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Sony steps deeper into the Metaverse

Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony has recently provided greater insight into its plans for the Metaverse. On Wednesday last week Sony’s Chairman, President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida set out the company’s “long-term” corporate strategy at its FY2022 Corporate Strategy Meeting. Interestingly, Kenichiro-san took only 19 minutes to get to the Metaverse in his 100+ minute presentation.

Sony’s exploits in the Metaverse have, historically, been driven by virtual reality games on its Playstation gaming console and immersive gaming experiences via its PS VR headsets. Sony’s latest PS VR2 headset, scheduled for late 2022, or 2023 release, is expected to deliver twice the pixel density of Meta’s Quest 2 across a 110 degree field of view. Recently Sony have been making moves into the Metaverse. Most recently in April, with a $1 billion investment in LEGO and Epic Games family friendly Metaverse.

So, what did we learn from Wednesday’s presentation? It appears Sony are focusing on opportunities for gaming, music, movies and television shows in the Metaverse. Kenichiro-san highlighted the continued importance of Sony’s Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 consoles, as well as its direct-to-consumer Playstation Network. He also highlighted Sony’s recent acquisition of American video game developer Bungie, which it bought for $3.6 billion back in February. Bungie-owned IP includes the highly popular, massively multiplayer online game Destiny 2. Kenichiro-san noted Destiny 2’s “endless” game world, created based on player feedback. Interestingly, he also picked out Epic Games Fortnite, saying that it has “evolved into a social place where time and space are shared. Not just a place for playing games.” Perhaps Sony has similar plans for Destiny 2?

On music Kenichiro-san picked out the reproduction of live experiences, referencing Sony’s partnership with Manchester City Football Club to create immersive digital fan experiences, and performance’s Sony artist performances in the Metaverse, namely Lil Nas X, 24KGoldn, Zara Larsson, and Kenshi Yonezu. On movies and television shows, he spoke about the importance of physical presence and live experiences, and recent Sony Pictures success with Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Uncharted, as well as the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba television series. In describing the Metaverse as being “at the same time a social space, and a live network space where games music, movies, and anime intersect and expand”. Sony may be planning similar moves to Bandai Namco, which is seeking to maximize the value of its intangible assets, including patents, trade secrets, copyright and trademarks. For Sony this might include a Demon Slayer Metaverse, that combines Demon Slayer games, music, movies, along with limited-edition digital assets, such as Demon Slayer-based avatar costumes, and the purchase of physical assets, such as figurines.

Kenichiro-san rounded off with Star Sphere, a space-based experience that looks Metaverse-ready and LinkBud hardware collaboration with Microsoft and Niantic, which overlays digital sound on the physical world. He finished by describing a “Live Network Space that connects creators and users while also generating new Kando (emotional) experiences”. With this in mind, it’s easy to see the Metaverse as a key part of Sony’s future strategy that supports all three its business domains: Move People’s Hearts; Connect People to People; and Connect People,

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Courtesy of Wix

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