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back to article Sony blames record $5.7bn loss on everything but Sony

Disasters both natural and manmade have led to tech megacorp Sony reporting a record loss for the fiscal year ending in March. Sony blamed its performance on the 2011 earthquake that wrecked east Japan and Thailand's devastating floods, both of which disrupted factories and suppliers, as well as poor consumer appetite for shiny …

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"poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

Based on piss poor customer treatment no doubt!

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

Indeed. There's a ban on Sony kit in my office because of their "after sales support". And I've just upgraded my Xperia Mini Pro to a Samsung Galaxy S2. It was only because Ericsson was still involved that made me get the Xperia in the first place. Now there's no Ericsson, there's no way I'm buying.

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

"Based on piss poor customer treatment no doubt!"

Not like Apple then right?

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

@DrXym: You'd be surprised. Apple aren't great on after-sales support (even large HE organisations get CAR-type support on laptops, rather than the NBD that you get with vendors who understand how to deal with non-consumer usage requirements) but Sony are even worse. As far as I know they aren't allowed on approved supplier lists for plenty of UK universities because their support offerings aren't strong enough to meet sustainability requirements (which are managed just fine by the likes of Dell and Apple, so can't be *that* stringent).

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FAIL

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

I see where you are coming from, though interestingly, Apple have never subpoena'd their customers' IP addresses when they have jail-broken their devices*.

Apple are no saints but Sony really set a new standard in pissing off a fan-base. I will never again spend any money on Sony products.

*Devices for which the offer of PSN connected online gaming and otherOS option were sold, only to be unilaterally removed by Sony.

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Devil

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

"Now there's no Ericsson, there's no way I'm buying." - there are still some handsets which are SE, not Sony available at fire sale prices and I will probably buy a couple while they last. Agree - after that - no thanks.

I have had enough experience with horrid after-market support, termination of spare parts and consumables less than 2 years after model releases (Vaio Picturebooks anyone), systems especially designed to selfdestruct after the warranty expires (Vaio P3 laptops with a heatsink designed to fry the keyboard) and so on. I suspect that SE's not stellar, but generally acceptable software update policy will be going too :(

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Thumb Down

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

Yeah you have to wonder. Earlier this year I praised them (somewhat sarcastically) for finally updating the PS3 so that it could correct it's internal clock from the network automatically. Considering how crap that clock was it was a sorely needed feature especially since it always could update it but only if you took the trouble to tell it to.

I don't use my PS3 much these days but last week I realised that it was out by an hour. It hadn't switched to summer time (*). I forget the name of two options but it didn't look like it can do that automatically. Just seemed to be an 'on/off' option.

(*)A bit like the weather it seems.

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

"I see where you are coming from, though interestingly, Apple have never subpoena'd their customers' IP addresses when they have jail-broken their devices*."

Neither did Sony. It subpoena'd a person who was released a crack that circumvented the DRM in their closed system. If you were Sony and had billions riding on a platform's success (and we can see that Sony could do with every penny it makes), would you really sit idly by as someone developed a crack whose primary purpose was to facilitate piracy?

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

DrXym, Sony requested from the courts that all IP addresses from ANYONE who VIEWED the website hosting the crack was made available. This means that by merely viewing a website, sony were able to get the details of who you were from your PSN account. This was the final nail in an already nail filled coffin for me.

You really ought to get your facts right,.

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FAIL

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

>Sony and had billions riding on a platform's success

Which obviously has failed regardless of being cracked or not. That is what Sony has yet to learn is DRM reduces your profits long term (unless you can also offer big benefits to the consumer for the DRM like Steam does). Its really sad they haven't figured that out even though they are now 1/5 the size they were a decade ago.

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

Er no, the PS3 did not fail. It's probably one of the few things which was profitable for them. As for DRM, it's inherent and expected from a console. Users should have no expectation at all that they should be able to jail break the thing.

As for the subpoena, it was clearly aimed at Geohot to demonstrate he had disseminated the information, necessary to prove DCMA violations. Instead of getting mad at Sony for quite obviously protecting its investment, people should be getting mad at Geohot and his ilk who were the reason they had to yank Linux support amongst other things. It is quite idiotic to think Sony would just twiddle their thumbs as all this went down.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

You really ought to pull your head out of your arse. The IPs were used as evidence that people were able to access information to crack their PS3's. No one else was pursued legally.

Now go back to your XBox.

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Holmes

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

I agree customer support is important and that most companies don't do it well. I just dumped an HTC phone mostly for that reason and did NOT seriously consider the Sony option for ditto.

Excuses, excuse. Rubs thumb against finger. "That's the world's tiniest violin playing a sad song just for you, Sony."

Disclaimer. I'm a Sony shareholder and I've never forgiven them for orphaning the CLIE. Actually, at one shareholders' meeting I even dared to suggest that they offer Palm data migration tools and possibly even an emulator for Android. Funny, they never got back to me on it. (However, I should add another disclaimer that I'm kind of twisted... Recently I also thought of a rather twisted use for a DOS emulator for Android...)

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Anonymous Coward

Produce what the people want, not what you think the people want.

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

"You really ought to pull your head out of your arse. The IPs were used as evidence that people were able to access information to crack their PS3's. No one else was pursued legally."

No, they were quite specifically required to demonstrate that Geohot was disseminating DRM circumvention information. This was necessary to get him under the provisions of the DCMA.

Some people here clearly have a problem understanding that.

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FAIL

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

Geohots access to the PS3 required more than simply the OtherOS such as bus glitching. The setup required for this was complex and was in no way stable for any form of piracy. Sony were responsible for removing the OtherOS option due to being badly informed over the impact of the exploit.

People are mad at Sony due to thier incompetence at the handling of this issue. There was no reason to remove the OtherOS option. Users did not really have to jailbreak the PS3 thanks to the OtherOS option.

The piracy now taking place on the PS3 and PSP platforms is the result of being able to duplicate signatures. This is due to Sony using the same random number in all ECDSA signatures. It was thier incompetence in using a well established and secure method of encryption that is allowing people to benefit from piracy.

Sony refused to accept thier incompetence and continues to be so. Not allowing customers to use standard memory cards in the PSVITA is one such example.

This all continues to be incredibly hilarious...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

I'm guessing you are upset the PS3 just outsold the Shitebox360 for the 4th year in a row...

http://gamer.blorge.com/2012/05/10/the-ps3-outsells-the-xbox-360-by-a-hair-in-2011/

You can add that to the list of things Microsoft don't want you to hear about....

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FAIL

Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

Yep congrats on almost catching up to me too meh Microsoft for the silver medal.

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Go

Floods and Earthquakes?

Nawww .... Godzilla rising.

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Re: Floods and Earthquakes?

Didn't they forget Locusts also?

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FAIL

Re: Floods and Earthquakes?

And its become obvious to everyone but Sony that major media studios make crappy DRM laced hardware no one wants due to the natural conflict of interest.

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Trollface

At this point I feel I have to...

...mention rootkits. Solely to wind up Sony Fanbois, you understand.

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WTF?

Up and down?

"The company reported a net loss of ¥456.7bn ($5.7bn, £3.5bn), down from a loss of ¥259.6bn ($3.3bn, £2bn) in the previous fiscal year"

Surely £3.5bn is up from £2bn?

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Headmaster

Re: Up and down?

>Surely £3.5bn is up from £2bn?

Not if it's in the red...

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Re: Up and down?

"...on sales of ¥6.5trn ($79m, £50bn), which decreased 9.6 per cent year-on-year."

$79m = £50bn!? Yikes, better get some zeroes back under control.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Up and down?

God dammit. Fixed.

My reaction: here

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Headmaster

Re: Up and down?

Double-pedant: Their profits may be in the red, but the target of that sentence is the loss, which increased, and therefore should be described as 'up'.

You could say their profits went down from -£2bn to -£3.5bn, but that would be even more confusing.

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Anonymous Coward

"...as well as poor consumer appetite for shiny gear ..."

Which is obvioulsy why Apple is doing so badly too then!

More correctly it should read "...as well as poor consumer appetite for sony gear..." - no prizes for guessing why Sony are on most consumers shit list.

@Ian K - don't worry about offending 'sony fanbois' - they don't exist these days (and haven't for some years).

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Joke

Re: "...as well as poor consumer shiny gear ..."

Maybe the title s/b as above.

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I like to think that a small part of this loss ...

Is due to me excluding their products from my search when looking for an MP3 player earlier this year.

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Pint

Bad news to make me smile

Arr this has cheered my afternoon up...

Just need a pint to sit back with and watch the once great now steeped in denial whilst all around them their house burns...

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Thumb Up

Re: Bad news to make me smile

>the once great now steeped in denial

Nokia?, RIM?, Micro$oft? oh Sony.

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The problem with Sony

Is Sony.

For years they've been dominant in so many fields, but each of the seperate divisions have refused to play as a team - okay, maybe we're starting to see a few changes in what was Sony Erricson playing with the PS Team, but there needs to be more teamwork between divisions... There's no point in being a monolithic corporation if you're not going to use the greatest strengths such a organisation has - Intergration and Synnergy.

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Anonymous Coward

Making Nokia's implosion looks like a bad hair day...

Nokia - lose ~£1billion and the company is dead according to the world - just a matter of time. Despite having money in the bank...

Sony lose 3.5x as much, even more than last year and nobody is saying the same? Sony have a negative bank balance if Wiikpedia is correct...

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Re: Making Nokia's implosion looks like a bad hair day...

On the other hand Sony has a Spiderman movie coming up

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Re: Making Nokia's implosion looks like a bad hair day...

Is it not strange that we must find crack pot ideas to explain Nokia's problems, but are happy to revel in Sony's problems? Fact is, Nokia have a plan to get out of their prediciment (it may not work, but it has a good chance), but Sony don't.

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Go

Re: Making Nokia's implosion looks like a bad hair day...

As much as we dislike Sony, at least they have more than one business line. And they haven't sold their soul. Yet.

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Pint

I avoid Sony stuff

Could that be part of the reason they are going down? I raise a glass to their troubles, long may they last.

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why the hate?

I really dont understand the hate about Sony. Other companies have done much worse to there customers and not felt this sort of ire.

All i can think of is the rootkit debacle, and the linux removal from the ps3. And those 2 things are really not that bad.

Sony make great products. The ps3 is a marvel. There a/v equipment is spectacular. They contunually innovate new products (some fail, but hey, thats innovation for you) So why the hate?

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Happy

Re: why the hate?

Not sure, I do like the build quality of their products, I had friends impressed with the stock TV speakers, another friend thinks my same priced camera as their Nikon takes better pics.

My Sony stereo is approaching 8 years old and I really do like the audio it kicks out.

Yes I am a Sony fan but I have been happy with 90% of the products I have bought off them. (Xperia mini pro is a bit dodgy to be honest).

PS3 is ace!

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FAIL

Re: why the hate?

Notwithstanding the fact that they wanted the IP addresses of anyone who looked at Geohotz's PS3 Jailbreak (looked at, not downloaded or installed). I do not appreciate them subpoenaing my details because of some perceived crime (especially when it would have only restored functionality they removed).

If you are happy having rootkits installed, and having your PS3 functionality decided for you AFTER shelling out over £250 for it, then carry on loving Sony (assuming you dont work for them).

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Mushroom

Re: why the hate?

Completely agree with Mike. The rootkit thing was in 2005 - get over it. My PS3 is a slim one so never had the Linux option, but the number of ppl who rant on and on about it is amazing. What percentage of PS3 owners actually ever wanted to bother loading Linux onto their console when even an ancient desktop is a better option? I got my PS3 for playing games on, which it does just fine. But now Sony have added Lovefilm so I can stream movies as well - bloody Sony, changing the features of my PS3 after I bought it!

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Stop

Re: why the hate?

It's for different reasons for different types of consumer.

For some people, a relative minority that looks like a vocal majority, it's things like removing the ability to install Linux as a second OS on their PS3s.

For other people, since Sony managed to make mainstream news for their security failures and the downtime of their network people are wary of buying into the Sony world.

For others, it's because Sony have been an arrogant, non-supportive, over-expensive entity for just a few too many years, and they've lost respect - and those people whose Sony TVs and equipment expired in the last couple of years haven't gone back to them because of their shoddy support and grotty attitude - not to mention that they wanted to charge me to get my TV fixed after the screen died after 2 months....so yeh, I fit into this bracket...and I think this is probably the largest group of negative people.

For a few more people, Sony's own attitude is shown in their statement. As The Register points out, Sony will blame everyone and everything else on their failures rather than themselves. This just reaffirms how many people are starting to view the company.

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Vic
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Re: why the hate?

> And those 2 things are really not that bad.

Yeah, they are...

> Sony make great products

Sony *used to* make great products. When I joined, the kudos was simply fantastic. I was proud to be associated with the Sony quality.

During my time there, the pennies were ever-more pinched. In the end, the kit we were shipping was at best just the same as everyone else's, but with a higher price tag. At worst, there were serious difficulties with what went to market.

Vic.

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Re: why the hate?

The problem is that Sony, as with most large corps, can be viewed as a mixture of Good Sony & Bad Sony.

Good Sony is, say, the Playstation - revolutionising console gaming at a time when the established players were either being arrogant bellends (Hello Nintendo!) or driving themselves into bankruptcy with about ten times as many hardware platforms in development as they could actually sell (Hi there, Sega!). Or the PS2. Or the Walkman. Or the Minidisc. Or Sony-Ericsson (early in its lifespan). Or even arguably the Betamax standard.

Bad Sony is Sony Music being involved enough in price-fixing that they were part of a settlement. Or the infamous rootkit debacle. Or pushing the Blu-Ray standard over HD-DVD (with the ugly prospect of problematic DRM rearing its head more and more). Or the excessive diversification of their mobile phone line (consider: they had 98 mobile phones either on sale or in support phase *after* completing an extensive overhaul and reduction of the line overall). Or the various forms of after-the-fact bellendery with the PS3 (removing OtherOS support with a firmware upgrade, going back on their stated intention to provide support via emulation for PS2 games). Or spending several years insisting that everything about the Wii was a big bag o' shite, only to eventually come up with the Move...which was basically a Wiimote with a glowing ball on the end. And of course the by-now-infamous PSN outage/hack.

For the last couple of years, Bad Sony has been in the ascendant, and I think that's what has hit them hard.

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Re: why the hate?

I've never understood the Sony Anti--fanbois either. Every company has at some point done something that is unpopular, unethical or even unlawful. I don't see people screaming about boycotting VW, IBM, Ford, Coca Cola etc. for their collaboration with the Nazi's. Surely that is a more serious offense than removing an OS that almost no one cared about from a game console.

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Re: why the hate?

I'm still waiting for an apology for the root kit, or a prosecution. Once either of those happens then I'll start looking at their kit again.

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Re: why the hate?

PS3 - no way to decently browse web, no way to decently view youtube videos. So much they could do with that device, but I guess earthquakes are preventing them (not laziness). If it weren't for Blue Ray player I'd sell it long time back.

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Re: why the hate?

Senselessly persecuting hardware hackers.

Brain dead approach to copyright infringement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: why the hate?

I bought a Prs ereader. 7 months later the screen developed a flaw. I brought it to the Sony Centre where I'd purchased it who duly falsely accused me of dropping it and refused to fix under warranty.

Eventually, out of curiosity, I asked how much this would cost and was told 220 euros to replace the screen, when I'd bought the unit new for 180 in the very same store.

I asked them why I should get it replaced when I can buy a Kindle/Bookeen/etc for half the price, to which they had no reply. And I'm looking forward to seeing them in court too to get my reader repaired/replaced free of charge as it was never dropped. Pure scum.

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