If Sony Corporation of America is considered an underdog, don't tell that to its chief financial officer Robert Wiesenthal.
At the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City this week, Wiesenthal said his company is looking to emerge as the preeminent player in providing film and TV content on both mobile and traditional platforms.
We are focusing on what we're good at, which is giving users a level of customization and providing something unique, Wiesenthal said. He emphasized the company's dual role as a film studio and electronics manufacturer, saying it will be essential to achieving that goal.
We're trying to bridge the gap between the (electronic) media and Hollywood.
The company hopes to put its unique status and its goals to the test in the area of movies, Wiesenthal said. He said it wants to create a video on demand service immediately after a film's theatrical release. The company tested the concept in 2008 with Hancock, a thriller starring Will Smith, as the film was available for $24.95 immediately after its release.
Wiesenthal touted the company's partnership with Google, to provide Google TV on a few of Sony's TV sets. He said Google's participation and interface enables Sony to focus on content and services. In addition the Android platform's ease of use is one reason Sony adopted it.
Addressing the doubts of internet-based TV, Wiesenthal said these are the early days of connected TVs, and when manufacturers and service providers figured out how to deliver optimum performance, they will become a lot more popular.
If he is confident internet based TV will grow as an industry segment, Wiesenthal is even surer Sony will be the leader in this category. Along with the already to market Sony based Google TV sets, the company has the Playstation 3. The console, which started strictly for gaming, has now expanded its offerings.
It now has network connectivity and multimedia offerings, Wiesenthal said. In our view, there is internet box exhaustion. People don't want multiple boxes like a Roku box. Trying to explain what something like Apple TV is, is a bit of a struggle.
In this regard the all-in-one Playstation will thrive, Wiesenthal says, since it doesn't require consumers to own multiple boxes. He also said the Playstation's latest addition, the Move controller, is as good or better than its competitor, the Xbox Kinect. The two motion based control systems are Sony and Microsoft's answers to Nintendo's Wii.
The Move offers the best level of precision in terms of a gaming perspective, especially for first person shooters, Wiesenthal said.