The UpStream

Sony Cuts 10,000 Jobs in Effort to Cut Costs, Save Company

posted Saturday Apr 14, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Sony Cuts 10,000 Jobs in Effort to Cut Costs, Save Company

Sony announced this week that the company would be cutting 6% of its total workforce, which is around 10,000 jobs, in an effort to bring the numbers in its TV business back into the black over the next two years.

Sony President and newly appointed CEO Kaz Hirai said at a press conference Thursday that he will bring life back into the electronics and entertainment company. Earlier in the week, Sony doubled its projection for its annual net loss for the fiscal year 2012 from $3.2 billion USD to $6.4 billion. If that were to hold true, it would mark the fourth consecutive year of losses for Sony and would be its worst loss in the history of the company.

Hirai remained confident in his effort to reform the company at the press conference.

As CEO, I take this very seriously. But at the same time, it strengthened my resolve to transform Sony. Employees too want to restore Sony to its former glory and go beyond... Sony will change. I've fully dedicated myself to changing Sony.

Internal problems like their several network and security breaches compiled with the environmental disasters in Thailand haven't put Sony in a good position to prosper in 2012. Hirai looks to strengthen the company's digital camera, game and smartphone businesses for the next two years and is trying to boost total company sales to 70% by March 2015 from the current 60%. Sony will also be taking a charge of just over $925 million USD this year to help offset the job cuts and over reform plans.

Can the PlayStation Vita become Sony's saving grace and help push them into the black on top of these restructuing efforts? Will their efforts fall short of the goal to keep them profitable into the next coming year? I said at E3 that the Vita, while potentially stealing the show, might not be enough to do what Sony needs. Perhaps these job cuts will. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

California GameStops Now Required to Include DLC Warning for Used Games

posted Saturday Apr 14, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

California GameStops Now Required to Include DLC Warning for Used Games

California is simply a weird state. As you may have read and heard about that fact several times through our show and on The UpStream, the great state of California has always tried to do things just a little bit different than the rest of us. They've tried to ban violent video games, impose extra restrictions to any game that is not rated Early Childhood and are the reason that products anywhere else in the country say that the state of California recognizes that lead in products might be a bad thing. Combine the crazy state with a company like GameStop and you're bound to eventually get something interesting out of the pair.

That's exactly what happened this week. GameStop stores in California will now be required to post downloadable content (DLC) warnings on used games that make the free item or map pack void upon first use.

Microsoft Buys AOL Patent Portfolio for Over $1 Billion

posted Saturday Apr 14, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Buys AOL Patent Portfolio for Over $1 Billion

AOL announced a couple weeks ago that it would be selling its 800 patent portfolio to the highest bidder. Rumors were flying around that Google might be interested after losing to the Rockstar Consortium with crazy math constants in the Nortel bids. As it turns out, Microsoft swooped in and picked up the portfolio this week at a hefty $1.3 billion price tag.

What's in this portfolio that warrants such a high price and why is this important? The full story is after the break.

Nintendo's Wii U Might Sell for $300

posted Friday Apr 13, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo's Wii U Might Sell for $300

In the past few weeks, both Microsoft and Sony said that they would not be talking about new hardware at this year's E3 and that they still have at least another year before a new console would be hitting the market. Therefore, it would only be right for Nintendo to start talking about their upcoming Wii U before E3 in just a couple months.

We've mentioned on the show that in order for the Wii U to even be competitive, they'd have to launch at a sweetspot pricepoint of somewhere between $249 and $349. Well, it looks like Nintendo may just do that.

We have the details after the break.

Why Wait for an IPO - Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion

posted Monday Apr 9, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Why Wait for an IPO - Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion

It's been a long time since an Internet conglomerate purchasing a fast-growing start-up for way above its valuation has caught the world's attention. In fact, the last time it happened was Google purchasing YouTube in 2006. That is why today's announcement that Facebook has purchased photo sharing service Instagram for a cool $1 billion is such a shocker.

Like YouTube, Instagram has only been around about 2 years and gained popularity rapidly and surprisingly. While YouTube got to where it is because of a single upload of the comedic music video for Lazy Sunday from Saturday Night Live, Instagram has grown in popularity because of the viral nature of the product itself. Every time someone shares a photo through the service, it is incredibly branded, advertising itself to everyone who sees it. This has helped build the business incredibly fast.

Now, when I say business, I use the term loosely. Like Twitter, who they currently integrate with for photo sharing, there seems to be no business model. The app is free, the service is free but the servers that power it are not. The only business model available to them was an acquisition by an existing company. Now enters Facebook.

Why would Facebook want Instagram as part of their family and why make the purchase now, just ahead of their IPO? Hit the break to find out.

Netflix Buys DVD.com, Cares About DVDs

posted Sunday Apr 1, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Netflix Buys DVD.com, Cares About DVDs

After The Great Netflix Debacle of Late 2011, the company has managed to minimize its losses and keep itself under the media radar. At this point, that's probably the best thing for the company, as they look to recover from the damage inflicted.

This week, however, news comes out of the Netflix base for the first time in a while. It was announced that Netflix has purchased the three-letter domain DVD.com. This move is pretty interesting and a spokesperson for Netflix says that "Netflix cares about keeping DVD healthy, and this is just one small investment in keeping DVD healthy."

Several Internet snoopers saw the nameservers change from worldnic.com to ultradns.net, which is the same service Netflix uses, on March 25th, and Netflix confirmed the purchase right before the weekend hit. The URL now redirects to dvd.netflix.com. With three-letter domains being so expensive, however, I have got to wonder how much cash they forked over to pick it up.

I think it is noteworthy that this is after the whole Qwikster thing didn't work out so well. At least with the DVD.com purchase, you're not leaving the Netflix site and are instead being redirected to it. By the way, does anybody have any of the branding or POP from the Qwikster project? We want some!

We're live now - Join us!
PLuGHiTZ Keyz

Email

Password

Forgot password? Recover here.
Not a member? Register now.
Blog Meets Brand Stats