Sony to launch new online store

Sony announced that it will introduce a new online service that offers access to movies, video games, e-books and other content content when the new site launches early next year.

“(We’d like to) at least get the service up and running within the next calendar year… earlier in the year would be obviously a lot more preferable,” Sony Executive VP Kazuo Hirai told Dow Jones Newswires.

The content will be available to Sony-connected devices ranging from its e-reader to Bravia TVs, though analysts are hesitant to believe it will help spur hardware gadget sales.  Sony is attempting to increase brand loyalty as it faces stiff competition in its core businesses, including game consoles, HDTVs, digital cameras, and e-readers.

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The Sony Online Service will be more robust than its PlayStation Network — though it will use technology built off the PlayStation Network. It should prove interesting to see how receptive consumers are to the new service.

Sony currently has hardware, software and networking businesses, but has failed miserably trying to find a gateway between the services.  By the end of the fiscal year in March 2013, Sony hopes to have created Y300 billion revenue from its online services.

Until we see what the new service will offer, it’s hard to speculate as to what impact this will have on the struggling electronics powerhouse.  I think this is the latest visible attempt by Sony to try and find ways to better compete with rivals that are slowly stealing their marketshare.

Best known for its Walkman player years ago, the company has branched out into many different consumer products – perhaps too many business ventures, some analysts note, showing the company no longer has a single sector it completely dominates.