Sony To Begin Selling 3D TVs In June
The Japanese electronics giant, known for its PlayStation 3 game consoles and Bravia flat-screen TVs, will offer its fully capable 3D TV model in four sizes this summer.
The 40-inch and 46-inch versions will go on sale on June 10 in Japan, while the 52- and 60-inch TVs will be available starting July 16.
Although the company did not release a global launch date, Sony Senior Vice President Yoshihisa Ishida said the new TVs will hit stores in other countries around the same time.
The 40-inch 3D will cost about 290,000 yen (NZ$4,631) and the biggest 60-inch will retail at 580,000 yen (NZ$9,258).
Included are two pairs of Sony’s 3D glasses, as well as a camera sensor on each unit that will adjust sound and picture quality based on viewers’ positions. A remote control button enables the switch from a regular 2D image to 3D.
Sony hopes that 10 percent of the 25 million TVs it aims to sell next fiscal year will be 3D units.
CEO Howard Stringer has said the Tokyo-based company aims to be profitable in flat-panel TVs and gaming next fiscal year, and is pushing 3D technology as a key strategy. Interest in 3D has accelerated recently with the help of three-dimensional blockbusters such as “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland,” which earned a record US$116.3 million in its opening weekend.
Ishida described the current fiscal year that began last April as a difficult period that forced Sony to focus on restructuring and reversing losses.
“We will go on the offensive in 2010,” he said at a press conference in Tokyo.
But the same rivals that Sony has struggled against in recent years, such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, are making similar bets in 3D and other technologies.
Samsung, the world’s best-selling TV maker, began selling 3D units in South Korea last month and aims to move 2 million worldwide this year. Panasonic Corp. is partnering with Best Buy Co to fuel sales of its own 3D TVs, which launch in the US on Wednesday.
To stand out, Sony plans to exploit its strengths in entertainment, gaming and other products to offer customers a broad selection of 3D content. The company will release a firmware update to its PlayStation 3 console this summer, making three-dimensional gaming a reality.
“By strengthening the relationships between our content and other products, we aim to create a uniquely Sony world,” Ishida said.
Sony will offer two additional, lower-priced models with 3D functionality. Customers, however, will need to buy a transmitter and 3D glasses separately. The transmitter will cost 5,000 yen and the glasses about 12,000 yen. [stuff]