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  • Wed, Dec. 7, 4:27 PM
    • To promote best-practice development and adoption of virtual reality worldwide while conducting research and serving as resource among consumers, policymakers and industry interested in the field.
    • The organization is structured as a non-profit with full membership comprising Acer Starbreeze, Google (GOOG, GOOGL), HTC VIVE (OTC:HTCKF), Oculus (NASDAQ:FB), Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and Sony Interactive Entertainment (NYSE:SNE).
    • Press release
    | Wed, Dec. 7, 4:27 PM | 24 Comments
  • Wed, Dec. 7, 9:00 AM
    • Helped by strong demand during the year-end holiday season, Sony (NYSE:SNE) said sales of its PlayStation 4 had exceeded 50M units worldwide as of Dec 6.
    • The PS4, which went on sale in late 2013, has been the company's fastest-selling video game console.
    | Wed, Dec. 7, 9:00 AM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Dec. 7, 8:14 AM
    • Sony (NYSE:SNE) will release as many as six smartphone games in the upcoming fiscal year, hoping that its own gaming franchises can replicate the success of rival Nintendo's Pokemon GO.
    • The upcoming titles will free up some of Sony's popular gaming franchises, such as Everybody's Golf and PaRappa the Rapper, from PlayStation consoles to make them available on iOS and Android.
    | Wed, Dec. 7, 8:14 AM
  • Thu, Nov. 17, 7:01 PM
    • Videogame sales were up 6% Y/Y in total in October, as some key pre-holiday software releases again made up for slipping hardware.
    • Overall sales were at $875.7M, according to NPD Group. Hardware revenues dropped 20% to $215.2M, and accessories spending fell 24% to $121M.
    • “Unit sales for the Xbox One (MSFT +1.7%) brand of hardware grew by 8% compared to last October," said NPD's Sam Naji, as pricing for Xbox One hardware dropped 17% with a lower priced One S Minecraft bundle. The month's best-selling hardware, though, was the PS4 (SNE +1.1%) Slim 500 GB Uncharted 4: A Thief's End bundle. And Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY +3.4%) 3DS saw its fifth straight month of Y/Y growth.
    • Meanwhile, videogame software spending on console platforms rose 31% to $505.7M, and PC game software jumped 172% to $33.8M, thanks to "popular new games that included Battlefield 1, Mafia III, Gears of War 4, Titanfall 2 and Civilization VI," said Naji.
    • Individual games (ranked by dollar sales): Battlefield 1 (EA +1%) took the top spot, followed by Mafia III (TTWO +4.7%) and Gears of War 4 (NASDAQ:MSFT). FIFA 17 (NASDAQ:EA) was fourth and NBA 2K17 (NASDAQ:TTWO) fifth.
    • Rounding out the top 10: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks), WWE 2K17 (TTWO), Civilization VI (TTWO), Titanfall 2 (EA) and Madden NFL 17 (EA).
    | Thu, Nov. 17, 7:01 PM | 15 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 8, 4:42 PM
    • PlayStation Vue, the streaming TV service from Sony (SNE +0.8%), is kicking out Viacom (VIA -0.6%, VIAB -0.6%) this weekend, and adding some new channels instead.
    • The service is losing all the Viacom networks (which include MTV, Comedy Central and Spike) as of Nov. 11.
    • "As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans," says Vue chief Dwayne Benefield.
    • Meanwhile, tomorrow the service is adding BBC America and NBA TV, and says that "Vice and more local broadcast stations from CBS and Fox" are coming soon.
    | Tue, Nov. 8, 4:42 PM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 1, 12:20 PM
    • The battle for the live-TV streaming audience is heating up as Hulu signs deals with Fox (FOX -1.1%, FOXA -0.6%) and Disney (DIS -0.4%) to incorporate dozens of networks into its upcoming service.
    • Fox and Disney are part of the co-ownership group at Hulu, of course, along with NBCUniversal (CMCSA -0.6%) and Time Warner (TWX -0.7%). The new deals mean that Hulu's service will include Disney's nets (particularly including ESPN live and on demand, as well as others in the Disney/ABC group) and Fox's entertainment, news, sports and nonfiction services.
    • While early streaming-TV efforts (from Sling TV (DISH -1%) and Sony (SNE -2.2%)) looked more like "skinny bundling," lately the bundles are looking fatter. Hulu's adding dozens of networks, and AT&T's (T -0.7%) DirecTV Now (launching this month) is promising more than 100 channels for $35/month.
    | Tue, Nov. 1, 12:20 PM | 16 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 1, 5:22 AM
    • Sony (NYSE:SNE): FQ2 EPS of ¥3.76
    • Revenue of ¥1.69T (-10.6% Y/Y)
    • Shares -0.3% PM.
    • Press Release
    | Tue, Nov. 1, 5:22 AM
  • Tue, Nov. 1, 5:07 AM
    • Net income plunged 86% to ¥4.8B ($45.8M) from ¥33.6B in the same period last year, as the Japanese electronics giant got whacked by a stronger yen, costs from the sale of its battery business and softness in areas like games and semiconductors.
    • Sony (NYSE:SNE) cash-cow imaging sensor business also took a ¥1.2B hit due to damage from the Kumamoto earthquakes that closed down one of its factories.
    • SNE -0.3% premarket
    | Tue, Nov. 1, 5:07 AM | 6 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 31, 5:30 PM
  • Mon, Oct. 31, 3:26 PM
    • Tyler Perry continued to rack up scary sums as Boo! A Madea Halloween (LGF +1.6%) held the weekend's box-office crown against a disappointing home debut in Tom Hanks' Dan Brown film series.
    • Inferno (SNE -0.8%), the follow-up to 2006's The Da Vinci Code and 2009's Angels & Demons, drew just $15M to finish No. 2 against Madea's $16.7M. That's well off the $77M The Da Vinci Code opened with domestically, but Inferno has already drawn $132.7M from international openings.
    • Similarly, Doctor Strange -- the latest entry in the Marvel (DIS -1.2%) Cinematic Universe -- won't open in the U.S. until Friday, but drew $86M in overseas openings.
    • Rounding out the top five films: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (VIA flat, VIAB -0.3%) was No. 3 with $9.6M; The Accountant (TWX +1.2%) No. 4 with $8.48M; and Ouija: Origin of Evil (NASDAQ:CMCSA) fifth with $7.1M.
    | Mon, Oct. 31, 3:26 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 31, 2:40 PM
    • There's a growing wave of support for a legalized sports betting framework in the U.S. to take advantage of the huge market and reel in some of the money going to off-shore and illegal betting options.
    • State lotteries, sports betting shops and Native American casino entities are all calling for action from Capitol Hill or on a state-by-state basis.
    • Professional sports league also cooperating. "We've been supportive of legalized sports betting, and we'll continue to be supportive," says NBA Senior VP Dan Spillane. Already in the mix, a NHL expansion team is due to debut in Las Vegas next year and the NFL is trying to lure the Oakland Raiders to the region.
    • Perhaps the most intriguing angle with legalized sports betting is the growing interest from tech firms in having their hands in the billions of dollars likely to flow through the U.S. betting market. ESPN reports that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) already have patents covering sports betting platforms, while some industry experts think a widespread mobile betting platform from a tech heavyweight is inevitable (Facebook or Google?).
    • What to watch: If Congress takes the final decisive step, a number of dramatic partnerships and M&A deals between Silicon Valley and existing casino operators could start flying.
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    • Related ETF: BJK.
    | Mon, Oct. 31, 2:40 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 31, 3:49 AM
    • Sony (NYSE:SNE) is cutting its annual profit forecast due to impairment losses related to the sale of its battery business to iPhone component supplier Murata Manufacturing.
    • Operating income is now expected to be ¥270B ($2.6B) in the 12 months ending March, down ¥30B from its previous forecast made in July.
    • Sony will announce its first-half results and further details of its full-year outlook tomorrow.
    | Mon, Oct. 31, 3:49 AM
  • Thu, Oct. 27, 9:47 AM
    • There's some mind-blowing numbers out on e-commerce as part of the 2016 Adobe holiday season forecast.
    • E-commerce sales are expected to increase 11% this year to $91.6B. Though the pace is slower than what was seen in some recent years, it still triples the overall growth rate in retail.
    • Cyber Monday is set to be the largest online shopping day of all time, with $3.36B in sales anticipated.
    • Large retailers are seen outpacing smaller retailers by a wide margin, 17% growth vs. 7% growth. That means more market share for Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Best (NYSE:BBY) and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) in comparison to chains which already have a harder time leveraging their shipping costs.
    • Adobe says hot gifts this year will include virtual reality devices, Pokemon, Barbie, Lego, Hot Wheels and Frozen toys.
    • A stretching out of the holiday season from early October until past Christmas could help FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS) manage the logistics more efficiently.
    • Related stocks: SNE, HAS, MAT, NILE, EBAY, DIS.
    • Related ETFs: IBUY, XRT.
    • Full Adobe report
    | Thu, Oct. 27, 9:47 AM | 16 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 25, 5:03 PM
    • AT&T (T -0.4%) has revealed its "aggressive" price plan for new streaming service DirecTV Now: $35/month.
    • Since AT&T is zero-rating data for its customers, that's the total price for the company's subscribers. Other customers will need to consider data needs if they're video-hungry.
    • That gets users 100-plus premium channels for less than the typical cable bundle, and less than PlayStation Vue (SNE -0.9%), but in the ballpark of Sling TV (DISH +0.3%).
    • CEO Randall Stephenson says the company aims to keep the price down through new advertising models.
    • AT&T/Time Warner deal coverage
    | Tue, Oct. 25, 5:03 PM | 25 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 2:18 PM
    • Sony Music Entertainment (SNE +2.1%) is promoting Rob Stringer to succeed Doug Morris as its chief executive officer, as Morris moves on to become chairman of the group.
    • Those moves are effective in April. Stringer is chairman and CEO at the company's Columbia Records, the label representing Beyonce and Adele.
    • Stringer has led Columbia to be the leading label by market share, Sony says.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 2:18 PM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Oct. 14, 10:28 AM
    • Sony (NYSE:SNE) began selling its PlayStation VR unit this week at a pricing point ($399) below the Facebook Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The roll-out is being closely watched to see if the product ends up as a holiday favorite.
    • "Anyone who buys [a PlayStation VR unit] in the next six months already owns a PlayStation 4, so it's not necessarily going to drive that many new console sales, but it certainly extends the brand," says Digital World Research CEO P.J. McNealy.
    • "New content is steadily flowing in but we have yet to see the killer app that will be necessary to make VR mainstream. We remain optimistic for VR over the long-term for both games and enterprise," notes Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schacter.
    • Estimates of VR headset sales over the next year range from 1.4M (Goldman Sachs) to below 1M, although many industry watchers say one "killer" virtual reality game could drive up demand.
    • On a very positive note, GameStop's (GME) COO told TheStreet that the company is sold out of the Sony VR product in most stores.
    • There's also positive reviews out from Wired and TechRadar that could help win over some consumers.
    | Fri, Oct. 14, 10:28 AM | 7 Comments