Print 22 comment(s) - last by nikon133.. on Feb 11 at 7:56 PM

Sony customers will continue to receive PC support

Yesterday we reported that Sony was in talks to sell off the PC side of its business. Sony has today confirmed that sale to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), and that the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding.
Sony’s VAIO business will be transferred to a new company established by JIP. The two firms are now proceeding with due diligence and negotiations on the final terms of the deal, while a definitive agreement should be in place by the end of March 2014.
The business transfer will result in no further planning, design, or development of PC products by Sony. The manufacturing and sales of Sony PCs will stop in spring of 2014 after the new line launches globally.
Sony says that its customers will continue to receive after sale support following its exit from the PC business. Sony also says that the new company established by JIP will hire 250 to 300 workers from Sony and Sony EMCS Corp that are involved in PC operations.
While Sony is exiting the PC market, it is set to ramp up its TV arm. Sony has been working to reduce costs and improve profits in the TV realm. Sony says that it plans to shift its efforts to high-end models in fiscal 2014. It also plans to reinforce its position in the 4K market while strengthening its 2k offerings.
Sony will also be spinning the TV arm off into its own wholly owned subsidiary. The split is expected to be complete by July 2014.

Source: Sony

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What's this mean for the PS4's future?
By Nekrik on 2/6/2014 2:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen this reported on several sites but no one has mentioned the implications this will have on the PS4, specifically thinking the hardware development and support. If Sony is selling their PC division then the PS4, which is a PC, seems like it may be affected.

RE: What's this mean for the PS4's future?
By nikon133 on 2/6/2014 3:35:28 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe they plan growing PS4 into more universal home computer. Here's to hope.

I mean, PS4 is x86 desktop with Linux. One of major shortcomings for Linux on home computers is lack of AAA games, but with PS4, that problem is basically nullified. Allow people to purchase (or DL for free) from PSN an office suite, photo/video editing, good quality browser, mail client and calendar... add support for kbd/mouse, card readers, external USB drives. A decent media centre or at least universal player like VLC. An average home user does not need much more than that.

And then, shrink AMD APU, make it more power savvy, repack into laptop chassis - portable gaming laptop with Linux. One that will get all the latest Battlefields, CoDs etc. Once that manufacturing price for PS4 guts go down, they could add screen, keyboard and touchpad and still sell it for not much more than current $399.

I'm not saying they will do this - but they could, at it would be darn interesting. I'm planning to get PS4 regardless, when it becomes available in NZ stores (they are still only covering preorders), and I would more than consider laptop version of it.

RE: What's this mean for the PS4's future?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/6/2014 5:40:57 PM , Rating: 3
I mean, PS4 is x86 desktop with Linux.

It's using a modified version of FreeBSD, which is "Unix-like".

By nikon133 on 2/11/2014 7:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
OK, but still... FreeBSD has a repository of over 24,000 applications that are developed for the platform, most standard categories covered (browsing, email, office)... and gaming that is fully supported by AA developers (which Linux misses most of the time).

It would be really down to Sony enabling PC functionality in firmware, and more important (for Sony), preventing PC functionality to be able to interfere (cough*hack*cough) with gaming part.

Original PS3 had potential to be home computer, even with all the design-imposed limits. PS4, with much more standard x86 architecture, 8GB of RAM, HDD and ODD... has potential to be very decent home computer.

RE: What's this mean for the PS4's future?
By Litzner on 2/7/2014 1:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe the PlayStation brand is part of their PC division, I believe it is part of their entertainment division.

By Nyanyanya on 2/7/2014 11:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the comparison makes no sense.

By Motoman on 2/6/2014 11:37:37 AM , Rating: 4
...I'm not sure what the actual sale price was, but I have a feeling they got JIPped.

Never had a decent Sony laptop
By tayb on 2/6/2014 10:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
I've never owned a Sony laptop that I didn't regret purchasing or wish I could swap. Every single one I've used had a problem dissipating heat which led to the fan being annoyingly loud no matter what I was doing on the machine. I've also never experienced such abysmal battery life in a notebook.

My company provider me with a Sony Vaio S series which was very expensive and came with an extra sheet battery to extend battery life. I couldn't even make it from DFW to NYC without the battery dying. I had them swap it for a Macbook Air for travel purposes only. Even running Windows 7 the MBA managed almost triple the battery life.

By Wolfpup on 2/6/2014 3:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what this means...if it's a wholly owned subsidiary, doesn't that mean it's still 100% Sony? Effectively just a reorganization of some sort?

Their PC business has been shrinking in terms of models for years. 2006/7 and earlier they had as much stuff as most anyone, now you can't even buy a Sony with Blu Ray, much less that's a good game system (obnoxiously Sony also refused to allow Nvidia/AMD drivers to install on their systems).

Back when they first introduced PCs I'd wanted some kind of Playstation compatibility, but since that never happened...

Actually, come to think of it, now that they don't have a PC division, seems like they can do whatever they want with Playstation, use it as a whatever type of PC they want...

By alizacarvor on 2/7/2014 5:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
As i read on other site Sony might sell their Vaio PC division to Japan Industrial Partners and immediately cease the design and development of any further PC products.
As part of the major restructuring at Sony, the company will be laying off 5,000 staff globally: 1,500 in their home nation of Japan.
Thank You
Fix My Computer Dude

The grammar, urgh...
By The0ne on 2/7/2014 9:43:15 AM , Rating: 2
I felt like I was in grade school reading this article and remembering my teachers slapping me for starting each and every single sentence with "I". In this case it's "Sony". At least re-read your own article and try to clean it up a bit.

By Cheesew1z69 on 2/6/2014 9:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
Um, and they have a huge presence in the movie business as well.

By Flunk on 2/6/2014 9:57:52 AM , Rating: 2
Which they'll spin off into PlayStation Corporation very soon.

By Motoman on 2/6/2014 11:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
...right. Because they don't make cameras & video cameras, or musical instruments, or stereo components, or DVD & BD players, or cellphones, or boomboxes, or headphones, or produce movies & music, etc.

Yup. Pretty much video games and life insurance. Although I'm not so sure about the latter.

By amanojaku on 2/6/2014 12:26:26 PM , Rating: 1
Sony sells life insurance, and has for 35 years. A quick Wikipedia search would have confirmed this. Ignorance is no excuse when we have the Internet.

One of the reasons Sony is dumping or reforming a lot of its electronics and technology divisions is that HALF of its revenues come from financial services, which is far more stable than electronics.

By Devilboy1313 on 2/6/2014 9:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
IBM realized this decades ago. Other than big iron & RISC servers I'm not sure that IBM even sells computers now.

By DT_Reader on 2/6/2014 12:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
TVs? Really? Unbelievable. Sony got their start with transistor radios and tiny TVs. The first Sony product I ever saw (in the 1960s) was a TV that I'd guess had a 5" screen that a friend of my parents had in her kitchen. Then in the 1970s they came out with a line of very small high-fi gear that everyone else quickly copied. Then there was the whole Walkman phenomenon. I always thought of them as the innovator in small consumer electronics, but I guess Apple took that title with the iPod. Sad to see them exit their core market like this.

By DT_Reader on 2/6/2014 12:03:31 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, they're keeping TVs, but they're spinning them off, which is always the first step toward dumping something.

By Solandri on 2/6/2014 5:30:42 PM , Rating: 2
TVs? Really? Unbelievable. Sony got their start with transistor radios and tiny TVs.

Sony doesn't really "make" TVs anymore. The panel is from Samsung, the electronics are commodity components, etc. They just slap them together. The only part that's truly Sony is the Bravia engine which does signal processing to enhance the image (and does a very good job of it too if you ever compare a Sony and Samsung TV using the same panel side by side). But I could easily see them licensing that out to other (real) TV manufacturers the way Dolby does (did) for audio.

Then there was the whole Walkman phenomenon. I always thought of them as the innovator in small consumer electronics, but I guess Apple took that title with the iPod. Sad to see them exit their core market like this.

Sony really dropped the ball with MP3 players. They let their (at the time) $3 billion entertainment division dictate to their $30 billion electronics division how to make a music player. As a result, their MP3 player was completely locked down with DRM. Transferring music from your computer to the player required jumping through multiple hoops to "prove" you actually owned the music. Reviews commonly said the hardware was awesome, but crippled by the DRM software. It couldn't even play MP3s (they didn't add that capability until a few years later after they'd lost the MP3 player war and were desperately trying to stay relevant).

With the foremost name in high quality portable electronics out of the picture, it was easy pickings for Apple to swoop in with a high quality MP3 player (more importantly with iTunes which made it easy to sync music between your computer and player, and satisfy the record companies that you owned the music).

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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