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 …


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  1. SuperTim

    "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

    Based on piss poor customer treatment no doubt!

    1. Andrew Moore

      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.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        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 :(

      2. Shannon Jacobs

        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...)

    2. DrXym

      Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

      "Based on piss poor customer treatment no doubt!"

      Not like Apple then right?

      1. Captain Underpants

        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).

      2. SuperTim

        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.

        1. DrXym

          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?

          1. SuperTim

            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,.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

              1. DrXym

                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.

          2. asdf

            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.

            1. DrXym

              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.

              1. crtc

                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...

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      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.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

    5. Anonymous Coward
      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...

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

      1. asdf

        Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

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

  2. Doug Glass

    Floods and Earthquakes?

    Nawww .... Godzilla rising.

    1. ItsNotMe

      Re: Floods and Earthquakes?

      Didn't they forget Locusts also?

    2. asdf

      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.

  3. Ian K

    At this point I feel I have to...

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

  4. Tom 38

    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?

    1. Samurai Tony

      Re: Up and down?

      >Surely £3.5bn is up from £2bn?

      Not if it's in the red...

      1. Tom 38

        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.

    2. Cave Dweller

      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.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Up and down?

        God dammit. Fixed.

        My reaction: here

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

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

    More correctly it should read " 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).

    1. tom dial Silver badge

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

      Maybe the title s/b as above.

  6. John G Imrie

    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.

  7. HamsterNet

    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...

    1. asdf
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bad news to make me smile

      >the once great now steeped in denial

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

  8. Chad H.

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    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...

    1. fandom

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

      On the other hand Sony has a Spiderman movie coming up

    2. Anonymous Coward 101

      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.

    3. Mikel

      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.

  10. King Jack

    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.

  11. Mike Brown

    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?

    1. measmyself

      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!

      1. Tom 38

        Re: why the hate?

        My Sony-hate derives from an earlier age. Sony used to have a reputation for quality, and you would buy Sony hifi equipment because of the quality.

        At some point, they decided to cash in on that reputation, and built some god-awful kit that was cheaper than their regular kit, but way more expensive than equivalent, non Sony kit. Loads of people paid extra for the Sony mark of quality and got ripped off.

        I'd rather buy an Onkyo or Wharfedale than Sony these days.

    2. SuperTim

      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).

    3. Paul Westerman

      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!

      1. John G Imrie

        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.

    4. Atonnis

      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 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.

    5. Vic

      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.


    6. Captain Underpants

      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.

      1. EvilGav 1

        Re: why the hate? - Blu-ray

        Should probably remember that blu-ray was always going to be the next generation, but Toshiba threw the spanner in the works and created the competing HD-DVD format after they didn't like some aspect or other of BD (I forget now exactly why they didn't like it).

        Sony weren't the ones going for spoiling tactics, Toshiba were.

        I've owned loads of Sony kit over the years - all the Playstations (my first generation PS3 fat, with the 4 front USB ports and a flash card reader is still running smoothly), a Trinitron TV (which was only replaced when I went flat-screen, it's still working fine in a shared flat with some friends, after 15 years or so), home cinema system (again, still working after I sold it to a mate, which is more than can be said for my Marantz amp that is barely 3 years old). Plus more, but you get the idea.

      2. Daniel B.

        Lots of reasons to love and hate Sony.

        As Captain Underpants said, Bad Sony has been on the rise and the general public has noticed it. 12 years ago, my parents' home was a 100% Sony shop: Sony Stereo, Sony CD Player, Sony TV, Sony VCR, Playstation, my (still working) Walkman. Currently my home has 2 PS3s (which I'll explain later), the aforementioned stereo which I rescued from my mom's attic, a Walkman, and my probably still functional SE W300i I used back in 2007.

        Sony lost the hardware edge, and then went on being dicks on the whole PS3 OtherOS issue. I was bitten by their OtherOS axing; I refused to dole out money for a new PS3 so I remained offline until I found a compromise option: buying a phat PS3 with the BC support and updating *that* one to the OtherOS-killing Firmware. They turned from the freedom-fighting Sony that fought the MAFIAA on fair use rights for VCRs to the one installing rootkits on PCs and going after people trying to re-enable OtherOS instead of simply switching OtherOS back on. Probably the only good thing to come in recent years besides the PS3 would be the BD standard, which has been superior to HDDVD since forever, and unencumbered by MS crappy tech.

        Maybe Sony should get rid of its Music branch and get back to treating well their customers and doing awesome consumer products. It seems the Media stuff is the root of all Sony's evil...

      3. DTurkin

        Re: why the hate?

        Mostly irrelevant. You clearly don't have a clue.

    7. Blank Reg

      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.

    8. mraak

      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.

    9. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: why the hate?

      Senselessly persecuting hardware hackers.

      Brain dead approach to copyright infringement.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Paul Westerman
        Thumb Down

        Re: why the hate?

        Sony Centre != Sony

        1. Captain Underpants

          Re: why the hate?

          The thing is, though...

          Sony Centre != Sony, but rather importantly they have paid for a licence to use Sony's logo and trademarks.

          So if Sony Centre as a non-Sony company run a load of shops offering the kind of retail experience (in terms of shop layout, stock availability, and staff training/knowledge/professionalism) that you expect from a particularly bad Dixons (or, worse, Argos!), then while it's not doing Sony any harm directly (because their bottom line isn't directly affected) it's still massively harming the brand because it establishes/reinforces the idea that Sony are greedy gits providing poor value for money.

          For Sony Centres to have a future, they need to be the Sony equivalent of an Apple store. Hell, Sony could learn a lot from Apple. (I don't like the Fruity Ones, particularly, but I acknowledge that they do a lot of things very well, one of them being keeping a tight reign on their product line to avoid bloat).

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    11. A J Stiles

      Re: why the hate?

      "I really dont understand the hate about Sony."

      Besides the fact that they committed offences under the Misuse of Computers Act with a rootkit that contained illegally-copied code, criminal damage to PlayStation 3 consoles and illegally demanded information from ISPs about customers using their own property in ways the Law of the Land explicitly says Sony cannot seek to prevent them from doing?

    12. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: why the hate?

      Simply because they dont give a flying fuck about their customers once they have your £$€ in their pocket.

      They move the goalposts at a whim to either limit functionality, spy or generally do what they like with the "We're Sony and we WILL do what we want with the equipment YOU own". attitude to the public whom spend hard earned cash on Sony products.

      Their aftercare service is the epitome of shit..No spares after 2 years???WTF??

      Frankly i cant wait to see em in real trouble.

      The only sony products i buy are the ones i can hack so i can, in my own way, cost them money as an act of retribution for the utter contempt they have shown me and others like me....

      You piss off your paying customers and eventually those same customers come back and bite you hard in the arse.....Sony are now learning this....

    13. asdf

      Re: why the hate?

      >The ps3 is a marvel

      No it wasn't. It was a third place overpriced under performing console that cost Sony billions (it lost as much as Sony made on the PS2). The CELL BE was a terrible idea that the market rejected because surprise surprise full multi core CPUs were much easier to code for and came out just as the CELL finally made it to market. The only good thing about the PS3 was blue ray but even that was not ready for prime time when the PS3 came out and it jacked the price up so much it assured Sony would lose money this generation. I guess its ok though because Sony learned their lesson with the runaway success of the Vita (hahahaha).

      1. Darryl

        Re: why the hate?

        Something I don't see mentioned very often is Sony's horrible CD players, whether built into a portable stereo, car deck, or standalone component (especially the old carousel ones). I don't think I've ever heard of one lasting for more than a year after the warranty has expired.

        As for their TVs, The Trinitron and Wega were pretty nice (if a bit pricey) but their new LCDs are no better than most of the other major brands, and you're still paying a premium because they say "Sony" on the front.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: why the hate? TVs

          Actually there is/was a pattern.

          One shot had 4 Sony LCDs next to each other, 2 crap 2 good.

          Different prices, people bought the craps ones for the badge and the expensive ones for the picture.

          S series was pretty basic & crap, W series was very good, one was cheap one was good value and they were not the same TV.

          Wega TVs were awsome, untill they dropped the prices too much. I paid 1200 for a 32" 50Hz TV - outstanding picture on it, later ones - quality poorer.

          CD players - my car changer is old and OK. My home player is a Pioneer DVD player - now that was an excellent and good value piece of kit.

    14. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: why the hate?

      XBox fanboys mostly. They seem to congregate a lot here.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're gonna have even more fun turning a profit now Japan has gone to a pure fossil fuel import power base. All that lovely expensive imported half way around the world power.

  13. olli

    no TV

    I don't have a TV but I am considering buying one. Will it be a Sony? More probably a Samsung or LG. Need a cheap 50" with PC connectivity.

  14. Ilsa Loving

    poor consumer appetite for...

    Poor customer appetite?

    For shiny gear... no.

    For rootkit infested products? Yes.

    For products that have features taken away after purchase? Yes.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to always purchase Sony equipment, it used to be a 'no-brainer'. The CRT tvs they sold were the finest on the market in my opinion. The build quality was pretty damn good, I lost count of the amount of times I've dropped my old tape/cd walk/discman and they always kept working. The PS1 & 2 were equally good on build quality.

    Over the last 10 years I've noticed Sony going backwards in terms of development, with little to no research being carried out. They used to push the boundaries, now they seem to just play it safe. My recent experiences of Sony support (PS3 failed) have been horrendous. Poor service, poor repair.

    Sony was my default tv/dvd/car audio/games console of choice. Now pretty much everything Sony do, has/is being done better by another company and cheaper. I didn't mind paying for the Sony name when the products lasted and were of good build quality, now I'd go out of my way to avoid them. My tv is Samsung (same panel as Sony, as Samsung make the Sony panels), my car audio is now Alpine, I still have my (second) PS3 and DVD player - which are Sony, but when this PS3 fails (which it will), I will be looking at alternatives in a new light.

    Sony has completely lost the plot. They think they can live on the name, the problem is that name hasn't stood for quality for over 10 years. Shame really as I did like the stuff.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      I know what you mean.

      Where is the QS range on audio & home cinema gear?

      Where is the better than average middle price stuff?

      I tend to like Sony stuff but I am unimpressed with their recent consumer products.

      Go to a Sony Centre and have a look around, apart from the TVs not much else there worth buying, the Home Cinema kit is no longer syaing buy me - hifi now just seems to be docks for other brands of MP3 players.

      I will say that I bought a video camera 2 years ago and Sony won that sale fair and square against - well I couldn't find much else apart from them as I wanted HDV - hidef Mini DV tapes.

      So what do they need to do?

      Make their kit aspirational again, make it the best in its market, it is only a couple of years ago when this was sayable with their top end LCD TVs, they used to sell loads of mid range home cinema kit, now it is cheap and flimsy or very expensive.

      Their digital stills camera have a lack of image and brand, at their level the market name belongs to Nikon or Canon. Digital video market appears to have collapsed, but their semi pro kit is nice.

  16. FunkyEric

    Sony and my wife are so similar.

    Nothing is ever her fault either. Or so she tries to make the rest of the world believe.

    I think I'll have a beer now :-)

  17. mraak
    Thumb Down

    I guess earthquakes are preventing them to create a workable browser on PS3 for years now.

  18. measmyself

    Yes I do want them changing the console after I bought it, and YES they have.

    They added 3d, iplayer, lovefilm, PS home, trophy support, dynamic themes, more media formats, move, loads of stuff in the past few years.

    NO i don't want rootkits, NO I never had any, NO I didn't buy anything with a rootkit in.

  19. MJI Silver badge

    PS3 and XBox same failure

    Bad contacts between PCB and graphics chip.

    What causes this?

    heat & lead free solder, not flexible enough to cope.

    I think this is more to blame for failures than anything else now

  20. measmyself

    From reading the PS3 hating comments it seems that Sony shouldnt have bothered with trying to make it a media console, and should have stayed only on games, that way these other people who bought it at £250 for just browsing the web would not be complaining now, and the people who bought it for the ace game experiences (LBP, Heavy Rain, Uncharted, Journey, etc) would be the ones who would remain happy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Who the hell wants to do web browsing on a PS3? Almost any web device is better, it's just not what the machine is for. I could fry eggs on the top of my toaster but it would be hard work and messy.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: absolutely

        Umm I can only think of online help.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Sony's after sales arrogance was staggering when I last bought a piece of their kit (not SE) about 10 years ago, and never bought again apart from a set of headphones that snapped after a year. That leads on to the quality issues. My family has purchased several SE phones over the years, mainly due to loyalty to Ericsson, but year on year the reliability and quality has really deteriorated, so switched to Nokia, and was amazed at the difference in the build quality, albeit Symbian is even buggier than windows, i can't believe I would ever say that anything was buggier than windows.

  22. MJI Silver badge

    After sales - variable

    Good - full service and new CCD sensor

    Bad - lack of interest in YLOD

    My last camera was in the bad CCD period, but deck was playing up, sent it to Sony and it came back working

    40GB PS3 YLODed, Sony offered a S/H repaired one for a reasonable (to them price) in exchange, but would NOT transfer data so would mean losing ALL of our saves and DLC.

    Got it repaired for less than half the cost but that didn't last so DIYed it and transfered to a newer one a 320GB Slim.

    Yes I could have gone elsewhere but it was at the period of RROD, (same problem) and what else would have played Uncharted 2?

    Thinking about it the 40GB PS3 is OUR least reliable - 2 YLODs, Wii never broken down (never used), PS2 has had a Laser, Dreamcast laser is gone, most reliable and used is a PSP, the DSs are both getting ratty.

    1. Vic


      > My last camera was in the bad CCD period, but deck was playing up

      I've got a camera in my workshop. A customer left it with me, as it was BERed by Sony.

      It's a Mavica camera with quite a nice lens on it. It writes images to 3-in CDs.

      Well, this camera had stopped writing to the CD. It kept failing, which was of no use to anyone. My customer took it to the local camera shop, who sent it back to Sony for testing.

      Sony said that they tested it thoroughly, and the drive was knackered. A new drive was £600. I shit you not. The camera was written off, and a replacement (not a Sony) purchased.

      I put a decent-quality CD in the drive, and it's yet to fail on anything...


  23. asdf

    doesn't add up

    How can Sony be losing so much money what with the runaway success of the Vita? Hahahahaha. Totally basking in the schadenfreude that Sony has fully earned.

  24. Peter 48


    Sony's biggest downfall has been their arrogance. They were market leaders and they were sure that the market would do as they commanded and that they could set everything to their liking, expecting customers to still come flocking. They insist on introducing proprietary formats and refused to bow to the market demands - as a result they lost the mobile music player market to apple. They released a massively overtech'ed console that showed little if any improvement over their rivals at a substantial cost to themselves and as a result they squandered the playstation dominance and have to make do with 1/3 of the market at best. There is one entity to blame for their current debacle and that is Sony. Until they recognise that they will never return to their glory days.

    1. Vic

      Re: arrogance

      > They insist on introducing proprietary formats

      Actually, much of the time, the formats are not proprietary. It;s just the name...

      Years ago, there was an article on ZDnet (IIRC). The author was making a fuss about Sony having introduced yet another compression format called i.Link.

      i.Link wasn't a compressor. It was a data link. I was permitted by corprat to write a reply to the article explaining that - but I was *not* permitted, under penalty of $unspecified, even to hint at the fact that this magical i.Link was simply 1394...

      Nobody bought i.Link because they were scared of being locked into a proprietary standard.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: arrogance

        I am surprised no one mentioned memory sticks: same capacity 5 times the price.

        That sums up Sony's attitude in the last 10-15 years. They were THE BRAND before that, but now they are a consumer-hating and consumer-hated corporation.

        Marketing and bean-counters probably took control over engineers back then.

        1. asdf

          Re: arrogance

          >Marketing and bean-counters probably took control over engineers back then.

          Nope the media executives from Sony Studios did.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: asdf

            Actually I think that MOST of Sonys issues are due to the music studios and film studios management.

            They are at odds with the Japanese side of technical excellence.

            And we can lay the blame at all the people who bought VHS!


            Because Sony only bought into media to make sure they could support a new format rather than have it wiped out. So if Beta had survived they would not have bought Root Kit music (part of same group as a movie studio)

      2. Cpt Blue Bear

        Re: arrogance

        iLink was pretty popular out here in Aus with the "serious" home video people. But only once it was common knowledge that it was just firewire 1394 rebadged. With the addition of a $25 PCI card you had a pretty foolproof digital video solution.

        The catch is (for Sony anyway) that no one called it iLink except when identifying the socket on a Sony camera,,,

      3. MJI Silver badge


        This is confusing, but I found out that 1394 = Firewire = iLink

        I call the leads trailing out of the PC USB and Firewire

        1. Vic

          Re: i.Link

          > I found out that 1394 = Firewire = iLink

          Yes, of course it is.

          The point I was making is that Sony would not allow me to tell anyone that. We had to pretend that i.Link was some uber-proprietary interface that only Sony had.

          And that is why Sony got nowhere with that strategy.


          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: i.Link 15:49

            That is silly

            Best to ignore that and carry on

            Same socket anyway - I think all DV and HDV have the same

            1. Vic

              Re: i.Link 15:49

              > That is silly

              Yes. That was the purpose of my post - to demonstrate that it was a crazy position and a good part of the reason that Sony's venture into 1394 went nowhere. Well done for getting that.

              > Best to ignore that and carry on

              It's much easier to ignore it when you're not in danger of getting fired for doing so.

              > Same socket anyway

              That would be because it is the same interface, as I mentioned in my initial post...


  25. Jay 2

    A Sony fanboy speaks

    I've got a fair amount of Sony kit, so some thoughts from that point of view.

    Over the past few years the build quality has definately going down. In the past year the Bluray player and amp I've purchased have been significantly more lightweight than their several year old predecessors

    Meanwhile as someone else pointed out, there is a lack of synergy (can I use that word here?) between products. A case in point being the Bluray player point blank refusing to acknowledge some video formats/codecs, but the PS3 not having any problems at all. They both have had various firmware updates, so it's not as if they've been completely abandoned. Similarly my new amp is touted an AV reciever with a DLNA client, but doesn't support streamed video at all!

    On a similar subject I'm now pretty used to the XMB style interface that most visual Sony products have. So I have no idea which team of idiots developed and signed off the abomination that my amp presents me with. Words fail me at how bad it is, so as a picture paints a thousand words, imagine this on a 40" screen: . A great use of screen real estate, no?

    As for the very bad things Sony have done (to me) the worst has to be the proprietry hardware/software formats it foists on us. I'd got fed up with having to buy yet another evolution of Memory Stick with suitably evolved name for a huge price. Fortunately for Sony someone up top decided to allow their cameras to start using SD as well, as I was virtually on the way to the shop to pick up a Lumix.

    I know that Sony Centres/Shops are franchises, but you would like to think a corporate drone would take a look every now and again. When looking to do some amp pre-purchase research I visited three such establishments, and none of them even had a single amp on display. It's almost as if they didn't exist. Bluray players were a bit elusive as well.

    So to sum up in report style. Must try harder.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: A Sony fanboy speaks

      I have a STRDB930 receiver - rather good it is too.

      Now I have seen what I am supposed to replace it with - pretty flimsy and I would NOT purchase.

      Where is the nice solid stuff you know will last you 10 to 15 years now?

      I wouldn't mind a HDMI switching amp

  26. 00prometheus

    The fact is that Sony is no longer an electronics company

    Anyone who is surprised over the way Sony prioritizes media sales in their products must take a look at their annual report. Sony has long since stopped being a true consumer electronics company, now it makes more money from media than from consumer electronics. On page 35 of the 2011 annual report, you will find that 35.5% of their revenue comes from media (including Sony Pictures, Sony Music, and games), 31.9% of their revenue comes from consumer electronics, and the rest is from electronics components, financial services and "other".

    Now, once you make more money from media than from the devices, obviously, any sane CEO will start prioritizing the devices capability as a sales channel for media, rather than the devices themselves.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: The fact is that Sony is no longer an electronics company

      Media - well I haven't bought any of their music recently not sure on films as I do not buy that many now.

      However last year we bought 3 Sony exclusive games more or less day of release, I think this more likely to make money than yet another identikit talent show singer.

      However games is one media tied closely to hardware.

      As to hardware purchases - check lists more important than brands

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