CES 2008: Sony Kicks Off CES with New Additions and Innovations


Sony Strengthens Line-up and Warner Bros' Surprise Announcement

Sony Showcases New Line-up and Innovations

Located in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sony Electronics showcased its latest range of LCD TVs, Handycam camcorders, a new Alpha DSLR camera targeted at the low to mid-range of photography enthusiasts/prosumers and a bevy of other innovative products ranging from a rollicking robotic music player, a prototype 27-inch organic LED (OLED) screen and many more. Of course, there is an entire list of other past and existing products on-site that made Sony what it is today.

However, what really made the news for Blu-ray Disc founder and solid backer Sony is the surprise announcement that Warner Bros studio would be supporting the Blu-ray Disc format and dropping HD-DVD off their list of movie title offerings. This was announced on the eve of the CES 2008 event and Sony Electronics was quick to mention this at its pre-CES 2008 press conference at the booth.


Warner Bros Announced Move to Support Blu-ray Disc format and Drop HD-DVD from its line-up

In a surprise announcement on the eve of the CES 2008, with Sony being one of the key founders of the Blu-ray Disc Consortium, Warner Bros studio announced the move to support only the Blu-ray Disc as opposed to releasing movie titles on HD-DVD.

When asked how the format war has progressed to date, Mr. Katsumi Ihara, Executive Deputy President for Sony Corporation who is in charge of Consumer Product Business Group has this to share:

"Originally when we announced the new Blu-ray Disc (BD) format, we thought the format would be supported by most of the manufacturers and studios but that wasn't the case. That's why we ended up competing with opposing formats. We are however encouraged by the Warner announcement where the studio chose BD as their choice for the next-generation disc format," he explained.

"If I look at the Warner statement, they made the decision based on the US customer's choice because BD players outsold HD-DVD players during the Christmas season. Also, the sell-through of next-gen discs is normally 7:3 or 8:2 in favor of BD-based titles. Once Warner joins BD, the share for BD will increase significantly."

When prompted by journalists, Ihara-san is also quick to point out that this doesn't mean the format war is won. "It is however too early to say that we've won the game. There is still competition in the marketplace, therefore we have to develop competitive players and give consumers new applications using BD. The quick penetration of the BD-enabled players like the Sony PlayStation3 and set-top players helped. From now on, we have to develop the cost-competitiveness of BD in the market and expand the BD potential in our other products such as our BD-enabled VAIO computers."