Company Information for Students and Research

  • Sony’s roots began in Tokyo in 1946
  • Sony made Japan’s first transistor in May 1954 and the first all-transistor radio.
  • Since then Sony has led the field in invention and innovation;
    • first Trinitron Colour Television in 1968
    • colour video-cassette in 1971
    • Betamax VCR (world’s first home use video system) in 1975
    • Walkman in 1979
    • 3.5 inch micro floppy disk in 1989
    • electronic camera in 1981
    • world’s first CD Player in 1982
    • first consumer camcorder in 1983
    • 8mm video in 1988
    • first digital VTR in 1985
    • the launch of PlayStation in 1995
  • In 45 years it has grown from 20 employees to over 100 000 people around the world.
  • Sony Corporation of America was formed in 1960, Sony UK Limited was founded in 1968.
  • In 1988 Sony entered into a arrangement with Nintendo to develop a CD-ROM drive for a console that was due on the market in 18 months time.
  • Nintendo felt sidelined by Sony’s plans and perceived that Sony’s success could threaten its survival. They announced in 1991 that they had entered an agreement with Philips to develop a CD-ROM platform for Super Nintendo.
  • At the end of 1992 Sony, Nintendo and Philips signed a deal whereby PlayStation would be able to run SNES CD-ROMs but left Nintendo with the sole rights to all its games. The version of PlayStation being developed at that time never made it into production.
  • Having come so far Sony did not abandon the idea completely and they went back to the drawing boards.
  • PlayStation then surfaced in 1993, launching in Japan in 1994, then America and Europe in 1995.
  • In addition to the best hardware, Sony knew they needed the support of the best software developers. The company recruited the best and ensured that companies like Konami and Namco were involved from the earliest days.
  • Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s office was established in London in January 1995
  • PlayStation launched in Europe in September 1995, by Christmas 350,000 units had been sold
  • PlayStation 2 launched in more than 25 PAL territories in November 2000 along with PS one (a newly designed PlayStation console)
  • In 2003 Sony announced plans for the PSP (Portable PlayStation, an all-in-one portable entertainment platform) and the PSX (a high capacity HDD+DVD recorder with PlayStation and PlayStation 2 compatibility)
  • A broadband gaming service was launched across many PAL territories in Summer 2003
  • By January 2004, cumulative worldwide shipments of PlayStation 2 were 70 million units, 24.5 million of those in PAL territories

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