Sony Corp has officially announced its entry in the 3D television game, launching its first line of Bravia flatscreen TVs for sale in Japan beginning in June. Other announcements will follow as Sony joins electronics giants like Panasonic and Samsung in chasing a 3D marketplace that Sony expects will immediately become responsible for 10% of its sales in the next year.
The big question I have Is Sony indebted to James Cameron, beyond what his film Avatar has done to stoke 3D demand?
To hear Cameron tell it, Sony’s TV plan is exactly the same one he pitched Sony chief, Sir Howard Stringer, as a business proposition. Though Cameron makes his films at 20th Century Fox, he had a strong association with Sony, the maker of 3D cameras that were used for Avatar.
Listen to Cameron’s response to a recent Business Week cover story, when Charlie Rose mentioned Stringer ‘s plan to make 3D units the entire thrust of Sony’s presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show that took place in early January.
Said Cameron: “There’s an interesting history there because, about 6 or 7 months ago, I had a closed-door secret presentation to Howard Stringer of a new business venture, and I mapped out what I believed was going to be the future of 3D and how many television sets were going to be entering the home and how there would initially be a dearth of 3D content and blah, blah, blah. I basically mapped out an entire strategy that he promptly announced a week later at the Sony stockholders’ meeting. His speech was pretty much culled verbatim from my presentation. So thank you, Howard.”
When Rose suggested this was the “sincerest form of flattery,” Cameron was having none of it.
“A more sincere form would have been to actually make the deal I was proposing,” Cameron said.