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Old 04-15-2012, 02:34 AM   #16
Kumabjorn
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Originally Posted by emellaich View Post
I remember Sony's first ereader. Picture a clamshell form factor. You can see it here:
http://www.sony.net/Fun/design/histo...1990/dd-1.html

Although, I am a bit confused. It claims to be from 1990, and I could swear that I first saw it about 1987.
I have one of those. You might be right, because I think they released it outside Japan first since there were no titles available for the Japanese market. Publishers were worried that they would be pirated (see how long that history is) and they were right, once titles (mainly reference) were released it took less then 6 months for an EPWing emulator to appear on PCs, but HDD were still not big enough to hold more than a single title (if you also wanted to have applications and data on it). Piracy was simply stiffled by available disk space.
You could hook up the DD-1 to a PC but it was sooo sloooow it was useless.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:00 AM   #17
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I've got a Sony AM-FM stereo portable radio that I love and that I've been using daily since 1983. I bought it because I loved the thinness and the design then, and still do now. The radio has speakers that fold out from the back, and there is also a line-in cord attached to it (that is wrapped and snapped in place, covered by the speakers when they're closed) so the speakers can be used for an MP3 player, phone, etc.




This is the type of thing that Sony used to do when they were ahead of the curve.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:12 AM   #18
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They are doing very well in the camera industry making top CMOS sensors for the flagship Nikon cameras. That's about all I know of Sony
Sony make DAMNED good digital cameras. Their "Cybershot" range of compact cameras are market leaders. They came to their senses a few years ago and switched their cameras to use SD cards rather than their own "memorystick" format; that was a smart move.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:19 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
For people who favor immersive complexity over attractive simplicity, the Vita has to be the most perfect gaming handheld ever made. I even liked their robots. Years after Sony stopped development, a friend of mine still loves his Aibo.
The vita's proprietary memory card format symbolises all that is wrong with Sony, I think.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:37 AM   #20
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I used to be a Sony Man - TV, VCR, DVD Recorder, Hi-Fi/micro centre, Walkman, portable CD player, small radios, big radio, car radio, Digital radio, Digi box...........
Then we thought a new TV would be nice after 14 years..
Decided to also treat ourselves to a PVR and a satellite set-up.
Got analytical, and started reading Which, and listening around.

Went into the nearest Sony centre, (now defunct) asked about PVR's.
Left after 3/4 minutes after realising I knew more about them than the staff.
(But these "centres" are admittedly nothing to do with Sony, apart from the name and products.....)

Did some looking at demo's etc...
Got a Panny TV, Humax recorder, Freesat, Pure house & car radios, & followed son's example and went the Clip+ route.
All were way ahead of my former favourite on just about every tickable box, including demolishing my bias.

Then looked at readers.

Almost to my surprise, I thought the 650 came out way ahead of everything else, especially engineering build and looks, and never regretted it - despite the normal rubbish software. 350 followed, ditto, and T1, similar - which is admittedly now a different (cheaper) animal, but excellent, even after kindling a bit.
So in this respect, I'm back in the fold - but my reader purchases won't make up the losses situation they are now in.
I think they've simply lost their way - why I couldn't possibly say, perhaps outgrown themselves ?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:15 AM   #21
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When I decided to upgrade my kids from a PS2, I decided on Xbox over the competition (Wii & PS3). We have not regretted it. It's fantastic. They've been using it for about 16 months. It was a lot cheaper than the PS3 at the time, which was definitely a factor in my decision.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:28 AM   #22
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Sony's core problem is that they are not a coherent company but rather a federation of self-serving fiefdoms.

No greater example is needed that the PS3 launch where the PS3 chief designer, Kutaragi, shrugged off his build cost target and gold-plated the console with a dozen unnecessary features and sent to manufacturing a design that literally broke the bank--costing the company $1.6 billion in *added* losses in the first year alone--without informing anybody else "above" him in management.
The first Stringer heard of the 20GB PS3, for example, was *after* the thing was in production. Kutaragi just wanted a loss leader to come closer to the XBOX's price so he "cut" the build cost by $10 and added $90 to the already substantial per-unit loss of the $599 model. Small wonder he was "promoted" out of the company. It took Sony three years of redesigns to strip out all the unnecessary features (SACD for one) and the "nice but too costly" ones (like hardware PS2 compatibility).
Check this on PS3 SACD support: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9680711-1.html
Kutaragi gave the PS3 the ability to read and "play" an audiophile niche format without the ability to actually *output* audiophile quality sound. It might have looked good on the specsheet but as for actually recouping the cost it added to those millions of consoles...?

Over and over you see the same thing in Sony products if you bother to deconstruct them; a total disconnect between what Sony thinks is important and the products the market actually *wants*.
A friend of mine got one of the large LCOS rear projector HDTVs Sony was selling a few years back. A look at the manual revealed it had over 60 fancilly labellled and trademarked "features" to "improve" SD video. Yet nowhere did it offer a Zero-overscan/one-to-one display switch for HD video. A feature even the cheapest made in China LCDs offered. (And then it turned out the sets broke down pretty quick and they faced repeated class action lawsuits.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon...ective_Display)

No need to rehash their history on eReaders around here, right?
I mean, it took them 4 years to finally accept that, yes; a lot of buyers *do* want wireless on an ebook reader. And prefered it over touchscreens. But first they had to do the 700, the 600, the 650, trying to push touch screens as a premium feature. All the while Kindles and Nooks were eating their lunch and dinner. By the time they realized wireless is key and touch secondary, everybody else had both.

Those folks just don't seem to get out of their labs much. They do brilliant tech demos and decidedly mediocre products. And, since it is the products that pay the bills...

The one thing Sony has going for them is brand loyalty.
People who fondly remember their products from the last century keep giving them a try. And they do put out the odd decent product here and there so people will keep giving them chances.

Now, it's not like they're in danger of disappearing or being bought out but they really are going to keep on thrashing and bleeding for at least another 3-4 years before they can even begin to balance their books.

But if they blow the PS4 launch, all bets are off.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:26 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by RainingLemur View Post
Sony still believes their products to be worthy of the premium price they charge. I like some of their products (have one of their TV's, their Playstation consoles, PSP, and their readers), but I'll be first to admit that they are often-times WAY too expensive out of the gate.

Quit with the Sony-tax, and people may be more attracted to them again.
My thoughts exactly. Sony used to be synonym of quality and people would pay extra to own a Sony, but now they are just another manufacturer playing catch up to Samsung, LG and Co.and no longer justify the premium.

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Old 04-15-2012, 01:25 PM   #24
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I've got a Sony AM-FM stereo portable radio that I love and that I've been using daily since 1983. I bought it because I loved the thinness and the design then, and still do now. The radio has speakers that fold out from the back, and there is also a line-in cord attached to it (that is wrapped and snapped in place, covered by the speakers when they're closed) so the speakers can be used for an MP3 player, phone, etc.




This is the type of thing that Sony used to do when they were ahead of the curve.
If that is a full size car then no wonder Sony are in trouble!
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:38 PM   #25
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The vita's proprietary memory card format symbolises all that is wrong with Sony, I think.
I originally covered that in the aside about homebrew (how Sony's failed attempt to circumvent piracy in the original PSP only made their stubborn redesign more user-alienating). I edited out that bit in the name of brevity, which I won't concern myself with in this post.

The argument I left in, and the examples I gave, were clearly about the excellence of the Vita as hardware apart from its proprietary limitations.

Besides which, at least Sony made the device upgradable. If Apple had made it, the Vita would have no controls but the touch screen and you couldn't insert a memory card at all.

§*§*§*§

For some gamers, simplicity is a matter of control surface transparency, but for others, complexity and subtlety are what intensify the feeling of existing in an entirely different world. So far, Sony is the only surviving company to honor that approach in a handheld, and the Vita is the most perfect expression of that concept so far.

One of the reasons we like their cameras, TVs, e-readers and radios (the thing they once did best) is because Sony doesn't have a stake in crippling those products.

Their laptops can be cutting-edge as well, some of which presaged the Air and ultralights, but the thought of what Sony might do to file and software access has always kept me away.

SACD and Blu-Ray were excellent mediums and evolutionary steps up before broadband's streaming limitations became the standard for resolution. We've actually taken several steps back from that idea in the aesthetic sense.

The original intent of the PS3 -- to play SACD (which later firmware upgrade made available through the analog and digital outs before the feature was dropped) as well as Blu-Ray discs -- was also a compliment to the intelligence and taste of the gamers it sought to interest. I haven't seen other companies integrate those kinds of ideas.

It's the equivalent of French publishers' running ads in graphic novels for avant garde literature and difficult criticism. They don't make the assumption the audience of one medium lacks the sophistication of another.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 04-15-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #26
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I've become loyal to very few brand names, and even that loyalty is subject to instant reconsideration on the first hint of displeasure. OTOH, there are quite a few brands I avoid if at all possible. I boycott. Usually for reasons most would find trivial. Sony is one I avoid. Years ago, I called their customer service because I needed a new controller connector for my original playstation; my son had a friend over that plugged in a generic controller and thus broke the pins. They would not sell it to me. Insisted I must send in the whole unit and pay 3/4 of what a new one costs for them to repair it. Then tacked on shipping and handling.

That was stupid of them on several levels. Needless to say, the ultimate repair cost me nothing, they didn't get the marked up piece part cost let alone the repair cost, and they lost a customer for all future products. I ended up with a brand new playstation in an old case and they eventually got, in return, an old broken playstation in a new case. I left a nice love note inside. I doubt it was ever read. They probably just toss the returns.

Last edited by Rob Lister; 04-15-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:02 PM   #27
Andrew H.
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Sony make DAMNED good digital cameras. Their "Cybershot" range of compact cameras are market leaders. They came to their senses a few years ago and switched their cameras to use SD cards rather than their own "memorystick" format; that was a smart move.
But it took forever for them to come to their senses - I kept finding myself almost buying a sony and then not doing so because of the memory stick.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:05 PM   #28
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Sony has never recovered from the time they wasted crippling hardware innovation with in-house content protection. And they didn't even succeed, as evidenced by the spread of piracy through homebrew.
If Sony came out with the Walkman today, it wouldn't play regular cassette tapes. It would only play special Sony minicassette tapes that cost twice as much as regular cassettes.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:39 PM   #29
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I have had the Sony Brand in most the ways you can except for games.

I had a:
Sony VCR
Sony GPS for the truck
Sony Radio/Cassette player for the truck
Sony AM/FM portable radio before Walkman.
Sony very small cassette player (forget the name) I don't think it had a radio.
Sony camera
Sony TV
Sony computer monitor
I believe I had a programmable audio receiver that would pick up AM/FM/TV Channels/Weather. I believe it was Sony. --I paid extra.--(I put it away when the TV went digital.)
.. probably several of some of the above.
Had Forgotten: Sony Radio/CD Boom box.

Now my kids had the game machines
PS, PS2 (might still be in storage) but the PS3 one they had that I know about was never at my place. I know about it because it was stolen.

The game machine I personally had was military issue and I actually did fly and fight it.

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:44 PM   #30
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But it took forever for them to come to their senses - I kept finding myself almost buying a sony and then not doing so because of the memory stick.
Olympus and Fuji did the same thing with their xD cards. That appears to be a Japanese thing.

Now I think all cameras use SD or microSD or miniSD. Just buy a tiny little card that will fit in a larger carrier that comes in the package.
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