WHO WE ARE
Sony Corporation of America, located in New York, NY, is the U.S. headquarters of Sony Corporation, based in Tokyo, Japan. Sony's principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC, Sony Network Entertainment International LLC., Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $75 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 and employs approximately 140,900.
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Timeline 1 of 21
The power of two. With a firm grasp of the future, Masaru Ibuka (right), a brilliant engineer, and Akio Morita (left), a physics graduate with a flair for marketing, found Sony, now recognized as a global leader in innovative consumer electronics and entertainment experiences.
Cooking up something new. While Sony’s first consumer product prototype, an electric rice cooker, was admittedly rather primitive, the innovative spirit behind developing products that not only meet, but exceed, people’s expectations remains the driving force behind Sony today.
Making waves. Japan’s first transistor radio, the Sony TR-55, utilized miniature components to ensure that portability reigned supreme. Successive models were a hit with consumers, as their small size jived with the free-wheeling beat of the rock 'n' roll generation.
What’s in a name? The original name of the Company – “Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo" or "Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation" – was eventually changed to “Sony” to be more recognizable and easy to pronounce by consumers around the world. The new name combined sonus, the Latin root of sound, with "sonny," a popular expression describing young people.
Coming to America. Sony co-founder Akio Morita knew that to become a global company, Sony had to "[do] business with Americans like an American company," which meant setting up shop in the U.S. Two years later, the vision paid off: Sony opened its first U.S. showroom, on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
A real “turn-on.” “The days of radio are over. The future lies in television,” said Sony co-founder Masaru Ibuka. Countless hours were spent over many years by Sony engineers perfecting the iconic Trinitron television, making it twice as bright as any color TV in its day and setting a new standard with its stunning quality. It even won an Emmy® Award.
Music takes its first steps. Revolutionizing the personal and portable music experience, the Sony Walkman enables people to leave their homes with music in their ears and rhythm in their step.
The digital revolution begins. With the creation of the Compact Disc (CD), co-developed by Sony and Phillips, music goes digital. The new format allows for 75 minutes of uninterrupted playing time to accommodate the full length of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, a favorite of then-Sony Chairman Norio Ohga. The first album released on CD was Billy Joel’s “52nd Street,” on the Columbia label in 1982.
Sony feels the music. Sony takes its first major step into the global entertainment business by acquiring CBS Records. Now known as Sony Music Entertainment, the recorded music company represents hundreds of artists who make music loved by fans around the world.
Sony goes Hollywood. By acquiring Columbia Pictures, Inc., Sony begins to realize its goal of becoming the ultimate technology and entertainment company, delighting movie buffs with such hit films as “Men In Black,” “Spider-Man” and “Skyfall” and captivating television viewers with a broad slate of TV shows, including “Breaking Bad,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.”
Let the games begin. Sony gets into gaming with the launch of the PlayStation. Small and powerful with an attractive design, this easy-to-use console was an immediate sensation among gamers around the world. They haven’t stopped playing since.
Point and shoot. The Cyber-shot frames Sony’s entry into the digital-camera market. Known for its compact size and liquid crystal viewing screen, it set the scene for future Sony cameras, including the acclaimed Alpha digital SLR (single-lens reflex) line, which was introduced in 2006.
From desk to dorm. Sony debuts its VAIO desktop computer and quickly follows with the VAIO notebook, which was portable and popular with college students. VAIO stood for Video Audio Integrated Operation, which represented our integration of audio and video with conventional computing products to create a total entertainment center.
Run, Spot, run. Man’s best friend goes high-tech with the birth of AIBO, our not-so-cuddly (but pretty cool) robotic dog who could play, learn, emote and interact with its human companions. Using the latest in robotics research, AIBO served as an early indication of the role robotics would play in our lives.
Phones get smarter. Merging our design and device expertise with Ericsson’s telecommunications systems, a new mobile communications company – Sony Ericsson – is created, marking our eventual entry into the global smartphone market. Eleven years later, Sony bought out Ericsson’s stake and continues to expand its popular Xperia™ line.
Rhapsody in Blu. Blu-ray, a technology that brought high-definition (HD) images into living rooms around the world, is born. With six times the resolution of a standard DVD, film fans can now watch their favorite flicks in HD anytime, anywhere. The stunning format is ultimately chosen as the industry standard in 2008.
The beat goes on. Music masterminds Sony Music Entertainment and BMG enter into a joint venture to create Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a global recorded music company with a broad array of local artists and international superstars, including Bruce Springsteen, Yo-Yo Ma and Beyoncé. Sony bought out BMG’s stake in 2008.
Global gamers. Forget geographical boundaries. Gamers around the world can now compete in real time through their PlayStation consoles, thanks to the PlayStation Network (PSN), which is currently part of the broader Sony Entertainment Network.
Bright lights, big screen. After a 14-year absence from the space, Sony reclaims its spot at the “crossroads of the world” with a 35x40-foot, state-of-the-art digital LED screen in the heart of New York’s Times Square.
4K and beyond. Sony’s F65 CineAlta™ camera does what Hollywood filmmakers and production professionals never thought possible – capture true, film-quality moving images in a digital format. The F65 is the first-ever motion picture camera to shoot in 4K resolution, four times higher than that of high def. In 2013, Sony added a consumer 4K Handycam® to its industry-leading lineup.
“I write the songs…” Sony/ATV Music Publishing, established in 1995 as a joint venture between Sony and Michael Jackson, becomes the world’s largest music publishing company with the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by an investor group led by Sony Corporation of America. Sony/ATV now administers more than two million copyrights, including the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga and the greatest hits from the Motown era.