From Sega Retro
Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the world's leading manufacturers of electronic goods, a major player in the realm of film and television, owner of the largest music entertainment business on the planet and is also involved in financial services.
Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group (ソニー・グループ). This includes, or has included Sony Pictures, Sony Interactive Entertainment (formerly Sony Computer Entertainment) and Sony Music Entertainment, among others.
In the interests of simplicity, Sega Retro often refers to many of Sony Corporation's subsidiaries as "Sony", and has grouped their activities here for ease of use. Exceptions include the three subsidiaries named above.
The company was founded by Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita on May 7, 1946 as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (東京通信工業), changing its name to "Sony" in January 1958 to become more marketable overseas. The name is a mix of the Latin word "sonus" (which is the root of sonic and sound) and the English word "sunny", and first appeared as a brand name for the TR-55 transistor radio released in 1955.
Sony saw huge commercial success throughout the 1950s and 1960s with the sale of portable transistor radios. It entered the first home video "format war" with the introduction of Betamax in 1975 and created the first portable compact cassette player, the Walkman, in 1979. Sony has been instrumental in the creation of many technologies over the years, from assisting the adoption of the compact disc (CD) and digital versitile disc (DVD), to the creation of the 3.5-inch floppy disk, the Blu-ray standards. Less successful attempts to create video or audio standards include the aforementioned Betamax and MiniDisc.
While the electronics arm has only been tangentially releated to Sega, its subsidiary, Sony Computer Entertainment, launched the rival PlayStation console in 1994, building it up as a leading global brand for video games.