Space Ramblings

Sony refocusing on Europe

While Sony is taking its lumps in America with the Wii (unfortunately) beating the PS3 and Blu Ray slipping in Hollywood in favor of HD-DVD, Sony seems to be doing much better in Europe with strong sales of the PS3. Sony had also achieved success in Europe with the Mini Disc once and in Europe, Sony has often succeeded where it has failed elsewhere.

Sony’s current focus on Europe with the Go video download service and the BT talking plan for the PSP, seems to be in part an attempt to leverage the superior European sales of the PSP and Sony’s stronger position in the European market. This may be reasonable enough but to some extent it feels like a loser of a battle licking his wounds in a safer arena. The reality is that Sony needs to win in America. Sony has had too many meaningless successes in Europe for that to count or to make sense as a corporate strategy. A focus on Europe signals defeatism.

Right now Sony needs partners more than it needs anything else. Its deal with BT in the UK was a smart move. It needs to put aside the usual Sony corporate arrogance and begin finding those partners in the US too. Microsoft has outmanuevered Sony in relationships with game manufacturers, most devastatingly with EA. The HD-DVD coalition has outmanuevered Sony with Paramount. Sony is losing because of a corporate culture that tries to deal from a stronger position and distrusts everyone. The day that Microsoft is better at winning allies than Sony is a sad day indeed.

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