Sony is a massive technology and media corporation with numerous sub-divisions going toe to toe with a variety of competitors from Universal Music Group and and EMI, Viacom and Disney, Microsoft and Nintendo, Philips and Samsung, to Dell and Apple.
From the start, Sony was on the cutting edge of technology, delivering best selling transistor radios and other gadgets to post war Japan. Its exports grew to become commercially successful, and by the 1970's Sony was a household name in America.
The groundbreaking Walkman brand shaped the music industry of the 1980's, and in the 90's, Sony reluctantly took a bite out of the potentially unprofitable fad of video games, and in turn created their most important product for video game consumers: PlayStation.
Sony Computer Entertainment is now one of the biggest players in the games industry and is also one of the current "Big Three" console manufacturers, alongside Nintendo and Microsoft.
The company got its foot in the door to the business with the Playstation 1, creating a strong, recognizable brand that attracted much of the third-party support Nintendo and Sega enjoyed in previous generations, as well as being the top-selling home console of the generation. With the Playstation 2, their success skyrocketed to new heights, being hailed as the highest selling console in history. Its current generation console, the PS3, currently faces tough competition from the Xbox 360 and the Wii.
Sony is notable for creating a competitor to Nintendo's strong grip on the portable console market, creating the Playstation Portable.
The immense success of the PS family of products within Sony at large has led to promotions of execs handling the PlayStation brand to overseeing the entire consumer electronics division. In 2013, it is expected that E3 press conference favorite Kaz Hirai will take the reigns as Chair, President, and CEO of Sony at large.
One of Sony's trademark ways of doing business in tech is to establish its own proprietary formats that rival the joint ventures of its competitors, and giving its own endeavors a significantly higher push in spite of consumer trends. This ensures Sony a better say on anything it puts its name on, in addition to extra royalty fees from the likes of its blu-ray format. This hotheadedness played a part in the PS1 becoming more than just a Super Nintendo add-on, but also the reason why the XMB will still bother CD ripping PS3 owners about ATRAC3 settings.