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VAIO, MS, SACD To Drive Sales For Sony In ’01

NEW YORK — For the current fiscal year Sony Electronics’ president/COO Fujio Nishida sees his company’s growth coming from a variety of digital products. He mentioned the VAIO PC line will expand with new products at PC Expo in June. He also cited digital cameras and a Clie personal entertainment organizer with a Memory Stick slot.

Cumulative sales of Memory Stick storage cards and equipped products reached 10 million, he said.

He also said he expects big things from Sony’s DVD player line, a sales increase of 30 percent to 50 percent as it becomes a “must have” item. Super Audio CD (SACD), which has always been positioned as a high-end product, will continue to be supported with 20 to 30 new software titles per month this year and an aggressive suggested retail price of $399.

When asked if the SACD strategy of Sony chairman Nobukyi Idei still holds true, namely that the format is “like fine vintage wine” and that it is limited to the audiophile market, Nishida said, “It is still taking the niche side of the market but will expand this year. It will not explode like CD did, but it will be a [strong] high-end audio format.”