Just a fun followup on my last week’s mini rant against analysts and with no sense of irony, I introduce to you, a mysterious “Contributor” at Forbes.
In trading on Thursday, shares of Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE) entered into oversold territory, hitting an RSI reading of 27.6, after changing hands as low as $28.22 per share. By comparison, the current RSI reading of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is 62.5. A bullish investor could look at SNE’s 27.6 RSI reading today as a sign that the recent heavy selling is in the process of exhausting itself, and begin to look for entry point opportunities on the buy side. The chart below shows the one year performance of SNE shares:
What a difference a week makes. Where a week ago was all about the ‘now’ and finding the best deals possible in that given moment, this week is all about reflecting on the year we’ve had and the year that’s to come. On Thursday night, Allegra attended (and I watched live at home, in 4k!) The Game Awards – a night where we can honor those who’ve made the games we love possible. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what games are or aren’t and even easier to forget the talented people and the countless hours they put into creating these worlds. Those of you who’ve subscribed to our weekly newsletter can read more about my thoughts later today and see why I find the show so important.
The Game Awards aside, this weekend is also part of a new tradition created by Sony three years ago – PlayStation Experience, a mini E3-like convention that’s all about the fans. Once a year in December, Sony puts on a show where they unveil new gameplay footages, host panels with developers, and sell plenty of merch. A genius move on Sony’s part to enter the final stretch of the year and the ever important holiday shopping season with a hyped up and loyal fanbase. At its core, PSX is a show that’s designed with fans, not journalists or industry insiders in mind and it’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re on my side of the fence – that for many of those attending, they’re meeting their heroes and role models – and what a feeling it must be for them who aren’t surrounded by gaming/tech news 24/7 to go in and experience new titles and new tech like VR by the company that’s making them.
Some welcome news for 4K TV owners. YouTube is upping its game by offering 4K live-streams on YouTube, including for 360-degree videos at 60fps. This comes in addition to 4K HDR video playback that YouTube already provides. Just last night, The Game Awards were streamed across multiple platforms, including YouTube, and I watched in crystal clear 4K which made it a treat when they showcased Death Stranding running in 4K on PS4 Pro.
Sony makes a ton of products that the average person is aware of: PlayStation, TVs, Xperia phones (people sort of know about this), and other home accessories, but the company also operates in a lot of markets most aren’t aware of. Medical, ISP, insurance business, and yes, even the video surveillance market. In this case, Bosch and Sony are teaming up in an unusual but quite appropriate way where Sony will do what it does best – make hardware – and Bosch will use its name recognition and take over marketing – something Sony is terrible at.
When it comes to The Verge, I have a bit of love/hate relationship with their writing. Thanks to their size and reach, The Verge is able to attend any press event and get any their hands on any product they want to review. Mix that with some very smart writers and you have a combination that’s sure to provide some truly compelling pieces, yet I often find myself disagreeing with their takes. Yes their reach and access gives them interesting pieces that they can cover, but so many times, their take on the material seems convoluted and out of touch, not truly representing the real world.
This week’s newsletter will be blasting off in just a few hours so if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe. And as always, if you have any feedback, let me know in the comments section or on Twitter (@SonyRumors). The big focus of today’s piece is all about AI and Sony’s ambitions going forward. I’ve touched upon this a few times in the last few newsletters and various pieces written around the Xperia Ear, but with it now having officially launched worldwide, I felt it appropriate to revisit the subject.
Sony missed out on the mobile race like Microsoft did but with AI, they’re getting into it at a decent time – but is timing enough?
It’s always curious to see who is putting to use Sony’s image sensor and who’s actually doing a better job with them. Despite keeping the best image sensors to themselves and only eventually giving it to competitors, Sony has always had problems with their Xperia line and the image quality they produce – sometimes what you get from the phones is pure brilliance and other times, the content is just head-scratchingly bad. Fortunately for Sony, they were smart enough to recognize that no matter what their own mobile division could produce, the upside to selling to other companies far outweighed keeping their sensors exclusive for their own use.
High on that list is Apple which has been using Sony sensors since iPhone 4s, resulting in billions paid. Now the latest company to tap Sony for their sensor expertise is Chinese manufacturer ViVo.
One thing that comes up regularly in the comments section is the cry for Sony to end its reliance on Android and build an OS of their own. Wouldn’t it be great to see Sony run with PlayStation as the core of their systems, seeing how much success they’ve been having with it, or start from the ground up and control their own destiny while becoming less reliant on Google? In theory, it all sounds great but in reality, it’s near impossible to achieve.
For starters, not even Microsoft has been able to expand beyond Windows on desktop and they were in the mobile category long before Apple and Google. Yet with a lead and billions of dollars in the war chest, Windows Mobile continues to shrink and hovers around 1% marketshare. Why is that? One word: developers.
One of my favorite things to wake up to in the morning is a good fud piece, or clickbait as it were. Written by Sneha Shah from Insider Monkey, the headline for her piece reads as such:
Billionaire Gabelli Says Sony Corp (SNE) Should Split
So what did Gabelli actually say? Before we get into that, here is what Shah wrote as a setup for the billionaire, which is designed to give his opinion more weight.
In April of this year, a series of earthquakes struck Japan, causing Sony’s image sensor factories to be down for months. On top of needing to repair the affected facilities, Sony’s ability to output sensors was also dramatically reduced, resulting in lost business that lead to a spectacular 48% drop in profits for the quarter. Now nearly 7 months later, Sony is once again bullish on their highly lucrative division.
One of the key factors in Sony’s Q2 2016 revenue taking an 86% dip is lower than expected Xperia smartphone sales. Having already cut smartphone sales forecasts twice in 2016, Sony is once again lowering their guidance by 11% for the year and expect to only ship 17 million units. Looking at the numbers, things don’t look all that rosy for Sony’s mobile ambitions though sales were up by 400k compared to the previous quarter. However, looking at the numbers against the same in 2015, which was never spectacular to begin with, it’s hard to walk away with a bright view on the division.
As John Gruber often notes, Bluetooth’s motto should be:
Next year it will work great
and I’m starting to think it’s time for us to adopt a similar stance on Sony’s earning reports, be it for next quarter or next calendar year. According to the AP, Sony’s
net profit plunged 86 percent in the last quarter from a year earlier, the company said Tuesday, as its profitability was hammered by a strong yen and lagging smartphone sales.
Though the headline might first appear shocking, it’s technically not news. In 2015, Sony had announced plans to spin off their camera division, much like they’ve spun off their home entertainment and sound business. The reason for the spinoffs? Efficiency.
The reorganization is meant in part to speed up the decision-making process and clarify accountability. The parent company will effectively become a holding company that focuses on such functions as formulating strategies for the entire group and creating new businesses.
Sad news for those who like to use Sony’s ‘Live on YouTube’ app on Android to stream live video to YouTube. Come October 28th, Sony is officially discontinuing the app and those who update to Nougat will find the app incompatible. Sony didn’t give a reason why, but the likely answer is that the YouTube app can finally live stream on its own. Google was caught sleeping when it came to live streaming from mobile devices with Periscope and now Facebook owning a majority of that space – all which led to a rise of 3rd party apps to handle the task. With Google’s YouTube app now doing basically what Sony’s app and others have been doing, there’s little reason for Sony to invest further money in an app that’s redundant.
Those wanting the option to play 4K Blu-ray movies from Sony will have to wait till Spring 2017 when they’ll launch their first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBP-X1000ES. Friend of the site, Richard Lawler, writing for Engadget:
Sony says it will be exclusively available through custom installers at first. The player is ready for “virtually any optical disk format” as well as Atmos and DTS:X audio tracks.