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Sony's Last Stand

Sony still has immense assets, and investors should hope that it's willing to part with them if they expect a return on their money. It's in the process of selling its medical unit and forecasts a $1.2 billion gain on that, according to Bloomberg. Japan's government is trying to help sell Sony's car battery unit to Nissan (NSANY), to keep it from being bought by Chinese interests, Reuters reports.

The big prizes are Sony's movie and music units, which live in industries now drawing big valuations. Sony Pictures led the U.S. box office in 2012, and Sony Music has about 29% of its market. The original concept behind the PlayStation 2, still Sony's biggest console hit, was that it would provide a conduit for selling access to these libraries. That's why it had a DVD player.

Price and value are the big questions, and these questions weren't answered by the Sony event, as Forbes noted.

We don't know what the PS4 will look like or cost, so we can't compare it to the tablets and Ultrabooks that might also be emerging for Christmas. The big advantage of a game machine over a computer is that the game machine gives you faster hardware for a lower price than a PC. But will that be true this Christmas, and does that really make a difference?

Twitter has a hashtag to summarize all this: #FAIL.

At the time of publication the author had a position in AAPL.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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