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Can Sony Win Back The Home Entertainment Market in India?

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Sony has done well in the Indian market over the last decade. It has cemented itself as one of the best consumer electronics brands in the country, and one of the reasons it was able to do so very effectively is the fact that its brand advertising works well with Indian consumers.

With its offerings covering all major home entertainment categories like TVs, Home Theatre Systems, Consoles, Camcorders and Digicams, the brand has enjoyed a lot of success in the subcontinent.

However, the last few years have seen the likes of Samsung and LG entering the Indian market with their wares, and this has led to a rivalry of sorts burgeoning amongst the manufacturers in the market. Let’s take a look at some of the latest offerings by Sony for this year.

Can 4K TVs Boost Sony’s Growth In The Market?

Sony TVs have always led the way in terms on innovation and technology. This is still true in 2013, with Sony unveiling the world’s first OLED TV, which is set to launch next year. Also, its 84-inch 4K resolution LED TV is now available in the Indian market. This TV has set the benchmark for the 4K resolution, and to say that it redefines image and video quality would be an understatement.

The 4K resolution was the major buzzword at this year’s CES, with most manufacturers looking to ingratiate this technology in their offerings.

Sony TV

Sony’s 4K TV, the KD-84X9000, utilizes the X-Reality engine to render content to an incredible resolution of 3840 x2160. X-Reality is Sony’s new image rendering engine, and it does a wonderful job of encoding content on-the-fly for videos that are vivid, full of contrast and highly detailed.

Also, the satellites flanking either side of the screen enhance the sound and make it truly immersive. With a loud bass as well as clear mids and highs, the sound system bundled with the TV adds another dimension to the overall effect.

Although Sony tried the same by launching Google TV platform based television sets but got its hands burnt. Now they came to know that similar or even better can be achieved with their own PlayStation consoles.

Also, the inclusion of its smart TV environment means that it can be connected to the Internet directly, and can be used for browsing as well as watching videos off the web. Similar to what Apple (with Apple TV and iOS device) and Google (Google TV and Android devices) are trying to achieve under the ‘Connected Home’ strategy, Sony is trying the idea being that any of its devices can be used to sync content from any other device.

Although Sony tried the same by launching Google TV platform based television sets but got its hands burnt. Now they came to know that similar or even better can be achieved with their own PlayStation consoles. As such, the manufacturer is looking for a tighter integration in such a way that users with an Xperia mobile can control their Smart TVs, and push content from the mobile to the large screen. The Xperia Z comes with the Wi-Fi Miracast certification, which is a standard that allows for seamless transmission of information across devices.

The upcoming PlayStation would see much tighter and easier integration with their television sets and second screen devices like tablets and smartphones. Although their home theatre products lack something similar to Apple AirPlay which can stream music or video directly from their smartphones and tablets, they kick in to provide a better core multimedia.

PlayStation 4 And The Challenges It Needs To Address

The PlayStation is set for an overhaul with the announcement of the PlayStation 4, which is set to arrive later this year. The PlayStation 4 features a new controller, which has a six-axis sensor and a section where users can navigate using touch-based gestures.

Playstation 4

PlayStation Camera is like Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox in a way, and can track user motions to drive actions within games. While the console itself has not yet been unveiled, consumer interest is very high. Another feature that will attract buyers is the host of games, like the God of War series, that is an exclusive to this console.

Connectable features are a mainstay in the PS4, like seamless sync between PS4 and PS Vita, which will allow users to play the same game and continue where they left off from between consoles. Cloud streaming organization Gaikai, which has been acquired by Sony, is said to power the syncing feature across consoles.

A few titles from PlayStation 3 are also slated to work with this feature, with the Vita also doubling as an additional controller. Also, Sony has had to contend with a lot of criticism over the last year, which saw the PlayStation 3 console hacked that gave users access to the Level Zero keys, which allowed users to jailbreak the console and run the software that they desire on the console.

It needs to work on such issues to make such that they would not be a concern on the PS4 and try to defeat upcoming Xbox 360 successor named ‘Durango’ and be the gaming console king as their yet another competitor Nintendo’s new age console release is being widely considered a flop.

Conclusion

Sony has now understood that creating good looking visuals and pleasantly sounding beats just isn’t enough in this new age.

Sony is facing a global crisis that has seen it sell off its New York offices. The last few years have been tough on the manufacturer, with the likes of Samsung stealing most of its market share in the consumer electronics and home entertainment segment.

They are now trying to consolidate and realize its vision of a connected home through its offerings, in a way that all devices can be interconnected and can sync content and share data seamlessly. It is this factor that could turn things around for Sony, as users look for easier ways to share their content.

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About Ashwin Sreekumar

Ashwin Sreekumar heads Marketing at MySmartprice and is an MS graduate from State University of New York, University at Buffalo. He has avid interest in eCommerce, marketing , technology and smartphones.

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