UPDATED 12:36 EST / AUGUST 04 2011

Sony Delays Launch of PS Vita, Focus on TV Sales

The holiday season is still a couple months out, but in today’s rapid retail cycled environment, many manufacturers are planning release dates and timing product launches accordingly.   And people are getting excited for new gadgets to be released in time for this special occasion.  But alas, one gadget that boys and girls have been drooling over will not be included in Santa’s gift bag as Sony’s PS Vita’s launch in US and Europe was pushed until 2012, although it will still be launched in Japan by December.

“The PlayStation business is a key pillar,” Kazuo Hirai, Chairman Howard Stringer’s top lieutenant said. “The video-game industry is evolving constantly. My expectation is for the PlayStation business to remain at the forefront of this very dynamic industry.”

But this delayed launch is not bad news for everyone as Nintendo loses its top competitor over the holidays.  Plus they already slashed their price tag, to the delight of many consumers.  But will this delayed release make matters worse for Sony?  Looking across its entire portfolio, Sony’s revamping a few devices in the coming months, even beyond the gaming sector.

It isn’t a secret that Sony TVs aren’t making it big in the market these days.  It is a fact that their TVs have awesome features like internet capability and 3D viewing, but some consumers say that it offers too much, taking away from the TV performance.  For one, the WiFi is becoming a problem for some as it takes too long to buffer movies, direct internet cable connection minimizes buffering but it doesn’t really go away. And as cool as connected TVs sound, who would want to browse their Facebook or Twitter page on a television screen?  And though 3D movies are making a big comeback on the big screen, not everyone loves it for their home.  Talk about extreme headaches!  No wonder Sony’s TV sales are falling.  Compiling great features into one device doesn’t necessarily mean it will result in a stellar gadget.

Sony’s TV sales slump is one reason for the delay in the PS Vita launch, as the company is focusing more on TV improvements for the rest of the year.  The company already sold off TV factories in Spain, Slovakia and Mexico in the past few years, and outsources more than half of production to companies including Hon Hai Precision Industry. It retains four TV plants of its own, in Japan, Brazil, China and Malaysia.  They are finding it hard to compete with Samsung, a company that they have a partnership with in LCD panels. When asked if they were to abolish said partnership this was stated:

“We are absolutely not thinking of abolishing the joint venture, and it’s not something that would be easy to do.”

As for their mobile phones, Sony’s hoped to make an impact with niche devices.  After unveiling the first ever Android-Walkman phone last July and the Xperia Play and Arc this year, they are now rumored to be working on a 3D smartphone.  Not much is known about the smartphone aside from having huge 4.7 inch touch-screen which will run at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The 3D technology will be glasses-free, just like the Optimus 3D and the HTC Evo 3D.  Also, Qriosity, their music service, is already rolling out on selected smartphones.

Though Sony TVs aren’t getting much applause, their Sony VAIO S Series is praised for its design, portability, great audio and display quality (semi-gloss that reduces glare), and a Core i3-2310M, which can be upgraded to a Core i5-2410M processor and 4GB of RAM for $80.  Though it is quite expensive compared to other laptops, the price isn’t bad considering its wealth of features.

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