Sony Corp will launch 3D televisions in June, entering an increasingly crowded market that is betting the revolutionary TV will become the next hot product in the electronics industry.
The maker of Bravia flat TVs hopes 3D models to make up 10 percent of more than 25 million LCD TVs it aims to sell in the next financial year. Sony holds high hopes of a shift to 3D as it will likely give a boost to many of its business operations, which range from TVs, digital cameras, and Blu-ray DVD players to digital cinema projectors on the hardware side and from videogames and TV programmes to feature films on the software side. Panasonic Corp plans to launch its 3D TVs in the United States on March 10 and says it will cooperate with top U.S. electronics retailer Best Buy Co in promoting them.
Last month Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world's No.1 TV brand, launched 3D TV sales in South Korea and said it would launch them globally this month with the aim of selling at least 2 million 3D TVs this year. Sony will begin selling 3D TVs in Japan on June 10 and plans to launch in the overseas market around the same time. The electronics and entertainment conglomerate expects a model with a 46-inch screen to sell for 350,000 yen ($3,875) and a 40-inch model to sell for 290,000 yen. Each model comes with two pairs of 3D glasses. “We at Sony will liberate 3D from the confines of movie theatres and make it something that people can enjoy at home,” Sony Senior Vice President Yoshihisa Ishida told a news conference. The sci-fi blockbuster “Avatar” and other recent titles have sparked massive interest in 3D movies, and electronics makers are now rushing to get flat panel TVs with three-dimensional visual effects to the market. “We set the June 10 launch date after taking software availability into consideration. Without content, 3D TVs cannot be of much use,” Sony's Ishida said. “I don't think a few months (in launch timing) means much.” The more than 25 million LCD TVs Sony aims to sell in the next financial year compared with its own forecast of 15 million it plans to sell in the financial year ending this month. Shares of Sony were up 0.9 percent at 3,325 yen in afternoon trade in Tokyo. The benchmark Nikkei average was virtually unchanged.