back to article Sony wants cash to get out of tellies, into mobile, CMOS and games

Sony has announced it will issue five-year convertible bonds, which will change into stock in 2017, to raise ¥150bn (£1.18bn, $1.89bn) for acquisitions and investments. A third of the cash will go into snapping up that stake in Olympus, announced in September, and another ¥10bn (£79m, $125m) will go towards the acquisition of US …

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Used to love the old Super Trinitron Wide. RIP

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MJI
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TVs

Very good tubes, but their LCDs are great as well, but expensive

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Sony managers out of mind fully on crack

So they sold the Cell technology to Toshiba. They are not using Cell anymore for Playstation4.

And now they are claiming that they want to quit the tv market to turn into a semiconductor manufacturer instead?

That makes perfect sense, really? Indeed..you sell a huge asset like Cell and then you throw away your tv divisions in a hope to turn the group into a semiconductor manufacturer.

What great managers they are...

Sony is doomed to go bankrupt with these managers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony managers out of mind fully on crack

I don't recall ever reading that they sold the cell technology to toshiba. I recall reading in 2011 that they bought the cell manufacturing plant FROM toshiba.

http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/28/sony_toshiba_ps3_chip_plant_sale/

in which case going into the semiconductor manufacturing market does make perfect sense. Especially when you think that right now they're paying out extra fees for every mobile chip in their phones, laptops, psVita soon PS4, TV. going into this area would make perfect sense. Buy licensing rights to the ARM architecture (especially the future desktop processing architecture) and sudenly they eliminate a large number of those fees. Do well enough with the market and they could start selling their chips to the competition.

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Re: Sony managers out of mind fully on crack

http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/18/sony-sells-cell-to-toshiba/

"Sony sells PS3's Cell to Toshiba

By Thomas Ricker posted October 18th 2007 3:41AM

So much for their earlier denial, eh? An anonymous Sony official has "confirmed" to Japan's Nikkei that they will sell their advanced computer chip operations to Toshiba in an effort to re-focus on core business. The official announcement is expected later today. The sale gives Toshiba the manufacturing responsibility for the much hyped Cell processor used in Sony's PS3. Sony, of course, will continue to invest in the Cell chip. Nikkei says the deal is worth some ¥100 billion (about $858 million) and should be completed by March."

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/22/sony-buys-back-toshibas-cell-plant-for-50-billion-yen-makes-a/

"Sony buys back Toshiba's Cell plant for 50 billion yen, makes a killing and plans a CMOS fab

By Sean Hollister posted Dec 22nd 2010 2:44PM

Looks like Toshiba's Cell processor ambitions didn't quite pan out -- Japanese news sources are reporting that the company's selling its Nagasaki manufacturing plant back to Sony for 50 billion yen, or roughly $597 million in US money. Considering that Toshiba originally purchased the semiconductor facility for 100 90 billion yen (then $835 million) back in 2008, it seems like Sony's making out like a bandit here -- and it may have just found the perfect place to build more CMOS chips for its high-end camera lineup, too. Sony reportedly told the Nikkei Business Daily that it may repurpose the facility to produce HD image sensors for cameras and smartphones. What will happen to the chip that launched 40 million PS3s and a graphics co-processor or two? With any luck, we'll find out at CES 2011 quite soon. "

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Re: Sony managers out of mind fully on crack

The ARM architecture even the upcoming 64bit one can't compete with Intel and surely not with Cell.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sony managers out of mind fully on crack

So... Sony selling the chip fabrication to Toshiba in 2007 overrides the fact taht Toshiba sold it back to sony in 2011?

As for the ARM not being able to compete with intel / amd at the moment I'd agree. But this is a long future thing, 10 years down the line (going by average console lifecycle) it could be a very different story. Not to mention the relative success of SoC systems. If a desktop variant can have as much success having a GP/CPU SoC setup as the mobile variant then we've potentially got good times ahead.

That and even though the CELL BBE has theoretically more than double the processing power of the latest i7 still. It's become such a thorn in the side and apparently so hard to code with, most developers are barely getting 50% power out of the thing.

Moving to an ARM SoC setup for future home consoles actually makes some degree of sense, it would be the closest to zero latency they could realistically get while still having very good communication bandwidth. Combine that with a far smaller form factor, and less of a power drain and it's really what we want in the future.

And as a final point, they could then realistically launch all their games on both the pshandheld of the generation and the console since the compiled game would run on both platforms (of course you'd probably need to download some kind of graphics patch for the console version)

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Anonymous Coward

Gaming?

Moving into gaming is a real gamble. Unless by gaming they mean gambling, in which case it won't be a gamble at all - it will be a sound investment.

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The Sony of Old is long dead

As far as I'm concerned Sony used to be the gold standard if you wanted a television that lasted. My folks still have their trinitron they bought back in the 80's and it still works well. I can't think of many consumer products (especially today) that have a longevity like that.

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Hmm...an incredible hardware manufacturer (witness Jony Ives' admiration with a mock mock-up of an imagined Sony phone during the creation process for the iPhone) let down by a) crap software and poor implementation (my X1060 Walkman had incredible, beautiful hardware but the software, while serviceable was just weird in places...having to type http:// at the start of every address in the browser...eh?) and b) the ever litigating media arm of Sony/Columbia whatever it's called. They are the main reason Sony never competed properly with the iPod and went from dominating personal music players and home media to being a fringe alternative, all driven by their stupid DRM and the fear of users copying their music. (thankfully the aforementioned X1060 was drag and drop, but by then it was too late).

And now they are flogging their TV arm. At least the company is getting smaller, being massive with more bureaucracy than Whitehall is probably one of the reasons they are fucked.

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I will admit I'm a sony enthusiast, given a choice I'll normally lean in favour of sony despite the inflated cost but I have to agree (i think). When it comes to the hardware on pretty much anything they make, sony seems to be one of the best (imo) I really can't fault them on the quality of their hardware.

But it's like they hired a load of students to do their software for them. Honestly ony needs to evaluate their software departments, perhaps fire a few idiots. Hell at this point I'd honestly say they'd be better off making nothing but the hardware, and outsourcing the software for the consoles / tvs to a third party who actually knows what they're doing.

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MJI
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Software

They do have some talented programmers.

Team ICE, Naughty Dog, Guerilla

All in games division

Put like that as elreg STILL does not allow a vertical list

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Well the software on their TVs is remarkably good, actually. Less crap than the Samsung ones and not that dissimilar from something Apple might have put out.

Not sure I can think of anyone making better TVs at the moment.

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laptops

Agree on their excellent tellies and the easy to use software (especially compared to Panasonic). Their laptops however, are shonky as hell. Plus they're going down the Apple "can't service easily" route. Glue, tape and soft wobbly plastic abound on the latest Vaio notebooks. The CPU fans fail early tool. Junk.

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