to the reports, such a restructuring would have placed Sony Pictures under Sony Interactive's CEO, Andrew House, though House wouldn't have taken over day-to-day operations of the film studio. According to one report, Sony was set to make a final decision on the possibility of the merger of the TV, film, & gaming businesses by the end of its fiscal year in March of the following year (2017).
Sony has historically been notable for creating its own in-house standards for new recording and storage technologies, instead of adopting those of other manufacturers and standards bodies. Sony (either alone or with partners) has introduced several of the most popular recording formats, including the floppy disk, Compact Disc and Blu-ray Disc.
The company launched the Betamax videocassette recording format in 1975. Sony was involved in the videotape format war of the early 1980s, when they were marketing the Betamax system for video cassette recorders against the VHS format developed by JVC. In the end, VHS gained critical mass in the marketbase and became the worldwide standard for consumer VCRs.
Betamax is, for all practical purposes, an obsolete format. Sony's professional-oriented component video format called Betacam, which was derived from Betamax, was used until 2016 when Sony announced it was stopping production of all remaining 1/2-inch video tape recorders and players, including the Digital Betacam format.
In 1985, Sony launched their Handycam products and the Video8 format. Video8 and the follow-on hi-band Hi8 format became popular in the consumer camcorder market. In 1987 Sony launched the 4 mm DAT or Digital Audio Tape as a new digital audio tape standard.
In 1979, the Walkman brand was introduced, in the form of the world's first portable music player using the compact cassette format. Sony introduced the MiniDisc format in 1992 as an alternative to Philips DCC or Digital Compact Cassette and as a successor to the compact cassette. Since the introduction of MiniDisc, Sony has attempted to promote its own audio compression technologies under the ATRAC brand, against the more widely used MP3. Until late 2004, Sony's Network Walkman line of digital portable music players did not support the MP3 standard natively.
In 2004, Sony built upon the MiniDisc format by releasing Hi-MD. Hi-MD allows the playback and recording of audio on newly introduced 1 GB Hi-MD discs in addition to playback and recording on regular MiniDiscs. In addition to saving audio on the discs, Hi-MD allows the storage of computer files such as documents, videos and photos.
In 1993, Sony challenged the industry standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound format with a newer and more advanced proprietary motion picture digital audio format called SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound). This format employed eight channels (7.1) of audio opposed to just six used in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the time. Ultimately, SDDS has been vastly overshadowed by the preferred DTS (Digital Theatre System) and Dolby Digital standards in the motion picture industry. SDDS was solely developed for use in the theatre circuit; Sony never intended to develop a home theatre version of SDDS.
Sony and Philips jointly developed the Sony-Philips digital interface format (S/PDIF) and the high-fidelity audio system SACD. The latter became entrenched in a format war with DVD-Audio. Neither gained a major foothold with the general public. CDs were preferred by consumers because of the ubiquitous presence of CD drives in consumer devices until the early 2000s when the iPod and streaming services became available.
In 1983, Sony followed their counterpart Philips to the compact disc (CD). In addition to developing consumer-based recording media, after the launch of the CD Sony began development of commercially based recording media. In 1986 they launched Write-Once optical discs (WO) and in 1988 launched Magneto-optical discs which were around 125MB size for the specific use of archival data storage. In 1984, Sony launched the Discman series which extended their Walkman brand to portable CD products.
In the early 1990s, two high-density optical storage standards were being developed: one was the MultiMedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Density disc (SD), supported by Toshiba and many others. Philips and Sony abandoned their MMCD format and agreed upon Toshiba's SD format with only one modification. The unified disc format was called DVD and was introduced in 1997.
Sony was one of the leading developers of the Blu-ray optical disc format, the newest standard for disc-based content delivery. The first Blu-ray players became commercially available in 2006. The format emerged as the standard for HD media over the competing format, Toshiba's HD DVD, after a two-year-long high-definition optical disc format war.
In 1983, Sony introduced 90 mm micro diskettes (better known as 3.5-inch (89 mm) floppy disks), which it had developed at a time when there were 4" floppy disks, and a lot of variations from different companies, to replace the then on-going 5.25" floppy disks. Sony had great success and the format became dominant. 3.5" floppy disks gradually became obsolete as they were replaced by current media formats.
Sony launched in 1998, their Memory Stick format, flash memory cards for use in Sony lines of digital cameras and portable music players. It has seen little support outside of Sony's own products, with Secure Digital cards (SD) commanding considerably greater popularity. Sony has made updates to the Memory Stick format with Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Micro.
As of 1 April 2016, Sony is organized into the following business segments: Mobile Communications (MC), Game & Network Services (G&NS), Imaging Products & Solutions (IP&S), Home Entertainment & Sound (HE&S), Semiconductors, Components, Pictures, Music, Financial Services and All Other. The network and medical businesses are included in the G&NS and IP&S, respectively.
Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group. It primarily conducts strategic business planning of the group, research and development (R&D), planning, designing and marketing for electronics products. Its subsidiaries such as Sony Global Manufacturing & Operations Corporation (SGMO; 4 plants in Japan), Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (7 plants in Japan), Sony Storage Media and Devices Corporation, Sony Energy Devices Corporation and its subsidiaries outside Japan (Brazil, China, UK (Wales), India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ireland and United States) are responsible for manufacturing as well as product engineering (SGMO is also responsible for customer service operations). In 2012, Sony rolled most of its consumer content services (including video, music and gaming) into the Sony Entertainment Network.
Sony produced the world's first portable music player, the Walkman in 1979. This line fostered a fundamental change in music listening habits by allowing people to carry music with them and listen to music through lightweight headphones. Walkman originally referred to portable audio cassette players. The company now uses the Walkman brand to market its portable audio and video players as well as a line of former Sony Ericsson mobile phones.
Sony utilized a related brand, Discman, to refer to its CD players. It dropped this name in the late 1990s.
Sony produced computers (MSX home computers and NEWS workstations) during the 1980s. The company withdrew from the computer business around 1990. Sony entered again into the global computer market under the new VAIO brand, began in 1996. Short for "Video Audio Integrated Operation", the line was the first computer brand to highlight visual-audio features.
In a bid to join the tablet computer market, the company launched its Sony Tablet line of Android tablets in 2011. Since 2012, Sony's Android products have been marketed under the Xperia brand used for its smartphones.
On 4 February 2014, Sony announced that it would sell its VAIO PC business due to poor sales and Japanese company Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) will purchase the VAIO brand, with the deal finalized by the end of March 2014. Sony maintains a minority stake in the new, independent company.
Sony entered the market for digital single-lens reflex cameras in 2006 when it acquired the camera business of Konica Minolta. Sony rebranded the company's line of cameras as its Alpha line. Sony is the world's third largest manufacturer of the cameras, behind Canon and Nikon respectively.
There are also a variety of Camcorders which are manufactured by Sony.
In 1968, Sony introduced the Trinitron brand name for its lines of aperture grille cathode ray tube televisions and (later) computer monitors. Sony stopped production of Trinitron for most markets, but continued producing sets for markets such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and China. Sony discontinued its series of Trinitron computer monitors in 2005. The company discontinued the last Trinitron-based television set in the US in early 2007. The end of Trinitron marked the end of Sony's analog television sets and monitors.
Sony used the LCD WEGA name for its LCD TVs until summer 2005. The company then introduced the BRAVIA name. BRAVIA is an in house brand owned by Sony which produces high-definition LCD televisions, projection TVs and front projectors, home cinemas and the BRAVIA home theatre range. All Sony high-definition flat-panel LCD televisions in North America have carried the logo for BRAVIA since 2005. Sony is the third-largest maker of televisions in the world. As of 2012, Sony's television business has been unprofitable for eight years.
In December 2011, Sony agreed to sell all stake in an LCD joint venture with Samsung Electronics for about $940 million. On 28 March 2012, Sony Corporation and Sharp Corporation announced that they have agreed to further amend the joint venture agreement originally executed by the parties in July 2009, as amended in April 2011, for the establishment and operation of Sharp Display Products Corporation ("SDP"), a joint venture to produce and sell large-sized LCD panels and modules.
On 9 November 2015, Sony announced that they are going to stop producing Betamax Tapes in March 2016.
Sony produces a wide range of semiconductors and electronic components including image sensors (Exmor), image processor (BIONZ), laser diodes, system LSIs, mixed-signal LSIs, OLED panels, etc. The company has a strong presence in the image sensor market. Sony-manufactured CMOS image sensors are widely used in digital cameras, tablet computers and smartphones.
In April 2018, Sony announced to join the market for satellite communications and develop laser communication products for small satellites. Sony wants to use its heritage with optical disc technology used in products like CD players and plans to start initial tests in collaboration with JAXA in 2018.
Sony has targeted medical, healthcare and biotechnology business as a growth sector in the future. The company acquired iCyt Mission Technology, Inc. (renamed Sony Biotechnology Inc. in 2012), a manufacture of flow cytometers, in 2010 and Micronics, Inc., a developer of microfluidics-based diagnostic tools, in 2011.
In 2012, Sony announced that it will acquire all shares of So-net Entertainment Corporation, which is the majority shareholder of M3, Inc., an operator of portal sites (m3.com, MR-kun, MDLinx and MEDI:GATE) for healthcare professionals.
On 28 September 2012, Olympus and Sony announced that the two companies will establish a joint venture to develop new surgical endoscopes with 4K resolution (or higher) and 3D capability. Sony Olympus Medical Solutions Inc. (Sony 51%, Olympus 49%) was established on 16 April 2013.
In 2001, Sony entered into a joint venture with Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson, forming Sony Ericsson. Initial sales were rocky, and the company posted losses in 2001 and 2002. However, SMC reached a profit in 2003. Sony Ericsson distinguished itself with multimedia-capable mobile phones, which included features such as cameras. These were unusual for the time. Despite their innovations, SMC faced intense competition from Apple's iPhone which released in 2007. From 2008 to 2010, amid a global recession, SMC slashed its workforce by several thousand. Sony acquired Ericsson's share of the venture in 2012 for over US$1 billion. In 2009, SMC was the fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world (after Nokia, Samsung and LG). By 2010, its market share had fallen to sixth place. Sony Mobile Communications now focuses exclusively on the smartphone market under the Xperia name. In 2015, Sony released Xperia Z5 Premium in Canada following US and Europe.
In the year 2013, Sony contributed to around two percent of the mobile phone market with 37 million mobile phones sold.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment) is best known for producing the popular line of PlayStation consoles. The line grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. Originally, Nintendo requested Sony to develop an add-on for its console that would play Compact Discs. In 1991 Sony announced the add-on, as well as a dedicated console known as the "Play Station". However, a disagreement over software licensing for the console caused the partnership to fall through. Sony then continued the project independently.
Launched in 1994, the first PlayStation gained 61% of global console sales and broke Nintendo's long-standing lead in the market. Sony followed up with the PlayStation 2 in 2000, which was even more successful. The console has become the most successful of all time, selling over 150 million units as of 2011. Sony released the PlayStation 3, a high-definition console, in 2006. It was the first console to use the Blu-ray format, and was considerably more expensive than competitors Xbox 360 and Wii due to a Cell processor. Early on, poor sales performance resulted in significant losses for the company, pushing it to sell the console at a loss. The PlayStation 3 sold generally more poorly than its competitors in the early years of its release but managed to overtake the Xbox 360 in global sales later on. It later introduced the PlayStation Move, an accessory that allows players to control video games using motion gestures.
Sony extended the brand to the portable games market in 2004 with the PlayStation Portable (PSP). The console has sold reasonably, but has taken a second place to a rival handheld, the Nintendo DS. Sony developed the Universal Media Disc (UMD) optical disc medium for use on the PlayStation Portable. Early on, the format was used for movies, but it has since lost major studio support. Sony released a disc-less version of its PlayStation Portable, the PSP Go, in 2009. The company went on to release its second portable video game system, PlayStation Vita, in 2011 and 2012. Sony launched its fourth console, the PlayStation 4, on 15 November 2013, which as of 31 December 2017 has sold 73.6 million units globally.
On 18 March 2014, at GDC, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida announced their new virtual reality technology dubbed Project Morpheus, and later named PlayStation VR, for PlayStation 4. The headset brought VR gaming and non-gaming software to the company's console. According to a report released by Houston-based patent consulting firm LexInnova in May 2015, Sony is leading the virtual reality patent race. According to the firm's analysis of nearly 12,000 patents or patent applications, Sony has 366 virtual reality patents or patent applications. PlayStation VR was released worldwide on 13 October 2016.
IT giants such as Google (driverless car) and Apple (iCar/Project Titan) are working on electric vehicles and self driving cars, competing with Tesla; Sony is entering into this field by investing $842,000 in the ZMP company.
Sony Entertainment has three divisions: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
Sony USA also previously owned and operated Sony Trans Com: a technology business that provided in-flight entertainment programming as well as video and audio playback equipment for the airline industry. Sony had purchased the business from Sundstrand Corp. in 1989 and subsequently sold it to Rockwell Collins in 2000.
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) is the television and film production/distribution unit of Sony. With 12.5% box office market share in 2011, the company was ranked third among movie studios. Its group sales in 2010 were US$7.2 billion. The company has produced many notable movie franchises, including Spider-Man, The Karate Kid and Men in Black. It has also produced the popular television game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
Sony entered the television and film production market when it acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment in 1989 for $3.4 billion. Columbia lives on in the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of SPE which in turn owns Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures among other film production and distribution companies such as Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. SPE's television division is known as Sony Pictures Television.
For the first several years of its existence, Sony Pictures Entertainment performed poorly, leading many to suspect the company would sell off the division. Sony Pictures Entertainment encountered controversy in the early 2000s. In July 2000, a marketing executive working for Sony Corporation created a fictitious film critic, David Manning, who gave consistently good reviews for releases from Sony subsidiary Columbia Pictures that generally received poor reviews amongst real critics. Sony later pulled the ads, suspended Manning's creator and his supervisor and paid fines to the state of Connecticut and to fans who saw the reviewed films in the US. In 2006 Sony started using ARccOS Protection on some of their film DVDs, but later issued a recall.
Sony Music Entertainment (also known as SME or Sony Music) is the second-largest global recorded music company of the "big three" record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony.
In one of its largest-ever acquisitions, Sony purchased CBS Record Group in 1988 for US$2 billion. In the process, Sony partnered and gained the rights to the ATV catalogue of Michael Jackson, considered by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the most successful entertainer of all time. The acquisition of CBS Records provided the foundation for the formation of Sony Music Entertainment, which Sony established in 1991.
In 2004, Sony entered into a joint venture with Bertelsmann AG, merging Sony Music Entertainment with Bertelsmann Music Group to create Sony BMG. In 2005, Sony BMG faced a copy protection scandal, because its music CDs had installed malware on users' computers that was posing a security risk to affected customers. In 2007, the company acquired Famous Music for US$370 million, gaining the rights to the catalogues of Eminem and Akon, among others.
Sony bought out Bertelsmann's share in the company and formed a new Sony Music Entertainment in 2008. Since then, the company has undergone management changes. In January 1988, Sony acquired CBS Records and the 50% of CBS/Sony Group. In March 1988, four wholly owned subsidiaries were folded into CBS/Sony Group and the company was renamed as Sony Music Entertainment Japan
Besides its record label, Sony operates other music businesses. In 1995, Sony merged its publisher with Michael Jackson's ATV Music Publishing, forming Sony/ATV Music Publishing. At the time, the publishing company was the second largest of its kind in the world. The company owns the publishing rights to over 4 million compositions, including The Beatles' Lennon-McCartney catalogue, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift.
Sony Financial Holdings is a holding company for Sony's financial services business. It owns and oversees the operation of Sony Life (in Japan and the Philippines), Sony Assurance, Sony Bank and Sony Bank Securities. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Sony Financial accounts for half of Sony's global earnings. The unit proved the most profitable of Sony's businesses in fiscal year 2006, earning $1.7 billion in profit. Sony Financial's low fees have aided the unit's popularity while threatening Sony's premium brand name.
Sony wants to contend with Apple and Samsung on mobile payments in Asia. Sony plans to use its contact-less payment technology to make ground in the public transportation industry across Asia. The system, known as FeliCa, relies on two forms of technologies to make it viable, either chips embedded in smartphones or plastic cards with chips embedded in them. Sony plans to implement this technology in train systems in Indonesia as early as Spring 2016.
Sony is a kabushiki gaisha registered to the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan and the New York Stock Exchange for overseas trading. As of 30 September 2017, there are 484,812 shareholders and 1,264,649,260 shares issued. Most of these shares are held by foreign institutions and investors.
Sony is one of Japan's largest corporations by revenue. It had revenues of ¥6.493 trillion in 2012. It also maintains large reserves of cash, with ¥895 billion on hand as of 2012. In May 2012, Sony shares were valued at about $15 billion.
The company was immensely profitable throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, in part because of the success of its new PlayStation line. The company encountered financial difficulty in the mid- to late-2000s due to a number of factors: the global financial crisis, increased competition for PlayStation, and the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011. The company faced three consecutive years of losses leading up to 2011. While noting the negative effects of intervening circumstances such as natural disasters and fluctuating currency exchange rates, the Financial Times criticized the company for its "lack of resilience" and "inability to gauge the economy." The newspaper voiced skepticism about Sony's revitalization efforts, given a lack of tangible results.
In September 2000 Sony had a market capitalization of $100 billion; but by December 2011 it had plunged to $18 billion, reflecting falling prospects for Sony but also reflecting grossly inflated share prices of the 'dot.com' years. Net worth, as measured by stockholder equity, has steadily grown from $17.9 billion in March 2002 to $35.6 billion through December 2011. Earnings yield (inverse of the price to earnings ratio) has never been more than 5% and usually much less; thus Sony has always traded in over-priced ranges with the exception of the 2009 market bottom.
On 9 December 2008, Sony Corporation announced that it would be cutting 8,000 jobs, dropping 8,000 contractors and reducing its global manufacturing sites by 10% to save $1.1 billion per year.
In April 2012, Sony announced that it would reduce its workforce by 10,000 (6% of its employee base) as part of CEO Hirai's effort to get the company back into the black. This came after a loss of 520 billion yen (roughly US$6.36 billion) for fiscal 2012, the worst since the company was founded. Accumulation loss for the past four years was 919.32 billion-yen. Sony planned to increase its marketing expenses by 30% in 2012. 1,000 of the jobs cut come from the company's mobile phone unit's workforce. 700 jobs will be cut in the 2012–2013 fiscal year and the remaining 300 in the following fiscal year.
|Geographic region||Total sales (yen in millions)|
In January 2013, Sony announced it was selling its US headquarters building for $1.1 billion to a consortium led by real estate developer The Chetrit Group.
On 28 January 2014, Moody's Investors Services dropped Sony's credit rating to Ba1—"judged to have speculative elements and a significant credit risk"—saying that the company's "profitability is likely to remain weak and volatile."
On 6 February 2014, Sony announced it would trim as many as 5,000 jobs as it attempts to sell its PC business and focus on mobile and tablets.
In 2014, Sony South Africa closed its TV, Hi-Fi and camera divisions with the purpose of reconsidering its local distribution model and, in 2017, it returned facilitated by Premium Brand Distributors (Pty) Ltd.
In November 2011, Sony was ranked 9th (jointly with Panasonic) in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics. This chart grades major electronics companies on their environmental work. The company scored 3.6/10, incurring a penalty point for comments it has made in opposition to energy efficiency standards in California. It also risks a further penalty point in future editions for being a member of trade associations that have commented against energy efficiency standards. Together with Philips, Sony receives the highest score for energy policy advocacy after calling on the EU to adopt an unconditional 30% reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Meanwhile, it receives full marks for the efficiency of its products. In June 2007, Sony ranked 14th on the Greenpeace guide. Sony fell from its earlier 11th-place ranking due to Greenpeace's claims that Sony had double standards in their waste policies.
As of May 2018 Greenpeace's 2017 Guide to Greener Electronics rated Sony approximately in the middle among electronics manufacturers with a grade of D+.
Since 1976, Sony has had an Environmental Conference. Sony's policies address their effects on global warming, the environment, and resources. They are taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that they put out as well as regulating the products they get from their suppliers in a process that they call "green procurement". Sony has said that they have signed on to have about 75 percent of their Sony Building running on geothermal power. The "Sony Take Back Recycling Program" allow consumers to recycle the electronics products that they buy from Sony by taking them to eCycle (Recycling) drop-off points around the U.S. The company has also developed a biobattery that runs on sugars and carbohydrates that works similarly to the way living creatures work. This is the most powerful small biobattery to date.
In 2000, Sony faced criticism for a document entitled "NGO Strategy" that was leaked to the press. The document involved the company's surveillance of environmental activists in an attempt to plan how to counter their movements. It specifically mentioned environmental groups that were trying to pass laws that held electronics-producing companies responsible for the cleanup of the toxic chemicals contained in their merchandise.
Sony Corporation is actively involved in the EYE SEE project conducted by UNICEF. EYE SEE digital photography workshops have been run for children in Argentina, Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Liberia and Pakistan.
Sony assists The South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative (SAPESI) through financial donations and children book donations to the South Africa Mobile Library Project.
The Sony Canada Charitable Foundation (SCCF) is a non-profit organization which supports three key charities; the Make-A-Wish Canada, the United Way of Canada and the EarthDay and ECOKIDS program.
After the 2011 Queensland floods and Victorian bushfires, Sony Music released benefit albums with money raised going to the Sony Foundation. You Can is the youth cancer program of Sony Foundation.
On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Sony partnered with streetfootballworld and launched the Street Football Stadium Project to support football-based educational programmes in local communities across Latin America and Brazil. More than 25 Street Stadiums were developed since the project's inception.
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (commonly known as Columbia Pictures or simply Columbia) is an American film studio, production company and film distributor that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, a division of Sony Entertainment's Sony Pictures subsidiary of the Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation.What would eventually become Columbia Pictures, CBC Film Sales Corporation, was founded on June 19, 1918 by Harry Cohn, his brother Jack Cohn, and Joe Brandt. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name in 1924 and went public two years later. In its early years, it was a minor player in Hollywood, but began to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful association with director Frank Capra. With Capra and others, Columbia became one of the primary homes of the screwball comedy. In the 1930s, Columbia's major contract stars were Jean Arthur and Cary Grant. In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth became the studio's premier star and propelled their fortunes into the late 1950s. Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford, and William Holden also became major stars at the studio.
It is one of the leading film studios in the world and is a member of the "Big Five" major American film studios. It was one of the so-called "Little Three" among the eight major film studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. Today, it has become the world's fifth largest major film studio.Columbia Records
Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, and the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records.
Artists who have recorded for Columbia include AC/DC, Adele, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, BTS, Beyoncé, Dave Brubeck, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey, The Chainsmokers, The Clash, Miles Davis, Rosemary Clooney, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Duke Ellington, 50 Cent, Erroll Garner, Benny Goodman, Adelaide Hall, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, John Mayer, George Michael, Billy Murray, Pink Floyd, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Simon and Garfunkel, Bessie Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Andy Williams, Pharrell Williams, Bill Withers, Paul Whiteman, and Joe Zawinul.Epic Records
Epic Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, Inc., the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was founded predominantly as a jazz and classical music label in 1953, but later expanded its scope to include a more diverse range of genres, including pop, R&B, rock, and hip hop. Epic Records has released music by artists including Glenn Miller, Tammy Wynette, George Michael, The Yardbirds, Donovan, Shakin Stevens, Europe, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent, Shakira, Sly & the Family Stone, The Hollies, Celine Dion, ABBA, Culture Club, Boston, Dave Clark Five, Gloria Estefan, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, and Michael Jackson. Along with Arista, Columbia and RCA Records, Epic is one of Sony Music Entertainment's four flagship record labels.
Artists who have signed to Epic Records include French Montana, Fiona Apple, Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Lopez, Keyshia Cole, Future, Hardwell, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Hudson, Zara Larsson, Mariah Carey, Outkast, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor, Camila Cabello, Wrabel, Swizz Beatz and Louis Tomlinson.PlayStation
PlayStation (Japanese: プレイステーション, Hepburn: Pureisutēshon, abbreviated as PS) is a gaming brand that consists of four home video game consoles, as well as a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines. It is created and owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment since December 3, 1994, with the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan.The original console in the series was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch. Its successor, the PlayStation 2, was released in 2000. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling home console to date, having reached over 155 million units sold as of December 28, 2012. Sony's next console, the PlayStation 3, was released in 2006 and has sold over 80 million consoles worldwide as of November 2013. Sony's latest console, the PlayStation 4, was released in 2013, selling 1 million consoles in its first 24 hours on sale, becoming the fastest selling console in history.The first handheld game console in the PlayStation series, the PlayStation Portable or PSP, sold a total of 80 million units worldwide by November 2013. Its successor, the PlayStation Vita, which launched in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in most other major territories in February 2012, had sold over 4 million units by January 2013. PlayStation TV is a microconsole and a non-portable variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld game console. Other hardware released as part of the PlayStation series includes the PSX, a digital video recorder which was integrated with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, though it was short lived due to its high price and was never released outside Japan, as well as a Sony Bravia television set which has an integrated PlayStation 2. The main series of controllers utilized by the PlayStation series is the DualShock, which is a line of vibration-feedback gamepad having sold 28 million controllers as of June 28, 2008.The PlayStation Network is an online service with over 110 million users worldwide (as of July 2013). It comprises an online virtual market, the PlayStation Store, which allows the purchase and download of games and various forms of multimedia, a subscription-based online service known as PlayStation Plus and a social gaming networking service called PlayStation Home, which had over 41 million users worldwide at the time of its closure in March 2015. PlayStation Mobile (formerly PlayStation Suite) is a software framework that provides PlayStation content on mobile devices. Version 1.xx supports both PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV and certain devices that run the Android operating system, whereas version 2.00 released in 2014 would only target PlayStation Vita and (optionally) PlayStation TV. Content set to be released under the framework consist of only original PlayStation games currently.7th generation PlayStation products also use the XrossMediaBar, which is an award-winning graphical user interface. A touch screen-based user interface called LiveArea was launched for the PlayStation Vita, which integrates social networking elements into the interface. Additionally, the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 consoles also featured support for Linux-based operating systems; Linux for PlayStation 2 and OtherOS respectively, though this has since been discontinued. The series has also been known for its numerous marketing campaigns, the latest of which being the "Greatness Awaits" commercials in the United States.
The series also has a strong line-up of first-party titles due to Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, a group of fifteen first-party developers owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment which are dedicated to developing first-party games for the series. In addition, the series features various budget re-releases of titles by Sony with different names for each region; these include the Greatest Hits, Platinum, Essentials, Favorites and The Best ranges of titles.
In October 2018, Sony President Kenichiro Yoshida stated the necessity of the new PlayStation console. Yoshida said, it has become "necessary to have a next-generation hardware" to replace the PlayStation 4, which is now 5 years old.PlayStation (console)
The PlayStation (officially abbreviated to PS, and commonly known as the PS1 or its codename, PSX) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released on 3 December 1994 in Japan, on 9 September 1995 in North America, on 29 September 1995 in Europe, and on 15 November 1995 in Australia, and was the first of the PlayStation lineup of video game consoles. As a fifth generation console, the PlayStation primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn.
The PlayStation was the first "computer entertainment platform" to ship over 100 million units, which it had reached nine years after its initial launch. In July 2000, a redesigned, slim version called the PS one was released, replacing the original grey console and named appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, the PlayStation 2.
The PlayStation 2, which is backwards compatible with the PlayStation's DualShock controller and games, was announced in 1999 and launched in 2000. The last PS one units were sold in late 2006 to early 2007 shortly after it was officially discontinued, for a total of 102 million units shipped since its launch eleven years earlier. Games for the PlayStation continued to sell until Sony ceased production of both the PlayStation and PlayStation games on 23 March 2006 – over eleven years after it had been released, and less than a year before the debut of the PlayStation 3.On 19 September 2018, Sony unveiled the PlayStation Classic to mark the 24th anniversary of the original console. The new console is a miniature recreation of the original PlayStation, preloaded with 20 titles released on the original console, and was released on 3 December 2018, the exact date the console was released in Japan in 1994.PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, and in Europe and Australia in November 2000, and is the successor to the original PlayStation, as well as the second installment in the PlayStation console lineup. As a sixth generation console, the PS2 competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube, and Microsoft's Xbox.
Announced in 1999, the PS2 offered backwards compatibility for its predecessor's DualShock controller, as well as its games. The PS2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, having sold over 155 million units, with 150 million confirmed by Sony in 2011. Over 3,800 game titles have been released for the PS2 since launch, with over 1.5 billion copies sold. Sony later manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as Slimline models in 2004. In 2006, Sony announced and launched its successor, the PlayStation 3.
Even with the release of its successor, the PS2 remained popular well into the seventh generation, and continued to be produced until January 4, 2013, when Sony finally announced it had been discontinued after twelve years of production – one of the longest lifespans of a video game console. Despite the announcement, new games for the console continued to be produced until the end of 2013, including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan, FIFA 13 for North America, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for Europe. Repair services for the system in Japan ended on September 7, 2018.PlayStation 3
The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed mainly against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
The console was first officially announced at E3 2005, and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released. It no longer provided the hardware ability to run PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original version, and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software. A Super Slim variation was then released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console.
During its early years, the system had a critically negative reception, due to its high price ($599 for a 60 gigabyte model, and $499 for a 20 GB model), a complex processor architecture and a lack of quality games, but was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and "untapped potential". The reception would get more positive over time. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover, particularly after the introduction of the Slim model. Its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released later in November 2013. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed that sales of the PlayStation 3 were to be discontinued in New Zealand, but the system remained in production in other markets. Shipments of new units to Europe and Australia ended in March 2016, followed by North America which ended in October 2016. Heading into 2017, Japan was the last territory where new units were still being produced until May 29, 2017, when Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 was discontinued in Japan.PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February, 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, and on February 22, 2014, in Japan. It competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.
Moving away from the more complex Cell microarchitecture of its predecessor, the console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built upon the x86-64 architecture, which can theoretically peak at 1.84 teraflops; AMD stated that it was the "most powerful" APU it had developed to date. The PlayStation 4 places an increased emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices and services, including the ability to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices ("Remote Play"), the ability to stream gameplay online or to friends, with them controlling gameplay remotely ("Share Play"). The console's controller was also redesigned and improved over the PlayStation 3, with improved buttons and analog sticks, and an integrated touchpad among other changes. The console also supports HDR10 High-dynamic-range video and playback of 4K resolution multimedia.
The PlayStation 4 was released to acclaim, with critics praising Sony for acknowledging its consumers' needs, embracing independent game development, and for not imposing the restrictive digital rights management schemes similarly to those announced by Microsoft for Xbox One. Critics and third-party studios also praised the capabilities of the PlayStation 4 in comparison to its competitors; developers described the performance difference between the console and Xbox One as "significant" and "obvious". Heightened demand also helped Sony top global console sales. By the end of December 2018, over 94 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been shipped worldwide, surpassing lifetime sales of its predecessor, the PlayStation 3.On September 7, 2016, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 Pro, a high-end version of the console with an upgraded GPU and higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution on supported games. The company also released a variant of the original model with a smaller form factor, and the release of a patch to add HDR support to all existing consoles.PlayStation Portable
The PlayStation Portable (PSP) is a handheld game console that was developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and competed with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video-game consoles. Development of the handheld console was announced during E3 2003 and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3. The system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004; in North America on March 24, 2005; and in the PAL region on September 1, 2005.
The PSP was the most powerful portable console when it was introduced. It was the first real competitor of Nintendo's handheld consoles after many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed. Its advanced graphics made the PSP a popular mobile-entertainment device, which can connect to the PlayStation 2 (PS2) and PlayStation 3 (PS3) games consoles, computers running Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software, other PSPs and the Internet. The PSP is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format – Universal Media Disc (UMD) – as its primary storage medium. It was received positively by most video-game critics and sold 76 million units by 2012.
Several models of the console were released. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, which was released in December 2011 in Japan and worldwide in February 2012. The Vita has backward compatibility with many PSP games that were released on the PlayStation Network through the PlayStation Store, which became the main method of purchasing PSP games after Sony shut down access to the PlayStation Store from PSPs on March 31, 2016. Hardware shipments ended worldwide in 2014; the PSP sold 80 million units during its 10-year lifetime. Production of UMDs ended when the last Japanese factory making them closed in late 2016.PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation Vita (officially abbreviated PS Vita or Vita) is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011, with releases in North America, Europe, and other worldwide regions starting on February 22, 2012. It primarily competed with the Nintendo 3DS as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.
The original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks, front and shoulder push-button input, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the Vita features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit. A revised model, the PS Vita 2000 series, released across 2013 and 2014, sports all of the same features with a slightly smaller size, extended battery life, and an LCD screen replacing the OLED display. Sony also released the PlayStation TV, a short-lived, re-purposed version of the Vita that allowed for the play of PS Vita games on a television screen similar to a home video game console, though the PS TV variant was discontinued by the end of 2015.
The system's design was created to meld the experience of big budget, dedicated video game platforms with the then up-and-coming trend of mobile gaming through smart phones and tablets. However, in the year after the device's successful launch, sales of the hardware and its bigger budget games stalled, threatening to end its lifespan. A concentrated effort to attract smaller, indie developers in the West, combined with strong support from mid-level Japanese companies, helped keep the platform afloat. While this led to less diversity in its game library, it did garner strong support in Japanese-developed role-playing video games and visual novels alongside a wealth of Western-developed indie games, leading it to become a moderate seller in Japan, and build a smaller, yet passionate userbase in the West. While Sony has not released exact sales figures, late-lifespan estimates in sales fall around 15 to 16 million units. In the platform's later years, Sony also promoted its ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, notably the ability to play PlayStation 4 games on it through the process of Remote Play, similar to the Wii U's function of Off-TV Play. Production of the system and physical cartridge games ended in March 2019.RCA Records
RCA Records (formerly legally traded as the RCA Records Label) is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records, Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG); however, RCA Records became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a merger between BMG and Sony Music, in 2004, and was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. It is the second oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records.
Artists currently signed to RCA Records include Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Pink,
Shakira, SZA, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Usher, Charlie Wilson, Enrique Iglesias, Foo Fighters, Jake Bugg, Kings of Leon, Kesha, Khalid, D'Angelo, Pentatonix, Craig David, Buddy Guy, Walk the Moon, Pitbull, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Brockhampton and Zayn.Sony BMG
Sony BMG Music Entertainment was an American record company owned as a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann Music Group. The venture's successor, the revived Sony Music Entertainment, is wholly owned by Sony, following their buyout of the remaining 50% held by Bertelsmann AG. BMG was instead rebuilt as BMG Rights Management on the basis of 200 remaining artists.Sony Entertainment Television
Sony Entertainment Television (abbr. SET) is an Indian Hindi-language general entertainment television channel. It was launched in October 1995, and is owned by Sony Pictures Networks India, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which in turn is owned by the Japanese Sony Corporation.
SET has been one of India's most popular television channels, having produced many iconic shows such as CID, Aahat, Indian Idol, Boogie Woogie and Crime Patrol.Sony Interactive Entertainment
Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (SIE) is a multinational video game and digital entertainment company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the central hub for the American businesses under the Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation. The company was founded in Tokyo, Japan, and established on November 16, 1993, as Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), to handle Sony's venture into video game development through its PlayStation brand.
Since the successful launch of the original PlayStation console in 1994, the company has been developing the PlayStation lineup of home video game consoles and accessories. Expanding into North America and other countries, the company quickly became Sony's main resource for research and development in video games and interactive entertainment. In April 2016, SCE and Sony Network Entertainment International was restructured and reorganized into Sony Interactive Entertainment, carrying over the operations and primary objectives from both companies. The same year, SIE moved its headquarters from Tokyo to San Mateo, California.
Sony Interactive Entertainment handles the research and development, production, and sales of both hardware and software for the PlayStation video game systems. SIE is also a developer and publisher of video game titles, and operates several subsidiaries in Sony's largest markets: North America, Europe and Asia. By August 2018, the company had sold more than 525 million PlayStation consoles worldwide.Sony Mobile
Sony Mobile Communications Inc. (Japanese: ソニーモバイルコミュニケーションズ) is a multinational telecommunications company founded on October 1, 2001 as a joint venture between Sony and Ericsson, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and wholly owned by Sony. It was originally incorporated as Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, and headquartered in London, England, until Sony acquired Ericsson's share in the venture on February 16, 2012.Sony Mobile has research and development facilities in Lund, Sweden; Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; and San Francisco, USA. At its peak in 2007, Sony Ericsson held a 9 percent global market share making it the fourth largest vendor at the time. As of 2017 Sony Mobile held less than 1% global market share but 4.8% in Europe and 16.3% in Japan.Since the current ownership structure, Sony Mobile exclusively create Android-powered smartphones under the Xperia sub-brand name - it also currently or previously developed tablet computers (Sony Tablet), smartwatches (Sony SmartWatch) and fitness trackers (Sony SmartBand), alongside accessories and software for the devices. The current flagship device is the Sony Xperia 1.Sony Music
Sony Music Entertainment (SME), known as Sony Music, is an American global music conglomerate owned by Sony and incorporated as a general partnership of Sony Music Holdings Inc. through Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Japanese Sony Corporation. It was originally founded in 1929 as American Record Corporation and renamed as Columbia Recording Corporation in 1938, following its acquisition by the Columbia Broadcasting System. In 1966, the company was reorganized to become CBS Records, and Sony Corporation bought the company in 1988, renaming it under its current name in 1991. In 2004, Sony and Bertelsmann established a 50-50 joint venture known as Sony BMG Music Entertainment, which transferred the businesses of Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group into one entity. However, in 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's stake, and the company reverted to the SME name shortly after; the buyout allowed Sony to acquire all of BMG's labels, and led to the dissolution of BMG, which instead relaunched as BMG Rights Management.
Sony Music Entertainment is the second largest of the "Big Three" record companies, behind Universal Music Group and ahead of Warner Music Group. Its music publishing division Sony/ATV is the largest music publisher in the world. It also owns 50% of SYCO Entertainment, which operates some of the world's most successful reality TV formats, including Got Talent and The X Factor.Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (known simply as Sony Pictures and abbreviated as SPE) is an American entertainment company that produces, acquires and distributes filmed entertainment (theatrical motion pictures, television programs, and recorded videos) through multiple platforms. Through an intermediate holding company called Sony Film Holding Inc., it is operated as a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., which is itself a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a wholly owned subsidiary and the US headquarters of the Tokyo-based multinational technology and media conglomerate Sony Corporation. Based in Culver City, California, it encompasses Sony's motion picture, television production and distribution units. Its group sales in the fiscal year 2017 (April 2017 – March 2018) has been reported to be $9.133 billion.SPE is a member of the Big Five and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).Sony Pictures' film franchises include The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, Jumanji, Stuart Little, Men in Black, Underworld, Robert Langdon, The Smurfs (via Peyo), Sniper, Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and many more.Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation Inc. is an American animation studio owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment through their Motion Picture Group division and founded on May 9, 2002. The studio's films are distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing under their Columbia Pictures label, while all direct-to-video releases are released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Its first film Open Season was released on September 29, 2006 and its latest release was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on December 14, 2018 with their next release being Wish Dragon in 2019.
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