Four months after Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) unveiled its "One Sony" strategy to recapture its leading role in an evolving industry, a top executive has finally offered a glimpse into practical strategies.
In an interview with the game industry site MCV, PlayStation Europe President and CEO Jim Ryan explained the company is pushing its way out of the "walled garden" and into a "big bad world where there are no rules."
The idea for "One Sony" was to offer a comprehensive integration of products and services across all its various platforms - from the PlayStation 3 to mobile media with smartphones, tablets, and the PlayStation Vita. But the challenge then becomes how to deliver a consistent level of quality.
Ryan said it's integral for Sony to establish a standardized experience for consumers regardless of what device or platform they use. The different platforms also have to share content - such as with crossplay between the PS3 and PS Vita.
"PS2 [Sony's older generation gaming console, the Playstation 2] was not a connected device," Ryan said. "PSP [Sony's previous handheld, the PlayStation Portable] was not really a proper connected device. PS3 is and PS Vita most definitely is. So we have the ability now to have devices talk to each other."
Ryan also emphasized Sony's mobile strategy. "There are obviously lots of people, whether it is on a tablet or a smartphone, playing games....A number of years ago were simply not doing that."
Ryan's comments came as Sony announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs from its mobile phone division, adding to the 10,000 layoffs with which new CEO Kazuo Hirai began his tenure on April 1 .Sony resumed full control of a 10-year-old joint-venture in mobile phones with Sweden's Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC) on Jan. 1.
in April, Hirai identified mobile technology as one three core pillars to support the "One Sony" vision along with digital imaging and gaming. It appears Sony could be trying to collapse mobile into the other two branches, or at least streamline the division to the extent that it simply complements the company's gaming and photography ventures rather than maintains a full-fledged presence in the smartphone market.
Ryan specifically wants to tap the mobile market.. "We see it as a real opportunity to take that constituency and offer them a PlayStation experience," he said, "whether that is with an emulated virtual dual shock, or whether it is the use of PSN functionality, which will come in the future." Sony would like to offer them" a gaming format that is similar to what they've experienced in the past."
"This is new ground for us," Ryan said. "It didn't seem it at the time but these 'walled gardens' are actually nice, cozy places, and we are now going out into the big bad world where there are no rules. We are trying to set those rules."
Sony shares rose 9 cents to $11.70, valuing the Tokyo-based electronics giant at $11.74 billion. Shares have lost 43 percent over the past year.