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Stringer hints at PSN expansion

Sony CEO reveals that company is set to expand it to "hardware other than the PS3"

Sony CEO and chairman, Sir Howard Stringer, has revealed company plans to expand the reach of the PlayStation Network to other devices - although he stopped short of specifying exactly what those devices would be.

In an interview with Nikkei Electronics Asia he discussed the conflict between open source and proprietary technologies, referencing mistakes made by the company in the past with respect to music file formats - mistakes which he believes the company has now learned from.

"Customers today want to be able to freely access content via the Internet, information technology," he said. "This requirement represents a threat to our content business, and to existing frameworks for rights management. I don't see that we have any choice, though. We have to create a sanctuary which provides customers an environment for their enjoyment."

"That is how we can change a threat to the content business into an opportunity. A lot of people thought Sony's content download service was doomed, but it's in a pretty good place right now in the form of the PlayStation Network, available to PS3 users for network gaming, video, etc. The DRM is based on Marlin, an open scheme developed by consumer electronics companies and other companies.

"What does all this mean? Very simply, it means that Sony has begun the transition from a closed system to an open one. I wish the Japanese media would recognise how important this is. I also put a lot of effort into making sure that many people understand the value of what Sony is trying to do here.

"Next we will be expanding the PlayStation Network to hardware other than the PS3, because the number of PS3 units sold puts a limit on the scale of the network possible. Sony has a vertical structure for each product line, an organisational structure that resists change, so it will take time to achieve this network growth. However, a large number of employees share my opinion on this," he added.

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