Sony outlines Euro vision

Sony Europe president Fujio Nishida outlined the company's vision for 2007

Sony Europe president Fujio Nishida laid out the company's vision for 2007 at its European media event this evening.

But while his speech was big on vision, it was lacking in detail - we expect specific product information will be revealed tomorrow.

As expected, Mr Nishida focused on the company's high definition products, including Bravia TVs, Blu-ray and, of course, the PlayStation 3. Mr Nishida also outlined Sony's eco credentials.

Mr Nishida said that Sony was a key partner in the WWF's Climate Saver Initiative and had committing itself to cutting its CO2 emissions by seven per cent by 2010. He also said the company aimed to improve its energy efficiency, eliminate hazardous waste and help consumers reduce their environmental impact. One example Mr Nishida gave was the miserly 0.3W of energy consumed by Sony Bravia TVs when they're placed on standby.

Mr Nishida also admitted that Sony had faced "some formidable challenges" over recent years and that it the company's aim was to listen to its customers, and give them what they wanted, wherever and however they wanted it.

He said that "age-old customer loyalties [had been] destroyed" and that the company had a "new wave of experience-seekers to satisfy." It is now seeking to respond in "real-time" to the needs of its buyers, from design to manufacturing, distribution and the sale of its products.

Products of passion

Mr Nishida then explained that the company had to "create something that can only be a Sony product from the moment you touch and turn it on".

Examples of this, he said, included Sony's Alpha 100 digital stills camera and its range of Bravia TVs. He revealed that the company was currently developing two new high-end Alpha cameras, one of which would arrive in Europe this year.

He was also proud of the company's research and development of new products, and that it spent eight per cent of its total net sales on R&D, the fruit of which included products like a prototype 27-inch OLED TV that the company showed off at the CES show in January.

"We've always been driven by our thirst for the limits of what is technologically possible," he said.

Other highlights

During his keynote, Mr Nishida also revealed several key facts.

He mentioned that Sony is the number one seller of LCD TVs worldwide, with 2.5 million Bravia sets sold in Europe during 2006.

Europe is Sony's biggest international market, accounting for 29 per cent of the company's sales.

The PlayStation 3 launch had been "a huge success", with 600,000 consoles sold in the first two days in Europe. Mr Nishida said it was the biggest launch in console history.

This means there are now at least 600,000 Blu-ray players in Europe, putting it ahead of HD DVD in the high-definition format war.

High def products are big sellers. They now account for 70 per cent of the company's sales, compared with 35 per cent in 2005.

The Blu-ray version of Bond actioner Casino Royale has sold 10,000 copies in the UK to date, a pattern the company expects to be repeated across Europe.