When most people think of Sony Corporation, the immediate association lies with the world of gaming and the Playstation line. With the release of the heavily anticipated successor to the Playstation 3, the Playstation 4 has garnered a great deal of attention ever since the eight-generation console was announced on February 20, 2013.
The origins of Sony began when the multinational conglomerate was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka. Sony Corporation is the sector of the company responsible for the electronics aspect of the business, and operates as the parent company of Sony Group through four distinct branches. These separate businesses consist of electronics, motion pictures, music, and financial services. Based out of their headquarters in Minato, Tokyo, Sony is one of the top electronics manufacturers in the world.
Despite its current standing, Sony did not always hold such a prestigious reputation. Masaru Ibuka started his business as a simple department store electronics shop. It was not until he partnered with Morita that the two founded a company by the name of Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, or Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. This alliance was behind the creation of Japan’s first audio tape recorder, also known as the Type-G. From there, the company became Sony; a name derived from the English slang sonny boy, or a reference to upstanding young gentleman.
Fast-forwarding to November 16, 1993, Sony Corporation has taken an approach into the world of gaming, and founded the multinational division known as Sony Computer Entertainment, Incorporated. This came as a result of a failed partnership with the consumer electronics company, Nintendo. Sony originally planned to assist in developing an add-on that would allow their console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, to feature support for compact discs. This development would have given Nintendo a competing edge against Sega Corporation’s gaming equivalent at the time, the Genesis. However, when a dispute arose over software licensing, Sony chose to continue pursuing the creation of their Playstation line as an independent project.
Since that time, the Playstation line has seen enormous success, and each generation’s release has consistently triumphed over its competition in the ongoing console wars. The original Playstation was released in America in September of 1994, and was the first console to ship 100 million units. Following this was the release of the Playstation 2 on March 4 of 2000, and it still holds the title of the best-selling video game console of all time. The PS2 continued to see success well after the initial U.S. release of the Playstation 3 on November 17, 2006, which has since sold 80 million units as of almost exactly seven years later.
The Playstation 4, Sony’s competing for eight generation consoles, launched on November 15, 2013, and cleared 100 million sales within the first 24 hours, earning it the title of the fastest selling video game console in history. The system is designed using hardware specifications similar to that of current higher end personal gaming computers, including x86 architecture and an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit. Sony has also placed a stronger focus on social gaming, with features like Playstation Now, and a new share feature for viewing streamed content.
The aforementioned services are being developed by Gaikai, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation that will allow for a whole new look into the world of gaming, and provide wireless streaming of video game content across multiple devices. Users can look forward to a year of continued unveilings from Sony, and regardless of whether fans retain specific allegiances or enjoy cross-platform gaming experiences, the continuing console wars will be sure to push the latest and greatest out of each corporation looking to breathe new life into the industry.
By Darrell Purcell