Sony (NYSE:SNE) tries to conquer the world by creating media standards. It is a fixation for them. The idea is that like razors and razorblades they make far more profit on the media than on the player. Most famously they lost the video war to VHS when their own Betamax was a better standard.
But Betamax is only one of a litany of failures. Does anyone remember Mini-Disk from 1991? Sony Dynamic Digital Sound from 1993? The HiFD from 1998? MusicClip from 1999? Then there are the failed standards that they are still trying to foist on us like Memory Stick, Connect, eBook and the UMD drive on the PSP. Their last successful standard was the 3.5 inch diskette in 1983. Against this history you must wonder about the future of Blu-Ray.
And now another one of Sony’s standards has bitten the dust. When Sony re-engineered the PS3 to make it cheaper to manufacture (the 40Gb model) they took a lot out. Most famously backwards compatibility to PS2. It also lost it’s memory card reader and two USB ports. But quietly and almost un-noticed it lost the ability to play Super Audio CDs [SACD], Sony’s failed attempt at super HiFi audio disks. Not that anyone is going to notice.
So what do you think of the Sony business model of trying to create media standards?