its being reported that Sony refused to allow the Playstation brand to be used on a Sony Ericsson handset. Well those of us in the music industry (and those of us with sources in gadget world) know the real truth. Sony is currently in the process of reorganising its product and brand offerings. Additionally its doing this in such a way, so that they all feed vertically into its actual business model. I.E. not just doing things to propogate technology or for market share, but doing ‘things’ which result in money (always a good idea for a business I say).
We saw earlier in the year how they split with BMG and that SONYBMG are now Sony. Well 2009 or start of 2010 might be the year they do the same with Sony Ericsson.
Can Sony release a PSP based Iphone killer, able to play top games, stream and download music and movies, and do this over a 3G and WIFI network? For sure, and once the cost is reduced to allow this all to happen without it killing the current crop of batteries they will. Making phone calls on such a device would clearly kill a current battery if you also wanted to run God Of War on it for 2 hours.
However the other stumbling block is a simple one. As part of their deal with Ericsson, one assumes Sony can’t actually make phones. Hence, by buying Ericsson out they will be free to move in this direction.
Battery life will be the technical stumbling block, but huge progress is being made in that area.
Sony Ericsson have already been releasing some great music and video enabled phones, and recently Sony have released (or about to release) a beautiful OLED powered competitor to the Ipod Touch (excluding any decent game functionality). A bringing together of these technologies along with PSP intergration would make an awesome device for us techies.
However would it be a new paradigm in the world of music and content? Maybe it would be too techie for ‘Joe the Plumber’ or even ‘Arthur the Academic’ who listens to music and podcasts whilst on the tube. Also, is the PSP brand worth much? The first PSP has hardly been a life changing success, and often confuses those into thinking all it does is play games. Meanwhile Apple are busy rebranding the IPOD/Iphone brand into making people realise its also a gaming platform.
For example, the PS3 does EVERYTHING. In fact it has to be one of the best multimedia boxes ever created! However, people don’t see the value in the price. Why? Because consumers perceive it as a games console and never realise what else the machine can do, and does really, really well.
However, what if Sony canabalised their brands and products and eventually sold all phones/devices as Playstation and advertised it as Playstation with Music. Playstation with Film. I’m not suggesting these are particulary great marketing phrases - the point Im trying to get across is that they need to redfine what the word Playstation or PS means to consumers. Make it clear that its a way of saying ‘this device means fun and leisure, ALL your leisure.’
No one wins points for being subtle. Clever adverts which imply but never say what you can do, might be great art but don’t sell ideas or products. Imagine this: ‘Hey, what you are playing on your phone?’ says character A. Character B responds ’some music by …., then Im gonna watch an episode of Lost, and tonight Ill play some Killzone.’
If all the content named was popular or classic, and if all of it was owned and ONLY available via Sony online shops linked to the hardware - and if that was made upfront, and clear with the consumers. Surely then, they would have a total solution and a great business model?