June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. named its next portable video-game player the PlayStation Vita and selected AT&T Inc. as the exclusive U.S. wireless network provider for the product that succeeds the PSP.
The 3G/Wi-fi model will cost $299 in the U.S., 299 euros in Europe and 29,980 yen in Japan, the Tokyo-based consumer electronics maker said yesterday in a statement.
The Vita is part of Sony’s networked strategy, which envisions connecting televisions, Blu-ray players, game consoles and digital cameras via the Internet to movies, music and video games. Hackers have eroded confidence in the plan by repeatedly breaking into Sony’s networks since April, an unresolved thorn addressed by company executives yesterday.
“One of the more important things we learned was about the trust and loyalty of our consumers,” Executive Deputy President Kaz Hirai said at the E3 video-game trade show in Los Angeles. “We know that the network experience is not only critical for home entertainment but it’s equally important for mobile entertainment as well.”
Sony is aiming to create “a home console-like gaming experience in the palm of your hands,” Hirai said.
The Vita will have a five-inch display using OLED, or organic light emitting diode, technology and a rear touch pad, and will offer titles including “Uncharted: Golden Abyss” and “LittleBigPlanet.”
Sony fell 2.1 percent to 2,018 yen as of the 11 a.m. trading break in Tokyo, headed for the lowest closing price since March 2009. The shares have declined for four straight days and are down 31 percent this year. AT&T, based in Dallas, fell 29 cents to $30.36 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and has added 3.3 percent this year.
The company sees unconnected devices rapidly becoming commodities as rivals compete for customers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer has said.
Hackers have exposed weak spots in Sony’s online security. Attacks on the PlayStation Network and Qriocity entertainment services compromised more than 100 million accounts, and were followed by smaller breaches.
Most recently, the company is investigating two new possible intrusions. Sony suspended its Brazilian music website today and is investigating a hacker group’s claim that it sole data related to the game operation.
At a press conference for E3, Jack Tretton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, addressed what he called “the elephant in the room.”
Sony acknowledged game developers lost money during the PlayStation Network outage that lasted almost a month and thanked them for their continued support.
Tretton highlighted exclusive content many developers will offer in the next year for PlayStation users, and said the console now accounts for 30 percent of Netflix “Watch Instantly” streaming of movies and television shows.
He also echoed other company executives in apologizing “for any anxiety” the outage caused online users.
--With assistance from Mariko Yasu in ??. Editors: Anthony Palazzo, Terje Langeland
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