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Sony's Products Through the Years -

Akio Morita, chairman and chief executive officer of the Sony Corp, demonstrates his firm's newest product July 1, 1980, a single unit video camera and casette recorder. The demonstration was held at New York news conference. A firm spokesman said in Tokyo said the new device would revolutionize the home movie industry. (AP photo/Dave pickoff)

Sony’s Hit Factory Running Out of Hits


Sony has been one of the world’s leading electronics brands for more than 50 years. But the hit factory that produced the Trinitron color television, the ubiquitous Walkman cassette tape player and the first video recorders seems to have run dry lately. More recently, proprietary digital music players, flash memory cards and e-readers flopped.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said this week he’s concentrating on wringing more profits from cameras, phones and televisions even as he dump the company’s money-losing Vaio PC unit. Following cost cutting and layoffs in his first two years, Hirai says he’ll need another 5,000 job cuts to complete his turnaround.

Not everything is flailing. Sony sold 4.2 million of its new Playstation 4 gaming consoles in November and December, well on the way to meeting Hirai’s goal of selling 5 million by March. Microsoft said it sold 3.9 million of its new Xbox One consoles over the same period.

Click onward for a review of Sony’s greatest hits and misses through the years.