Sony Corp.

Donald Trump Takes a Swipe at Sony and Japan

Donald_TrumpI never thought I’d be writing about Trump on this site but alas, here I am. Resident clown and shameful US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in a recent gathering, decided that he needed to add another demographic to his list of pissed off nations and people. So who was in his crosshairs this time? None other than the entire nation of Japan and Sony to make things a bit more personal.

No Man’s Sky – Expectations vs. Reality

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Nearly a week into its release, No Man’s Sky, the AAA indie title from Hello Games, continues to divide critics and gamers. Is the game a completely unique vision that gives you a calming, yet fleeting, lonely sense within the universe or is it just boring? No matter where you fall on that, you can’t deny the team’s grand ambition which has brought with it near-endless planets and creatures to explore.

But is it what you thought it be? One fan made video that’s been popping up all over my feed helps put the game and its hype into context, and it’s hilarious.

GT Sport Around 70% Complete; Should We Be Worried?

Gran_Turismo_Sport_CoverGran Turismo Sport is expected to race across the finish line (puns like this means I’m a professional, right?) on November 15th. In adhering to their tight schedule in order to meet the ever-important holiday shopping season, Polyphony Digital has already decided to cancel the game’s public beta, but with just three months left, can the developers deliver another 30% in production?

Sony Square NYC Retail Experience to Debut

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Sony is once again looking at their retail options and dipping their toes back in. Dubbed Sony Square NYC, the new store will be located in New York City, as the name suggests. Steven Fuld, senior VP-Corporate Marketing at Sony Corp. of America:

 With this space, we’re trying to give consumers an emotional connection with the brand 

Unlike previous efforts where Sony attempted to replicate the success of Apple retail, this store is less about selling and more about experiencing. So what does that mean?

Could Sony Stock Have a 54% Upside?

Thanks to last week’s surprise profit during their Q1 FY16 earnings report, investors have been bullish again on Sony’s stock, a sentiment that’s been ever increasing the past year. Isabella Zhong writing for Barron’s:

 Shares are up around 2% today following the company’s stunning June quarter earnings beat last Friday. The stock has rebounded 12% this year after having plummeted 35% in the second half of 2015. 

So why the rise in sentiment for Sony? Entertainment.

Sony Selling Its Battery Business

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Here is a bit of curious news coming out of Japan. Kana Inagaki writing for Financial Times:

 Sony has agreed to sell its lossmaking battery business to Apple supplier Murata Manufacturing in a deal that could create a new player in the growing market to power electric vehicles. 

Nintendo Finally Crashes From Pokemon Go High

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It’s rather surprising that it took financial markets and tech pundits this long to catch on to the whole Pokemon Go phenomenon that’s pushed Nintendo’s valuation up by nearly $12 billion. But now that both sides have gotten their heads around it, that Pokemon high is coming to an end.

After all, for the past week, there has been no shortage of coverage around how Nintendo is now valued above Sony which is ludicrous no matter how you look at it.

FutureBrand’s Ranking of World’s Favorite Companies Released

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Once a year, FutureBrand leads a study where they look at the 100 biggest companies by market capitalization. From there, the study asks 3,000 consumer and industry professionals in 17 different countries about the companies and asks them to rank them

 in terms of perception strength, rather than financial strength 

So where did Sony rank?

Sony Faces Patent Lawsuit Over Battery Technologies

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Companies like Somaltus, LLC are one of the biggest problem the tech industry faces – patent trolls that leech on successful businesses by demanding a ransom for something they themselves have never actually created. Texas, a state that’s more than happy to house an alarming rate of these patent trolls is the scene of yet another lawsuit (over battery technologies) that includes Sony and others like Apple.

Sony’s Recovery Pace Picks Up

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Despite how a majority of us feel about Sony’s mobile ambitions which have been muted at best, the company as a whole is recovering quite nicely. One sign of a healthy company is the ability for it to invest in its future (as opposed to chasing the market) and Sony has been hard at work in that regard:

 Having mostly stemmed losses at its television and other consumer electronics businesses, Sony revealed on Wednesday that it was investing in artificial intelligence technology and developing a robot that can bond emotionally with humans.

Despite an export-denting surge in the yen that has followed the UK’s vote to leave the EU, Sony kept its target of an operating profit exceeding ¥500bn ($4.9bn) for the 2017-18 fiscal year. If achieved, that would be the highest in two decades, improving from a profit of ¥294.2bn in the last financial year. 

10 Million Android Devices Reportedly Infected With Chinese Malware

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Fun times for Android owners. Daniel Van Boom writing for CNET:

 At least 10 million Android devices have been infected by malware called HummingBad, according to cybersecurity software maker Check Point.

Check Point, which has been tracking the malware since it was discovered in February, has released an analysis of the threat. For months, the number of infections were steady but they spiked sharply in mid-May.

What makes HummingBad particularly interesting is the group behind it, which according to Check Point is a team of developers at Yingmob, an otherwise legitimate, multimillion-dollar advertising analytics agency based in Beijing. 

It’s also worth noting that the malware at hand isn’t limited to those living in China.

Sony Outlines Their Plans Moving Forward

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In an earlier piece, I outlined the importance of PlayStation for Sony, which the company sees as their biggest growth driver. But what about their different divisions like Mobile with Xperia and their return to robotics with AIBO? In short, Sony plans to

 provides customers with kando, and inspires and fulfills their curiosity, Sony will continue to target growth by developing the three pillars of its business—electronics, entertainment and financial services—and creating new business opportunities in these business domains. 

So what exactly does that all mean? While Sony obviously won’t detail on their exact plans for the future, the following gives us a roadmap as to what we can expect them to focus on going forward.

Sony Is Bringing AIBO, Its Robotic Dog, Back

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Growing up as a kid (or teen, in my case), there is always that ‘one thing’ you would eye, but could never have – and for me, it was AIBO. Launched in the late 90’s, AIBO, Sony’s robotic dog was a product that was well ahead of its time. Though AIBO (Artificial Intelligence Robot) had some unique tricks and features, the reality of the technology at the time meant a very low ceiling for how much Sony could achieve. Back then, mobile computing with any form of power barely existed and the heavy/barely mobile laptops that were around still mostly came without a wireless card. This of course meant that advanced networks like 4G/LTE and AI were pure science fiction. Of course since then, we’ve come a long way, with our smartphones in our pockets more capable than the most high-end computers during the time AIBO was created.

Sony Expects Significant Decrease of Camera Sales Due to Earthquake Damage at Kumamoto

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Months after the devastating earthquakes that struck Japan, new reports are still coming to light on how the quakes have affected Sony. Besides the financial cost required to rebuild the factory, the inability for Sony to output sensors from its damaged facility has meant lost business to companies it supplies like Apple and Samsung. Client sales aside, Sony’s own internal divisions are also being affected by the quake.

Investment in Medical Startup M3 Earns Sony $1 Billion in Last 12 Months

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While a majority of us, including yours truly, consider Sony an electronics and entertainment company (lumping music, pictures, and PlayStation under that), the truth is that they’re a lot more. In fact, most mature companies like Sony and Apple have stakes in a lot of businesses that the general public might not be aware of. As an example, Apple more recently invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. Sony for its part has always had a diverse portfolio which has ranged from being an ISP in Japan with Yahoo as a partner, to offering financial services and loans. Now, one of those investments is paying off in strides.