Sony Aims for 'Wow' Factor

Flat-panel TVs, a music player with robotics technology and planned networking services for the PlayStation 3 video game console are a key part of Sony's growth following a nearly three-year restructuring effort, Chief Executive Howard Stringer said Tuesday. Such products "bring back some of the wow factor" and show the electronics and entertainment company has recovered from its past financial problems, Stringer told reporters at Sony's Tokyo headquarters. "The next cycle is actual innovation," he said.

Sony's network service, now used to pipe video games to the PlayStation 3, will be expanded to offer other kinds of content. He did not give details or a timetable. Besides its core electronics business, Sony owns the Hollywood movie studio that made the "Spider-Man" series. Sony also has a joint venture in music with Bertelsmann AG that has Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce Knowles under its labels. Such entertainment content will likely be offered as downloads for the PlayStation 3 in Sony's effort to catch up with U.S. companies like Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

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