KAGEYAMA AP Business
Writer Published January 20, 2005, 4:52 PM
TOKYO -- Sony missed out on potential sales from
MP3 players and other gadgets because it was overly proprietary
about music and entertainment content, the head of Sony Corp.'s
video-game unit acknowledged Thursday.
president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said he and other
Sony employees have been frustrated for years with management's
reluctance to introduce products like Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod,
mainly because the Tokyo company had music and movie units that were
worried about content rights.
Now, Sony's divisions are
finally beginning to work together and share a common agenda,
Kutaragi said at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.
"It's just starting," he told reporters. "We are growing
High-ranking Sony officials have rarely publicly said
their proprietary views were a mistake. Kutaragi, who has long been
viewed as a candidate to lead Sony, was unusually direct in
acknowledging Sony had made an error and blaming proprietary
concerns from its entertainment division.
players initially did not support MP3 files and only played Sony's
own format called Atrac.
Kutaragi said Sony's original
spirit of innovative technology had grown "diluted."
have to concentrate on our original nature -- challenging and
creating," he said.
Once the powerhouse of global
electronics, exemplified in its Walkman, Sony has lost some of its
glamour lately, losing out in profitability and market share to
cheaper Asian rivals.
Kutaragi -- known as the "Father of
the PlayStation" for making the game machine a pillar of Sony's
business -- said the new handheld, PSP or PlayStation Portable, will
grow into a global platform for enjoying music and movies as well as
Sony is boosting production to one million a month
this spring to keep up with demand for the PlayStation Portable,
which has sold 800,000 since going on sale Dec. 12 in Japan,
Kutaragi said. It is set to go on sale in the United States and
Europe this spring.