This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Sony's Last Stand

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE - Get Report) took the unusual step Wednesday of an evening press event to launch its PlayStation 4 game console, on which CEO Kazuo Hirai is betting the company.

The new console sports an Intel (INTC)-based chipset, a new wireless controller and the ability to share game play more effectively, PortableGamingRegion writes. It also allows use of an Android tablet as a second controller, notes 9to5 Google.

That's what the press was told, but Sony didn't show a working machine. Instead, it showed films from game companies and promised hardware in the fourth quarter of this year, as the Washington Post noted. Lead system architect Mark Cerny talked up the new box while holding a mock-up of the controller, which looks just like the old controller except for the addition of a small touchscreen.

Reviews from the tech press were stark and negative, according to Techcrunch. The PS4 was trending on Google Plus as this was written, and it's pretty brutal.

The launch comes on the heels of a complete failure by rival Nintendo (NTDOY), which launched its Wii U in November and has since seen sales nosedive, as DigitalTrends notes. GameSutra says fewer than 60,000 Wii U units moved in January, trailing the previous Wii console badly.

Sony's PlayStation competition is no longer limited to Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Nintendo. Social games, mobile games and free games played on tablets like Apple's (AAPL) iPad are stealing time from dedicated consoles. Kids are no longer just sitting in their rooms, alone, pushing buttons. They're out in the world, interacting through networks, making the whole console experience look very 20th century.

In some ways the Sony event reminded me of a famous Microsoft sales meeting from the last decade, where CEO Steve Ballmer marched across the stage shouting "developers, developers, developers." This did not save Microsoft from the iPad.

It's like the old joke about the Lone Ranger telling Tonto, "We're surrounded by Indians." "What you mean we, kemosabe?" Tonto replies. Which developers could well tell Sony this fall. If there is more money to be made investing in other platforms, that is what they will do. Cool isn't nearly as cool as cold, hard cash.

Sony shares were falling the day after the launch, but still stand almost 25% above the level of early January, before the company's hype machine kicked into high gear.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
MSFT $49.87 0.00%
SNE $24.10 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs