As of 2020, Sony is the world’s largest manufacturer of CMOS image sensors as its chips are widely used in digital cameras, tablet computers, smartphones, drones and more recently, self-driving systems in automobiles.
As of 2020, the company, through its chip business arm Sony Semiconductor Solutions, designs, manufactures, and sells a wide range of semiconductors and electronic components, including image sensors (HAD CCD, Exmor), image processors (BIONZ), laser diodes, system LSIs, mixed-signal LSIs, emerging memory storage, emerging displays (microLED, microOLED, and holographic display), multi-functional microcomputer (SPRESENSE), etc.
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Sony Interactive Entertainment (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment) is best known for producing the popular line of PlayStation consoles. The line grew out of a failed partnership with Nintendo. Originally, Nintendo requested Sony to develop an add-on for its SNES that would play Compact Discs. In 1991 Sony announced the add-on, as well as a dedicated console known as the “Play Station”. However, a disagreement over software licensing for the console caused the partnership to fall through. Sony then continued the project independently.
On March 31, 2019, the successor to the PlayStation 4 was announced and on November 12, 2020, the PlayStation 5 was released in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. PlayStation has confirmed that the console will launch in Indonesia on January 22, 2021. Upon completion of the fiscal quarter, Sony sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5 consoles, keeping pace with the best selling console of all time, the PlayStation 2.
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Sony Entertainment has two divisions: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Group (Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Publishing). Sony USA previously owned and operated Sony Trans Com: a technology business that provided in-flight entertainment programming as well as video and audio playback equipment for the airline industry. Sony had purchased the business from Sundstrand Corp. in 1989 and subsequently sold it to Rockwell Collins in 2000.
In 2012, Sony rolled most of its consumer content services (including video, music and gaming) into the Sony Entertainment Network, the predecessor of PlayStation Network.
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Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) is the television and film production/distribution unit of Sony. With 12.5% box office market share in 2011, the company was ranked third among movie studios . The company has produced many notable movie franchises, including Spider-Man, The Karate Kid and Men in Black. It has also produced the popular television game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
In 1968, Sony and CBS Records had formed a 50:50 joint-venture CBS/Sony Records, later renamed CBS/Sony Group, in Japan. When CBS Records was acquired, a 50% stake in CBS/Sony Group owned by CBS was also transferred to Sony. In March 1988, four wholly owned subsidiaries were folded into CBS/Sony Group and the company was renamed as Sony Music Entertainment Japan (SMEJ). It operates independently of Sony Music as it is directly owned by Japanese Sony.