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Industry News: Innovation Is Key To Restoring Sony's Shine
Jun 05, 2017

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Sony's earnings have recovered. Would you say the company has made a comeback? That may be our perennial challenge. Even if we keep beating our financial targets, that alone won't be enough for people to consider it [a comeback]. [We also have to] come out with interesting hit products, services and content one after another and continue to innovate, even if it involves taking risks. If those three conditions are met, that will mean a real revival. Right now, we're only partway there.


Sony has not come up with innovations lately. We've put a structure in place. Eleven products and services have come out of the Seed Acceleration Program for creating new businesses that we launched in 2014. That's a good pace. We want employees to take opportunities like that to come up with new ideas and innovations and produce big hits.


Your smartphone business became profitable last fiscal year, but some say the market has matured. Even if smartphones become obsolete, communication won't go away. Some sort of device will be needed. Sony will continue with the smartphone business in order to seize a dominant position with that new device and effect a paradigm shift in communication.


When will the PlayStation 5 be released? Our game subsidiary is discussing which direction to take -- how to use a big platform like the PlayStation going forward. Generally speaking, I don't think it is a good idea to drop consoles entirely, since we seek to offer the platform worldwide.

U.S. companies have developed devices that users operate with voice commands. What are your plans in this area? Sony has also incorporated its own artificial intelligence-based voice command technology into several products, and we're building a platform for it. As we expand the product category further in the future, it's possible that we may work with other companies.

What businesses will drive Sony in 10 years? It'll still be electronics, entertainment and finance, with a focus on consumer-oriented products, though the lineups will likely be different from now. The medical field will probably also become very big, though opinions differ on whether that's included in electronics.