In an environment where it's difficult to turn a profit on hardware, Sony has pushed for the integration of hardware, software and the network to make money. To have this happen now is really unfavorable.
That's a quote that appears in today's Wall Street Journal from Nobuo Kurahashi, corporate research analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities in Tokyo. It's with reference to recent hacker penetration of Sony Corp.'s online PlayStation videogame service. The Playstation Network has an estimated 77 million accounts and allows users connect online, play games against each other, chat and download televisin shows and movies. As I write this, it is not know whether hackers got users credit card information.
Sony, like most hardware companies has been following the Apple online store model and it appears to be working. According to the Wall Street Journal piece, under a mid-term business plan announced in late 2009, Sony said it aims to have a user base of 350 million network-connected devices while generating revenue of 300 billion yen ($3.65 billion) from the services business.