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Sony’s President Foresees Seamless ‘Value Network’

Hand in hand, broadband is transforming the consumer electronics industry, with content and technology coming together to make great entertainment, said Kunitake Ando, president/chief operating officer of Tokyo-based Sony Corp.

Sony, which emphasizes the interconnectivity of its entertainment lineup — consumer electronics, communication, music, movies and video gaming — is able to offer these categories in a seamless environment, which Ando called an “ubiquitous value network.”

Sony also has the ability to prepare for and capitalize on its vision of a burgeoning broadband network through a new generation of products designed to enhance the quality of consumers’ lives.

The Sony executive, who delivered this message during his keynote address at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, said the energy of television, in a redefined sense, is central to the broadband era as it relates to the company’s image of a “value network.”

“When you look at the world about you, its unique focus on the consumer, what Sony brings to the table is relative to creating existing opportunities to fulfill [users’] desires, dreams and entertainment lifestyle,” Ando said.

Although television is central to all other products at the forefront of the “broadband gateway,” Ando said a new generation of PCs, game consoles, wireless phones, Clie hand-held computers and other products remain adjuncts to the centricity of a broadband network in the broadband era.

To this end, the power of Sony as a “unique entertainment company” — with digital television claiming the central role — centers around what Ando called the “world about you,” with “you” meaning the user.

Sony, claimed Ando, has moved to the forefront of the U.S. entertainment business through gateways such as its Cocoon Platform, an audio/video-based concept that works with the company’s Wega TV. Other key connections bring Sony’s Vaio computer together with Wega, whereby Vaio operates as the home entertainment server. Through wireless access, a user can enjoy television content stored in their PC.

As highlights of Ando’s address and to emphasize some of his points, the producer and star of “Charlie’s Angels,” Drew Barrymore, and pop gospel singing duo Mary Mary appeared onstage with Ando.