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consumer that is easy to access and manage. Whatever failings we've had in music, we've got to move quickly to solve them in video. We've all agreed on that.
Connect is a service that cannot exist unless it crosses the silos within Sony to develop relationships with devices. I think everybody gets that. It has converts on both sides of the Pacific, and the interchange and interflow of technical and marketing discussions is now daily.
Is video something that the market is ready for?
PSP will play movies. It's ready for it. The next generation will have hard disk drives or flash memory or whatever. But even now, you can take a Memory Stick, and take a movie off PSP and play it somewhere else. That's already revolutionary, and that is coming in March.
But is the market, meaning consumers--are they ready to accept video on portable devices?
Well, more than half a million PSPs were sold in 10 days in Japan. That's the driver. We haven't marketed movies yet, but it is self-evident that for particular age groups, once you have that device, its sole purpose is extremely valuable.
I never considered video on a portable device because I never thought the screen was worth anything. The screen on the PSP is really sharp. It's better than a movie screen, and God knows we all watch movies on airplanes--and that is a fairly hideous experience. This is a good experience.
You're a former journalist. What do you think about blogs and their impact on news media? Do you read blogs?
I do, and there's an astonishing amount of information coming at you--and from a lot of different directions. That, in a way, is an extraordinary way to check and balance. And that is a good thing. The difficulty is sorting it out. That is why God invented editors. I find it very stimulating. I think sometimes that if I retire, I'll become a blogger and finally say all the things I've always wanted to say.
I think there are a thousand secrets out there, and there's no particular reason why secrets shouldn't be found out by someone who isn't a full-time, paid journalist. A secret is a secret. I'm much more concerned by the impact of all the news channels than I am about blogs.
The reader or writer brings to a blog a level of skepticism as well as curiosity and even balance. I don't think you say, "This must be true." You do tend to look at news media with the attitude that this must be true. In some ways--which are more worrisome when there is so much news coming out of those news channels--that is confusing to the viewer and doesn't involve actual reporting. There is much less actual reporting on news channels than there used to be, let's say, on the network evening news.
I'm concerned that with the costs of reporting and with profit margins on cable news shows, there is less reporting and more talk. So what makes talk great? Most talk is adversarial and combative, but it doesn't contain a lot of facts. What difference is that from much of the blogging that you get? Blogging is the pursuit of actual information, anyway. So the world has changed a lot, and I miss a lot of the first-rate reporting with the reporting brain that looks for facts and draws an informed conclusion from those facts. That is what the best of journalism is all about.
The idea of convergence--making content available on these devices--for Sony is unique because of its entertainment and electronics assets, and you had a bit of a head start. When Sony started talking about this idea, it was one of the first, but we come to CES in 2005, and everyone is talking about it. Do you still have that advantage, and is it as great as it was before?
Because we have our own technology experts and software engineers, we're further ahead in understanding each other than any other company. In many ways, PlayStation is a convergence device. Part of its success comes from understanding the needs of the customer to experience games on the device that they made in its own environment. We still have an advantage. Is it a big advantage? It is in a different way.
The ultimate protection that Sony has in entertainment is that in this country, we're perceived as an entertainment company more so than in other countries. Our brand is more powerful here than anywhere else in the world. We're cool here. We're not cool in Tokyo anymore. We're not cool in China. We're cool because of PlayStation, because of movies.
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