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First Shots Of PS3 Video Download Service, Due In "Summer 2008"

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Sony held a little mid-term corporate strategy meeting today in Japan. On the menu? All kinds of Sony stuff, but of particular interest to us, all kinds of PlayStation-related stuff. First up? These shots of the PS3's upcoming video download service, which formed part of a presentation by Kaz Hirai. As you can see, it's largely identical to the current PlayStation Store interface, though it's nice seeing the whole thing move out of the "will be here sometime" stage and into what's surely the "will be here soon" stage. But how soon?


Part of Sony boss Howard Stringer's presentation touches on the company's "video service rollout strategy", whereby they're looking at getting video download services running on not just the PS3, but the PSP, laptops, phones and beyond. That presentation has, as you can see, the PS3 and PSP tentatively scheduled to see the service in "Summer 2008". Expect more info at E3.

Tokyo, Japan – Sony today presented a series of new initiatives designed to build on its previous three-year revitalization plan and to position the company as the leading global provider of networked consumer electronics and entertainment. In particular, the company will focus on strengthening core businesses, enhancing network initiatives and leveraging international growth opportunities to build for the future and drive further growth and profits. In addition, Sony announced the following key mid-term goals:

- Expand our PC, Blu-ray DiscTM-related products and component/semiconductor businesses into "trillion yen businesses**," joining LCD TVs, digital imaging (digital cameras and camcorders), game and mobile phones and raising the total number of "trillion yen businesses" to seven.

- Ensure that 90% of our electronics product categories are network-enabled and

wireless-capable by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011 ("FY2010").

- Roll out video services across key Sony products by FY2010, starting with the summer 2008 launch on the PLAYSTATION®Network.

- Double annual revenue from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries to 2 trillion yen*** by FY2010.

* Three-year period ending March 31, 2011

** Businesses each generating 1 trillion yen or more of annual sales to outside customers, except for Blu-ray Disc

related business which includes intersegment sales

*** Includes Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT as allocated

Sony has identified a 5% operating margin as a baseline of profitability to generate cash to continue to lead and innovate. Furthermore we will target an annual return on equity of 10% by FY2010. Sony is also planning to allocate a total of 1.8 trillion yen to invest in and build key businesses and technologies over the next three years.

Highlights are as follows:

Further Strengthen Our Core Businesses

Sony intends to maintain a leading position in its "trillion yen businesses" (LCD TVs, digital imaging, game and mobile phones) and will focus on expanding its PC, Blu-ray Disc-related products, and component/semiconductor businesses into "trillion yen businesses" by the end of FY2010. At the same time, we expect to improve the operations of our TV business significantly and implement a variety of cost reduction measures to restore that business to profitability in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009*, and strive for the global No. 1 position in LCD TVs by FY2010. This press release was lifted off Kotaku. Of the planned 1.8 trillion yen investment over the next three years, approximately 900 billion yen will be allocated towards strengthening core focus areas within components and semiconductors, such as image sensors, batteries, display devices and Blu-ray Disc-related components. 1/3 Sony is also promoting the concept of "open innovation", whereby we are looking not only inside the company, but outside for technologies that foster innovation. By combing Sony's inherent technological strengths with external expertise, we aim to accelerate R&D efficiency and enable the company to effectively respond to rapidly changing customer needs and preferences in the network era.

Through the creation of new user experiences, strengthening core businesses, driving innovation, and minimizing the environmental impact of its operations, Sony will strive to achieve not only sales volume, but also sustainable and profitable growth. In the Game segment, the two key drivers of new growth are non-game content and services in tandem with enhanced network capability. Sony also expects to achieve profitability in this segment in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009*, a significant year-on-year improvement due to hardware cost reductions and an enhanced line-up of software titles for PLAYSTATION®3 ("PS3"). Key Game initiatives are:

1. Expand content and services available on the network platform

2. Continue to expand the PS3 customer base through the strength of Blu-ray Disc

3. Accelerate PS3 sales through upcoming key franchise software titles

4. Continue PS3 cost reduction initiatives

* Forecast as of May 14, 2008

Network Initiatives

Sony will increase network and wireless connectivity across its family of devices and build a service platform to provide a seamless user experience across our key hardware devices and content. We are planning to expand services that will enable our customers to enjoy content such as motion pictures and television programming through the network on a variety of Sony\ products such as BRAVIATM LCD TVs, PS3, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) and Walkman® video music players.

Sony's unique position in electronics and entertainment allows us to offer compelling network services. As an example of our potential, this November, Sony Pictures Entertainment will offer one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer, "Hancock", exclusively to all internet connected BRAVIA LCD TVs in the U.S. before it is available on DVD. This film will be distributed to Sony customers directly to their televisions outside conventional distributors and without the need for any set-top box. This is an industry first.