Sony's entertainment strategy will revolve around four pillars: Stringer

MUMBAI: As the global entertainment industry evolves four pillars - e-Entertainment, Digital Cinema, High-er Definition and PlayStation will play an important role in Sony's strategy.

This was stressed by Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

In his presentation called Entertaining the Future Stringer spoke about the changing relationship between content, technology and the consumer. As far as the e-Entertainment pillar is concerned Stringer focussed on the increasingly personalised nature of entertainment and the importance of recognising and accommodating the needs of the individual while providing choice and convenience in the ways that consumers use Sony products.

Stringer introduced the new Sony Reader, which will be available later this year. At CES he was joined on stage by Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, to discuss the many benefits of eBook technology for readers, authors and the environment. The Sony Ericsson W810, the latest version of the Walkman phone, which established the mobile phone as a credible digital music player, was also demonstrated.

Following that Stringer showcased PlayStation Portable's ability to allow consumers to watch their favorite television programmes any time, from anywhere in the world using Sony's Location Free technology.

In a discussion of digital cinema, Stringer detailed how Sony's digital cinema equipment is being used by leading directors around the world to redefine the way consumers enjoy the motion picture experience. Brian Grazer, who is the producer of the highly anticipated film The Da Vinci Code, along with the film's director, Ron Howard and actor Tom Hanks joined Stringer on stage to discuss how the film is progressing and the technological advancements in high-definition filmmaking and projection systems that are keeping the theater-going experience alive and thriving.

Stringer also emphasised the fact that Sony is well-positioned to succeed in the transition to High-er Definition - both inside and out of the home. "The transition to HD is especially important to Sony, because from film production in Hollywood to television viewing at home, Sony has connected every link in the HD chain. With professional equipment, camcorders, television displays, Blu-ray Disc players, packaged media and more, no one is better positioned to lead the way to full high definition. That's why we say Sony is High-er Definition."

In addition to highlighting Sony's HD equipment and Grand Wega and Bravia televisions Stringer dwelt on the rapid growth and proliferation of HD content. He announced that Sony's game shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will be the first game shows available in HD later this year.

Dell chairman Michael Dell discussed the importance of the Blu-ray disc format for both the consumer electronics and IT industries. To show the importance of the last of the four pillars Playstation, Sony Computer Entertainment America president and CEO Kaz Hirai joined Stringer to discuss how Playstation 3 will build on the success of the PlayStation 2, which experienced a 10.5 per cent year-over-year gain in holiday sales and was the only platform in the videogame industry with positive growth, and on the success of the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Hirai also emphasised the importance of the Cell processor, which is designed to support broadband consumer applications and HD video streams and will be at the heart of the Playstation 3, scheduled to launch later this year. By utilising Blu-ray, Playstation 3 will also provide the large storage capacity required by game creators to achieve real-time gameplay mechanics in a HD world.

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