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Are Sony's Woes Caused By Blu-ray?

Posted by: , 17:42 AEST, Fri April 13, 2012

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Forbes contributor says Sony's woes are in part caused by the "success" of Blu-ray
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Forbes contributor Stephen Pope has written a controversial piece that claims Blu-ray is at the center of Sony's latest woes.

Referring to Sony's recent announcement of the global lay-off of 10,000 staff, 6 percent of their entire workforce, Pope says the company's misplaced optimism over winning the HD format wars may be behind the company's sagging fortunes.

Pope says that the cost of fighting the HD format war has cost the company big, but the actual spoils of war, the victory of Blu-ray as only HD disc format left standing, may not have been worth the trouble. Pope cites the increasing popularity of Internet based video distribution as a sign that Blu-ray may be passed over on the home front, while on the corporate front, the necessity to store TBs of data is making the GBs of Blu-ray inadequate before it's even adopted.

Pope also criticizes Sony for lacking direction and innovation with their TV division, and letting Apple take the lead in terms of the design trends, an area Sony used to excel at.

While what some of what Pope says is undeniably true, with Internet based streaming only recently taking over disc based videos as the most popular way to watch movies at home. The development of Blu-ray was also considered a key reason behind the delayed release of the PS3, which allowed Microsoft's Xbox 360 to take an early lead in the key North American market, a lead over the PS3 that appears to be growing, not shrinking. And on the TV front, lack of price competitiveness has allowed the likes of Samsung and LG to take away a huge amount of market share, especially during the recent 3D rollout. 

But the fact remains that Blu-ray is still probably Sony's best victory in recent times, with the latest sales stats pointing to the format's growing strength at the expense of DVDs - even if it may not be enough to help Sony reach profitability again.


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